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Backpacker Magazine – May 2013

First Night Out: In Camp

How to choose a campsite, set up camp. and sleep comfortably.

by: Sarah L. Stewart and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

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»Set up your bed Right after pitching your tent, unstuff your sleeping bag so it can fluff up after being compressed in your pack. Put a clean, dry pair of socks, a book, and/or writing material next to your bag so you won’t have to dig around at bedtime.

»Sleep warm At high elevations, even summer nights can dip toward freezing. Stay cozy by changing into dry baselayers; add a midlayer, light puffy, and/or a hat. If it’s really cold, have a slow-burning bedtime snack, like a chocolate bar, to keep your metabolism cranking overnight. Still chilled? Do jumping jacks before getting into your bag, situps once you’re zipped in, or take a tightly sealed Lexan bottle filled with hot water to bed.

»Take care of business The major difference between backpacking and car camping? In most cases, no toilets. Here’s how to use nature’s restroom.
- Pack a toilet kit consisting of hand sanitizer, TP/baby wipes, and extra zip-top baggies—or skip the TP and baggies in favor of natural materials like leaves, smooth stones, or snow. Pack out TP.
- Find a spot at least 200 feet from camp, trails, and water sources (bonus: great view). Use a trowel to dig a 6- to 8-inch-deep cathole. When you’re done, completely fill in the cathole with soil and sterilize your hands.
PAGE 1 2

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READERS COMMENTS

Star
silverbuffalo
Mar 02, 2014

A trucker's hitch for guylines?? If you're loading canoes onto a trailer for transport, a trucker's hitch is great......but not for guylines. A tautline hitch is all you need. It's much easier to tie, and if you finish it with a slippery hitch, it's a cinch to untie.

Star
duh x 2
Feb 28, 2014

Horn please - fail. Narrow end of tent to the wind?, huh? Do not do as the cartoon drawing shows and put the door facing the wind. Tent door ideally facing south or east for morning sun, back of the tent generally into the wind. Shock cord loops on pegs absorbs wind gusts and allows for very taut tent and fly set. Common sense 101.

Star
duh x 2
Feb 28, 2014

Horn please - fail. Narrow end of tent to the wind?, huh? Do not do as the cartoon drawing shows and put the door facing the wind. Tent door ideally facing south or east for morning sun, back of the tent generally into the wind. Shock cord loops on pegs absorbs wind gusts and allows for very taut tent and fly set. Common sense 101.

Star
duh
Feb 26, 2014

Common sense 101

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