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  1. #1
    Paste eater
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    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)

    Depending where you are in the country, car camping is a big part of mountain biking trips. I've done it a lot and still every so often you come across someones ingenious car camping idea/tool/technique that makes your experience just that much better.

    Some of these i've picked up over the years:

    -camp chairs
    -solar shower
    -cheap THICK foam
    -exchange tiny backpacking tent for big ass wally world tent. (exchange any "backpacking" item for it's bigger brother)
    -inverter
    -foldable card table
    -Dutch oven!
    -Real blankets/pillows
    -Plastic Bins for organization
    -Freezing gallon Jugs
    -Zip Ties

  2. #2
    Vincit qui patitur
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    Getting too old for craound camping
    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)-c1.jpg
    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)-c2.jpg
    Vincit qui patitur
    2012 Salsa Spearfish 2
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    2016 KONA Operator
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  3. #3
    Magically Delicious
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    Beer

    Beer will get you times of no food better than food will get you through times with no beer.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    Some of these i've picked up over the years:

    -cheap THICK foam
    -Freezing gallon Jugs
    I'm going to be doing a lot of car camping this year, hoping to get some helpful info from this thread. Where can you find cheap thick foam? I've seen sheets of it in craft stores but never checked the prices, curious where would have the lowest price.
    What do you use the frozen water jugs for?

  5. #5
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    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Beer

    Beer will get you times of no food better than food will get you through times with no beer.
    Winner!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    See if this helps. It's pretty generic and you likely won't need the baby related stuff.

    Checklist - Car Camping.pdf
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  7. #7
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    Hail camping gadgets and stuff that maximize fun...

    Jetboil
    Good beer in cans
    Down booties in winter
    Block ice
    Headnet
    Tarps for building shades/shelter
    Propane space heater
    Candle lanterns
    Music library
    Hot sauce
    Down comforter and sleeping partner
    Incense
    Beach towels

    More stuff, of course, doesn't equal more fun. But sure, some items are worth their space. You don't need a RV, trailer or sportsmobile to have a totally plush, snag-free camping experience.

    Great thread idea! Cheers...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    Hail camping gadgets and stuff that maximize fun...
    Good beer in cans
    Down booties in winter
    Block ice
    Propane space heater
    Candle lanterns
    Music library
    Hot sauce
    Down comforter and sleeping partner (this is your HEATER)
    More stuff, of course, doesn't equal more fun. But sure, some items are worth their space.
    There are simply things in life that can't be left out!
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  9. #9
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    Paco pad- El Grande.

    Flask (full)

  10. #10
    Light freak
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    ****

  11. #11
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    Got to have Flaming Jello Shots for the campfire!


  12. #12
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    my must have is my eno hammock not new to most people but i just picked my first one up with my rei dividend and man i love it so far. here is another must have mounted onto my van door in the pic. and a couple of other pics of my van i sleep in on trips
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Car Camping hacks and must haves :)-20140330_205930.jpg  

    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)-20140330_151107.jpg  

    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)-20140418_182555.jpg  

    surly karate monkey
    surly ogre

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 05kas05 View Post
    my must have is my eno hammock not new to most people but i just picked my first one up with my rei dividend and man i love it so far. here is another must have mounted onto my van door in the pic. and a couple of other pics of my van i sleep in on trips
    Sorry, but your post reminded me of this!

  14. #14
    What bruise?
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    Cheap foam: sewing and fabric stores like Jo-Ann fabric.

  15. #15
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    Forget the foam pad & get yourself one of these
    REI Camp Bed 3.5 Review - OutdoorGearLab

    It's literally more comfortable then my bed

    I have also found these to be extremely handy
    Kimberly-Clark Rags in a Box 300-ct-75600 at The Home Depot

    Also leave the jetboil in your backpack. Get one of those dual burner stoves that run on a little propane can like the campchef. Then you can use real size pots & pans & turn out good food easy. Big fan of cooking over the fire/coals so get a large fire grate
    Camp Chef Lumberjack Over The Fire Grill | Backcountry.com

    Also a good quality 5 day cooler makes things more pleasant. I'm a big fan of those little packable hammocks. Nothing better than plopping in the hammock with a beer in your hand, and a nice breeze after a long on the bike. ANd of coarse a headlamp

  16. #16
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    Sven saw
    5 gallon plastic water jug
    camp guitar
    plastic tub for food items
    tent sock
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  17. #17
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    Inflatable mattresses for eighty-some bucks -- pass. Foam pads will never die and cost a fraction of that. And you don't have to treat them nicely. A1 Foam and Fabric if you're in SoCal.

    Vans are subject to ridicule until the weather caves in, then everyone thinks your van is the coolest thing ever.

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    The coffee press is a necessity as much as the bike is.
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

    Work Truck - Dassault Falcon 7X

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Beer

    Beer will get you times of no food better than food will get you through times with no beer.
    Truer words have never been spoken....ever!

  21. #21
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    Sleeping bag liner for the cold nights. Don't waste your money on an expensive bag. They come in cotton, silk, merino wool and fleece.
    agmtb

  22. #22
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    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)

    Rope or para cords for clothes line

    Fire starter logs the big ones that last 3 hours

    Coffee press/already mentioned

    Cottenelle double roll toilet paper


    Bug spray

    I like bringing screen tent

  23. #23
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    Doritos...great firestarter
    Cut off ski pole...best tool to blow air in to the fire while staying seated.
    expensive cars are a waste of money. Expensive bikes...not so much!

  24. #24
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    Unicycle. Takes up minimal room but provides infinite entertainment in the quiet times

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP636 View Post
    Sorry, but your post reminded me of this!
    '
    that was my inspirational video haha !!!!!
    surly karate monkey
    surly ogre

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    Inflatable mattresses for eighty-some bucks -- pass.
    Spend a night on the one I posted (which can be had for <$50 on sale) and get back to us. Also they pack up nice & neat, are impervious to dirt, twigs, & stink... unlike foam.

    I'm with you on the van though. Most utilitarian vehicles in existence.

  27. #27
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    Use hand warmers "hot hands" in sleeping bags. Never get cold....

  28. #28
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    Do doritos really make good fire starter? Never heard of that one.

    Survival fire starter kit.
    1- sucrets can or the like
    2-cotton balls
    3-vaseline

    Get a sucrets can or similar. Pack half with vaseline the other half with cotton balls. Swab the cotton ball with Vaseline & light. Will burn a good long time with large hot flame...easy.

    I also use denatured alcohol for when I'm in a hurry or when it's wet. Will burn completely off with no toxic residue unlike those horrendous fire starter logs someone else mentioned.

  29. #29
    No one calls me Maurice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Beer

    Beer will get you times of no food better than food will get you through times with no beer.
    Frozen beer helped man trapped in snow drift survive | Rural Alaska | ADN.com
    Amen to that.
    The most expensive bike in the world is still cheaper than the cheapest open heart surgery.

  30. #30
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    Seen some posts on sleeping bags. My thoughts for car camping is get a big 0* or -20* degree bag for cheap like this one
    Sleeping Bag at Sierra Trading Post

    They are awesome for chilly mountain car camping & cheap. Think I got mine for $38 on some promo. It's extremely versatile & comfy...can't go wrong

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    Foam pads will never die and cost a fraction of that. And you don't have to treat them nicely. A1 Foam and Fabric if you're in SoCal.

    Vans are subject to ridicule until the weather caves in, then everyone thinks your van is the coolest thing ever.
    Ditto on foam pads for sleeping in vans. Snug in your van during a thunderstorm -- so nice. Never have to pack up a wet tent again.

  32. #32
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    Just got back from a 3 day trip (40 degree nights and 70 degree days) with the family. Here are some items that may help:

    Nemo Shower - if no water onsite this thing is amazing. NEMO Helio Pressure Shower - Free Shipping at REI.com

    Heated Blanket - got power at the site, this is a no brainer with a family and it keeps the wife ultra happy. Happy wife and daughter make my nights a lot easier.

    Heated Bag - cold night in a not warm enough bag? Handy Nalgene - boil water - pour in and move it around as needed most of the night. I swear this saved my ass one night on the AT. LOL

    Favorite lantern - these because they are cheap, unbreakable for the kids, waterproof, float and are solar powered. Amazing. Luci Solar Lantern GEN II - Tactical Lighting - Lighting - Tactical Distributors- Tactical Gear

    Need a blower for your fire starting skills, and you have power? Use your blow up mattress blower on the fire. Works quickly
    2014 Devinci Troy Carbon XP

  33. #33
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    Awe man, almost forgot one of the most important items!
    GSI Outdoors JavaPress - 30 fl. oz. at REI.com
    2014 Devinci Troy Carbon XP

  34. #34
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    Wet wipes and solar showers

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish View Post
    Sven saw
    5 gallon plastic water jug
    camp guitar
    plastic tub for food items
    tent sock
    Tell me more about this "tent sock". Is it like a wind sock for your tent? Is this what you call a rainfly in your part of the world?

  36. #36
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    Used the window out of a trashed tent to turn my jeep into a tent. Fresh air, no bugs. Car Camping hacks and must haves :)-dsc_0013.jpg

  37. #37
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    Alright, folks. We need to talk about s'mores.

    First, ditch the Hershey's bar. Instead, use a Reese Peanut Butter cup.

    Put the Peanut Butter cup on the graham cracker bottom and place it on a hot rock or grill near the fire while you toast your marshmallow. Let it get warm and a little melty.

    Toast that 'mallow with the patience of a Jedi master. Perch it above a bed of hot coals and rotisserie until golden brown on all sides.

    Then put the whole shebang together. Consume immediately. Watch your brain explode with delight.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  38. #38
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    I really really want to get an cargo van and convert it in to an adventure van. I keep looking at the Ram Promaster with the front wheel drive it has a floor 6in lower in the back. I figure with the high roof I should be able to build a sleeping platform over bike storage in the back if I take the front wheels off the bikes. It would be so nice I just stick bikes in the back and go to races or just go out for weakened camping/mountain bike trips and not have to set any thing up. And have every thing in the van. At 30k for the regular high roof I can't afford one right now. But I'm betting I can get a used on in a few years for half that.

    2014 Ram ProMaster® - Work & Cargo Van for Multiple Needs

  39. #39
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    I'll 1 up you
    but i like your alcohol idea

    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Do doritos really make good fire starter? Never heard of that one.

    Survival fire starter kit.
    1- sucrets can or the like
    2-cotton balls Lint from dryer. Free and works just as well
    3-vaseline

    Get a sucrets can or similar. Pack half with vaseline the other half with cotton balls. Swab the cotton ball with Vaseline & light. Will burn a good long time with large hot flame...easy.

    I also use denatured alcohol for when I'm in a hurry or when it's wet. Will burn completely off with no toxic residue unlike those horrendous fire starter logs someone else mentioned.

  40. #40
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    we upgraded a few years back from a small tent to a ginormous one and made the switch from the low to the ground airbed to cots....best move ever made

  41. #41
    This place needs an enema
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    Reflectix panels:

    The World’s Largest Manufacturer of Reflective Insulation and Radiant Barrier Products

    Cut 'em to fit all windows in the vehicle. Too light to not have around--keeps interior car temp cool in summer and helps keep heat in in winter. Also adds privacy if you're pickin' up what I'm puttin' down.

    Multiple other uses around camp as well--improvised seating, windscreen for cooking, use to fan flames of a fledgling fire, etc...

  42. #42
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    Car Camping hacks and must haves :)

    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Paco pad- El Grande.

    Flask (full)
    Word. Car camping is basically stripped-down rafting. Most of my friends are boaters, so it's easy to car camp in style.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  43. #43
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    Bourbon, duh.

  44. #44
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    A more meta approach: Sit down with yourself and decide if you are "hyper-organized, everything must have a place" or more relaxed about it.
    Decide how you want to organize your stuff, and get plastic boxes or bins.
    Have a kitchen box (fancy or minimal, your preference), but minimum have something to at least heat up a can of soup, water for oatmeal or coffee, whatever. I used a milk crate for years, but we need a bit more now, so use a larger plastic box with a lid.
    A handy item in our van is a large net laundry bag to corral dirty clothes.
    Ditto on a thick slab of foam for a bed. So comfy.

  45. #45
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    bacon

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHALENARD View Post
    Do doritos really make good fire starter? Never heard of that one.

    Survival fire starter kit.
    1- sucrets can or the like
    2-cotton balls
    3-vaseline

    Get a sucrets can or similar. Pack half with vaseline the other half with cotton balls. Swab the cotton ball with Vaseline & light. Will burn a good long time with large hot flame...easy.

    I also use denatured alcohol for when I'm in a hurry or when it's wet. Will burn completely off with no toxic residue unlike those horrendous fire starter logs someone else mentioned.
    Dryer lint stuffed in a toilet tissue roll = free fire starter.

    Save the Doritos for eating.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  47. #47
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    Those French Presses are good but I prefer the Moka Pot.

    Name:  Italian-Coffee-Pots.jpg
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    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlued View Post
    Those French Presses are good but I prefer the Moka Pot.

    Name:  Italian-Coffee-Pots.jpg
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    Those are great but I hate cleaning them.

    I use this:
    AeroPress® | AEROBIE® High Performance Sport Toys

    Makes great coffee and is super easy to clean.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmats View Post
    Those are great but I hate cleaning them.

    I use this:
    AeroPress® | AEROBIE® High Performance Sport Toys

    Makes great coffee and is super easy to clean.
    Aeropress rocks!!! If it comes to it, filters are reusable.

    Tea kettles are magic for breakfast. Eat instant oatmeal, coffee, and hot cocoa. Voila, no cleanup.

  50. #50
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    Who's got the skinny on pickup truck bed tents? The 5.5' ones to be exact. And cheap, as I don't camp enough to need an eleventy hundred dollar Bear Grylls version.

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