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 The idea of camping

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Vegemite

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The idea of camping - Sunday, May 22, 2011 8:25 PM ( #1 )
I just got back from camping last night at Henry Coe State Park near San Jose, CA.

I realized that camping means different things to different people.  The campsite was full and we had all kinds of folks.  My neighbors consisted of a quiet group of four people who hiked and talked quietly by the campfire, and another group of 4 people who just showed up to drink, smoke and partied late into the night.  Needless to say, I found one group really annoying.  The park ranger made a token appearance, but did not enforce quiet hours.  I know backpacking would solve the problem of irritating city slickers, but it takes more preparation.  

Here are the reasons why I go camping:

1. To see the night sky that is obliterated by city lights.
2. To practice identification of plants and animals.
3. To practice fire making, wood processing.
4. To hike and be surrounded by nature.

Why do you go camping?
Simple things are best. 
       
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RD

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Re:The idea of camping - Sunday, May 22, 2011 8:38 PM ( #2 )
Pretty much the same reasons, and I agree with you on the groups that just seem to show up and party. I think that is one of the biggest reasons I don't like to go to any of the local state parks to camp, with the exception of Mt. Diablo the view is spectacular on the right nights, and the rangers actually do patrol the camp grounds.
Do not fear the night.    Fear what hunts by night.

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chabochi

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Re:The idea of camping - Sunday, May 22, 2011 10:26 PM ( #3 )
In nature I feel more in touch with the creator, you might say if i had a church the mountains would be it. I enjoy the solitude, the sounds. Knowing that I am alone sometimes miles from anyone else gives me a sense of independence that I can't put into words. Often people are nicer out there; people tend to be more relaxed about greeting strangers and smiling! It is beautiful out there and lifts my heart to be somewhere so special. It grounds me with my ancestors to be somewhere outside of a modern context. The mountains remain unchanged for millenia in some ways and a lot of what is still there is what my ancestors related to hundreds of years ago. i love the challenge of having to travel for miles with everything i need to survive for the duration of the trip on my back. To practice my survival skills. I can focus using different facets of my psyche and find that this enriches me as a human being in general. It is exciting to see wild animals outside of a zoo, where they are on equal terms with me. Its fun to make a fire and sit by it. because i can't very well do that at home. Sometimes it is exciting to be walking along a cliff knowing full well that an earthquake or other act of god can end my life in an instant. Oh man, i never put this all into words before.
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milsurpgeek

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Re:The idea of camping - Monday, May 23, 2011 7:30 AM ( #4 )
mostly because it's so calming. Nothing like sitting out by a warm campfire with my gun a smoke and a can of beer while i cook fresh fish.
muddog15

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Re:The idea of camping - Monday, May 23, 2011 2:40 PM ( #5 )
I hate going camping at places like that for the same reasons. I love going camping for all of the same reasons already mentioned. I can't think of anything else to add. Except a story about like yours, except it involved a group of drunk rowdy hunters. 
MM60

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Re:The idea of camping - Monday, May 23, 2011 4:34 PM ( #6 )

Many of the campouts I've been on have been with the Boy Scouts - either for fulfillment of requirements or just for fun. We've done campouts traveling by canoe and hiking, as well as remaining stationary. Most of the camping the troop does now is right behind a row of vehicles, but when I was a scout - we used to travel a good distance through the outdoos before arriving at a campsite. We also used to go for no less than two nights, but now one night is typical.

I used to bring my college textbooks camping during spring break - I'd kayak for a few miles and camp out on an actual desert island for three days or so. There were almost no distractions there and it allowed me to get my reading finished for the entire semester.
A lot of the camping that I've done on my own has been to practice survival skills. Most trips are one or two night trips. I've done several campouts without bringing any food along - with the point being to hunt or catch my own food, and I was finally successful during Freshblood's challenge.

I have camped out to get a head start during hunting season (spring gobbler). I woke up right before sunrise - already in the middle of the woods. Unfortunately I did not see or hear a turkey all day, and I ended up falling back asleep in a sunny field around noon.

My favorite campouts are any that involve kayaking in warmer weather. Those require no load to be carried, and they usually involve fishing and swimming. This summer I hope to kayak-camp and catch catfish for dinner several times.

When people are being noisy and obnoxious and trashing up the outdoors with beer cans and broken glass and wrappers and whatever else, what they're really doing is inviting you to have some fun at their expense. Be creative in making them feel unwelcome!

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Seanort

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Re:The idea of camping - Monday, May 23, 2011 5:14 PM ( #7 )
I camp to be closer to my mind. I've found it's very easy for humans to become detached from the thing in their own heads, so I like to reconnect as often as possible. My hiking grounds are foresty and swampy, so I have lots of frogs, snakes, turtles, coyotes, deer, and raccoons to keep me company.

Much like chabochi, I consider the woods to be my church. I can close my eyes in there and just let the gentle wind tell me everything I need to hear and be at peace with the world. If my worshiped god had a name, it might very well be Ehlonna, the goddess of forests. When I enter her domain, I feel like I am truly one with myself, and everything.
Nothing is ever easy.
chabochi

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Re:The idea of camping - Monday, May 23, 2011 6:37 PM ( #8 )
MM60


When people are being noisy and obnoxious and trashing up the outdoors with beer cans and broken glass and wrappers and whatever else, what they're really doing is inviting you to have some fun at their expense. Be creative in making them feel unwelcome!

I'd love to hear some suggestions regarding your technique on this matter. I can't think of anything that would be legal. Enlighten me.
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Ron Dean

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Re:The idea of camping - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 4:07 AM ( #9 )
You nailed it Vegemite , camping should be a serene and calming experience . The people who go to drink and party all night should go get a motel room . In Ontario Canada the enforcement of park rules is fast and unforgiving , no first warnings just pack your crap and get out , do it again and face a lifetime ban to that park .

milsurpgeek

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Re:The idea of camping - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 6:41 AM ( #10 )
muddog15


I hate going camping at places like that for the same reasons. I love going camping for all of the same reasons already mentioned. I can't think of anything else to add. Except a story about like yours, except it involved a group of drunk rowdy hunters. 


If i'm camping I'm pretty mellow. Not to mention I am usually way way way deep into the brush. On the off chance anyone happens to find me(which has happened on rare occasions) i usual share a beer and a meal with them. I can relate though since in my travels I spent some time at various K.O.A.'s and they get pretty noisy.

Not to mention that I always clean up after myself. The only reason I bring a beer is because it's relaxing. The gun is for protection and I go camping to get away from all the noise and the rowdy d-bags around here not to sit out in the woods and be one.lol
chabochi

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Re:The idea of camping - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:08 PM ( #11 )
Ron Dean


You nailed it Vegemite , camping should be a serene and calming experience . The people who go to drink and party all night should go get a motel room . In Ontario Canada the enforcement of park rules is fast and unforgiving , no first warnings just pack your crap and get out , do it again and face a lifetime ban to that park .

I am not one of those rowdy types mentioned but there aren't any rules of conduct that require people to be calm or serene in the woods. IMO they have the right to do what they do, it is not immoral, IMO. You simply have to keep walking beyond the point where carrying beer cans is practical and then those guys will be far from you. Enjoyment and appreciation for nature is expressed in various ways. Here in California there are no laws against it, although here in CA there is usually a posted regulation stating that campground quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am (and if i remember correctly, in New Mexico).  BUT, i love it when those guys stay up all night and then i start chopping wood at the break of dawn even if i have no intention of making a fire in the first place! 
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fox

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Re:The idea of camping - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 2:25 PM ( #12 )
many reasons but top among them is the desire to get away from people and regular stresses.  Simpler (not easier) life for a while.  I won't camp at camp grounds because there are still people.  When I camp I want to do my best not to see or hear anyone.  This is harder and harder these days.
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Freshblood459

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Re:The idea of camping - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 8:14 PM ( #13 )
When I camp I don't have to shower. That and all the outdoorsy stuff.
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Little Nick

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Re:The idea of camping - Saturday, May 28, 2011 3:38 AM ( #14 )
It's about getting back to nature. Being in touch with my ancient ancestors and getting closer to god.

Plus you get to play with cool sharp stuff.
dferriman

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Re:The idea of camping - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 10:29 AM ( #15 )
I camp because I enjoy the work. I am a web designer, so I spend my time behind a desk/computer. I hate what I call "mock camping," where you drive to a place with electricity and watch TV. I like to hike in, build a spot and chop wood. It is a good reminder of what we use to do before technology. When I am at a mock camp site it find the experience uncomfortable, as it makes you either miss what you left behind or long for a purer experience. When you get into the real outdoors, leaving all the comforts behind, it is more relaxing, more comfortable as you don't miss what you aren't reminded of. There is just something about getting out in the woods and working with your hands that really feels right.
RD

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Re:The idea of camping - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 4:02 PM ( #16 )
Well I found out yesterday that one of my favorite spots in the High Sierra may not open this year due to the amount of snow (there is still about 10 feet or more of snow on the ground according to the rangers), and infrastructure damage to the road to get there. So I may have to find a couple of secluded places at a lower elevation this year.
Do not fear the night.    Fear what hunts by night.

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."                                            Wyatt Earp
Stob Messer

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Re:The idea of camping - Saturday, July 02, 2011 8:31 PM ( #17 )
My wifes idea of camping is a hotel without cable TV.

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