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Thread: Tales from the Tent

  1. #1
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    Tales from the Tent

    Besides bac0n and I, there just might be a few more of you out there that have been known to camp. This is a thread for random camping tales, gear recommendations, and what not.

    I'll start with the tale of my tent; the MSR Wind 2.



    Over fifteen years ago, I decided I needed a tent. In typical Scar fashion, I started researching, and I discovered this beast. This baby isn't for family camping, its a Four Season Expedition Grade two man mountaineering tent. I dubbed it 'Overkill'.

    Overkill's first use was up on the North Shore, on a nice calm summer day.



    Seems like a normal campsite until you look at it from a distance.



    'Twas a great evening hanging and drinking with my little brother, and Overkill laughed at the conditions.
    Overkill sat on the shelf for several years while I worked for Tetrapak due to copious amounts of traveling and work.

    Years later, I started going out to South Dakota for prairie dog shooting. The first year, we stayed back at a casino. The second year, we decided to camp. There were four of us, and said I could bring a tent for two of us. Crazy Eddy said, 'Nah, don't bother. I've got an awesome six person beast we can use.' So I left Overkill at home.... Oooops.

    Say hello to what we coined the Coleman Breeze:



    So.... There's no trees out there to break up the wind, and it gets windy out there. We set that bitch up on a trailer and ratchet strapped it into place. First night, it stormed all night, 60+ mph winds, (did I mention Overkill is rated to over 100mph winds?). We stayed up most the night holding onto the tent poles, bracing the tent poles, etc, hoping that they wouldn't snap. When we finally got a couple hours of sleep, we woke up to half the poles missing, but thanks to the ratchet straps, the tent was still somewhat up. All night, all I could think of was Overkill sitting on the shelf at home, laughing at us.

    The following year, the Coleman Breeze stayed home, and out came Overkill. Another member of the party also had a four season tent. We set camp, and then a monster of a storm blew in, including some cloud rotation. Overkill laughed, the other four season snapped a pole.



    This years trip, we stayed at a cabin because 8" of rain fell as we drove out there, and there was no way we were getting to our camp site.

    Just this past weekend, a friend had a party in Barnum, MN, and I set up old Overkill.


    It was hot as fuck when I got up there (97F, 110 Heat Index), and I was thinking I was going to roast in Overkill. Well, then the temp dropped twenty degrees. We hung out, went to the bar, had some drinks, came back, and everyone went to there tents and campers. Well...... About 0300, I awoke to a peel of thunder. I sat up, zipped up the vestibules, and then listened to one helluva thunderstorm roll through, and slept through most of it. Woke up nice and dry. The other two tents had standing water in them, the camper was drenched, and there were snapped trees, uprooted trees, and standing water.

    I love you Overkill.
    I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.

  2. #2
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    So you're saying I should always go Overkill.

    These stories were fun to read. I'm not a camper per-say. I've camped. I've done canoe drips down drivers. Mostly that resulted in me passing out in a lawn-chair and sleeping in the great outdoors the whole night. But something tells me I should just buy Overkill for 'just n case' purposes.

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    MADMAN THE 13TH MadMan's Avatar
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    Its been some time since I went camping. Mostly because I did so much of it as a kid, but also due to working weekends now. Good thread idea. Nice tents.
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    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    I’ve never gone camping.

  5. #5
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    So you're saying I should always go Overkill.

    These stories were fun to read. I'm not a camper per-say. I've camped. I've done canoe drips down drivers. Mostly that resulted in me passing out in a lawn-chair and sleeping in the great outdoors the whole night. But something tells me I should just buy Overkill for 'just n case' purposes.

    Always go Overkill, unless youre doing some serious backpacking, then you have to go Spendy McLight Stuff.

    Ive got a few more tales, spending the next couple days in Northern MN staying at the cabin.
    I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.

  6. #6
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    If you’re going to be car camping for several days, you need a good cooler. Sure, you can drop 500 on a Yeti, or 300 on a RTIC. What if I told you that you could get one for less than 200 at, brace yourselves, WalMart?

    The Ozark Trail high performance coolers test as well, if not sometimes better than the more expensive ones. Just remember when you get a cooler like this, it’s a tank, ie heavy.

    Also, no matter what kind of roto cooler you get, throw twenty pounds of ice in it a few days before you plan on using it to pre chill it. I put ice in mine last Wednesday, and just poured myself a cold gin and tonic from it five minutes ago. I added another twenty pounds on Thursday when I added all the beer and booze.
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  7. #7
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    The reason you need to pre chill your cooler is that all the insulation is currently as warm as whatever the current conditions are. In the spring or fall, it may not be as big.of a deal, but when it’s 90+ out, yeah, you need to pre chill.

    Also, the cooler has been sitting in my dark blue Escape during this heat wave, so I’m shocked that i still have this much ice.

    Also, it doesn’t hurt to grab a 10 pound block of ice to mix with your cubes.
    I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.

  8. #8
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    This past weekend: “Would you like some homemade all natural nice smelling bug spray?”

    Me: “Fuck that. My shit has DEET in it.”

    Guess who was getting bit and who wasn’t?
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  9. #9
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I didn't know they still made DEET stuff.

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    Director Scar's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I didn't know they still made DEET stuff.

    You can buy 100% DEET, but never spray it directly on your skin. Deep Woods off is 20-40% DEET I believe.
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  11. #11
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Scar (view post)
    This past weekend: “Would you like some homemade all natural nice smelling bug spray?”

    Me: “Fuck that. My shit has DEET in it.”

    Guess who was getting bit and who wasn’t?
    Not me, I got the Deep Woods [fuck] Off.

    I did plenty of camping as a kid. It was fun. Then I got my long term job, which is in the woods all day, sweating my balls off. When it comes to the weekend, I want climate fucking control. When my boys are old enough I will take them on camping excursions, especially if the wife and daughter are...ahem...aligned.

  12. #12
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Not me, I got the Deep Woods [fuck] Off.

    I did plenty of camping as a kid. It was fun. Then I got my long term job, which is in the woods all day, sweating my balls off. When it comes to the weekend, I want climate fucking control. When my boys are old enough I will take them on camping excursions, especially if the wife and daughter are...ahem...aligned.
    I hear that. When I was traveling all the time, I just wanted to bum around at home. These days when I camp, I typically want it to be sort of an adventure. I believe I'll be in Idaho elk hunting in October. Pending on the weather / location, Overkill might be able to flex a couple muscles.

    And, yeah, if and when the ladies synch up would be an EXCELLENT reason to go camping.
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  13. #13
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Scar (view post)
    And, yeah, if and when the ladies synch up would be an EXCELLENT reason to go camping.
    I used to think the synch was the worse possible thing, turns out the opposite is true. When unaligned, it never ends.

    That aside, I will backburner my personal enjoyment to make sure my boys get some of the same outdoor experience I got. Lord knows they inherited my sports ability so better get them some fresh air before they fully become professional PubGers.

  14. #14
    That reminds me, I need a tent for cycle treks. I assume Overkill is quite heavy/bulky?
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    It's good to be king bac0n's Avatar
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    One thing I like to do is the night before I go camping, I buy a gallon jug of water and freeze the entire thing. Keeps the cooler at fridge temp for a good two days without pre- chilling, and it provides for some nice cold water as it melts.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    That reminds me, I need a tent for cycle treks. I assume Overkill is quite heavy/bulky?
    Yes, 8.5 pounds total, probably want to look for something lighter with a good rain fly.

    Note: Overkill has been discontinued for a decade, but Im sure we could find something similar.
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  17. #17
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting bac0n (view post)
    One thing I like to do is the night before I go camping, I buy a gallon jug of water and freeze the entire thing. Keeps the cooler at fridge temp for a good two days without pre- chilling, and it provides for some nice cold water as it melts.


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    I strongly recommend this too. If your cooler is big enough, use two.
    Last edited by Scar; 07-04-2018 at 03:22 AM.

  18. #18
    You really know how to sell a product (isn't it great when you find something that truly lives up to its promises?). I looked up the Overkill based on your account and realized early on that you teased with a discontinued product. Not cool dude. Not cool.

    15 year life span out of your tent is great. Do you use it often or just bring it out for expected heavy-weather conditions?

    p.s. silly DEET still has this lingering bad rap. It's safe and the best there is. I'd die in Georgia summers without it.

  19. #19
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Scar (view post)
    I strongly recommend this too. If your cooler is big enough, use two.
    We always have two liters frozen in the fridge for just such uses.

  20. #20
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    Quote Quoting amberlita (view post)
    You really know how to sell a product (isn't it great when you find something that truly lives up to its promises?). I looked up the Overkill based on your account and realized early on that you teased with a discontinued product. Not cool dude. Not cool.

    15 year life span out of your tent is great. Do you use it often or just bring it out for expected heavy-weather conditions?

    p.s. silly DEET still has this lingering bad rap. It's safe and the best there is. I'd die in Georgia summers without it.
    Heh heh heh.... Thought about putting in a disclaimer, but it just turned into a love letter to my tent.

    I haven't used it as much as I'd like, but I get it out a few times a year. I also have a Big Agnes Pine Island 4 person I use occasionally. Its a three season tent that's a bit taller and roomier, and has a rain fly that completely covers the tent. Pretty decent, but haven't had it out in inclement weather.
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  21. #21
    Director Scar's Avatar
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    Looks like Overkill probably won't be tested in Idaho. One of the hunting crew is getting an 8 man canvas expedition monstrosity that you put a stove in. Overkill nods approvingly.
    I have a very busy head. I have inside voices that I have learned to contain.

  22. #22
    It's good to be king bac0n's Avatar
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    On the other end of the spectrum from Overkill, my family uses The Thunderdome, an 8 person tent I got at Costco. It's no longer for sale, but there is an equivalent at CostCo or Sam's Club for sale pretty much every time I'm in there between April and September.



    It's nice in that it can very comfortably accommodate the four of us and the dog and our gear, with extra room besides. Could probably shove another four in there if we had to. It also goes up and comes down in about 5 minutes. The rain fly comes off if there's no rain in the forecast and you want to sleep under the stars. Also, we bought it for a fraction of what you could expect to pay for a similar-sized tent at Cabela's, and a pittance compared to what you would pay at REI.

    The main drawbacks are that it is not that rugged - the pole that held up the awning snapped pretty early on. It's also rather heavy and bulky in its bag - certainly not suitable for backwoods camping, or situations like backpacking and canoeing where weight is a serious consideration. Also, its size means that it's probably the only tent that's going to fit in your site. Oh, and setting it up is not a one person job.

    Still, with kids, we're a drive-in site camping family, so it's served us very well over the past five years and 15 camping trips or so. We just got back from 5 days near the boundary waters, and it's outside airing out as I type this.
    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

  23. #23
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Speaking of Costco. Are they not the best?

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  24. #24
    It's good to be king bac0n's Avatar
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    If you wanna get gear for entry level camping on the cheap, costco or sams is def the way to go.
    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

  25. #25
    It's good to be king bac0n's Avatar
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    speaking of which - anyone have any camping meal recipes they wanna share? I'm looking to mix things up a little.
    When I walk across the living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds! -- Jean-Claude Van Damme

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