Pain Points

edited April 2018 in Midwest
Hi, I'm new to camping could someone tell me what's the biggest pain point. I think it is setting up the tent. If so, what do you think could make my first time a better experience. 


  • Kasey M.Kasey M. ✭✭✭
    I personally hate tents. Haha - I don't like setting them up, i can't see the stars, i hate packing them back away, cleaning them etc.

    I usually use tarps, or sil tarps or poncho tarps. Alternatively is hammock camping, very comfortable in most of 3 seasons. 

    Pain points.....hmm, not camping enough. LOL But really probably making sure I don't pack to much stuff.

    A great book to read is 
  • @Kasey M. Looks like you got cut off ... what book were you mentioning? Would love to check it out! 
  • Kasey M.Kasey M. ✭✭✭
    Oh yeah - that's weird! There are a lot of good books.....but Woodcraft & Camping by George W. Sears. And another one Wildwood Wisdom by Ellsworth Jaeger. These were written back in the day before Ultralight was applied to backpacking and such. 

    Reduce pain points with practice. Some gear can be used for multiple things and some gear is exaptive (meant for one thing initially but then crosses over for another trait/use) through practice - making your woods experience better.

    Nessmuk said, in other words, "Don't go to the woods to rough it - we deal with rough living in the city and at work, go to the woods to smooth it." 

    Check out Woodcraft & Camping


    Kasey Marsters
  • Kasey M.Kasey M. ✭✭✭
    Freedom of the Hills is also really great for 1st time camping and for when you get more advanced. 

    The Complete Walker would be super helpful too.
  • Kasey M.Kasey M. ✭✭✭
    AND. If you can get to an REI or LL Bean or a local guiding/outdoor education outfit they'll help you too.
  • To add to Kasey's comment about good books to check out, FalconGuides has a really cool series on camping. There are a ton that cover different states and they're super detailed. Here's a link if that's something you were looking into!

    Ryan Meyer 
  • It partially depends on what type of camping (backpacking vs car camping) and the environment you are usually camping in. One of the biggest pain points might be rain, but only if you are camping in an area with somewhat unpredictable precipitation. Most of the Western US is fairly reliable for little to no precipitation in mid to late Summer, so that's not as much of a concern as in places like the South or Northeast.

    If you are in an area or situation where rain is a factor, make sure your groundcloth does not stick out from under the edge of your tent. It will cause water to pool on top of your groundcloth underneath your tent and you'll likely get soaked from underneath.

    Regarding setting up tents, sometimes it depends on the tent. I've had tents that I could setup practically one-handed in under 5 minutes (like a Marmot Limelight 3P). I've also had tents that take 2 people and more than 30 minutes. Practice pitching your tent and taking it down and packing it up at home before taking it out into the wilderness. Much easier to figure things out, look up instructions, guide videos, etc at home than in the woods :)

    If you have problems with the stock tent stakes, get a set of Y-stakes. They tend to be hard to bend and stay in the ground better.
  • I guess I should add that you can get wet even if there is no rain if you setup your tent improperly. This is because each person in the tent will exhale/sweat about 1-3 pounds of water as they sleep. If your tent setup is not properly ventilated, this water will condensate on the tent walls and anything touching the walls will get wet. If you are in a tent where the upper half is mesh then this is not a problem if you are not using a rain fly. If you are also using a rain fly, you need to make sure that the fly does not come into contact with the walls of the tent, otherwise water condensating on the underside of the fly will get transferred back into the tent. You should also check that the lower edges of the fly stick further out than the tent walls, so condensated water that runs down the inside of the fly will drip onto the ground instead of your tent. Some rain flay have vents to further alleviate condensation problems, make sure these are open.
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