Overland Bound Rally Southeast 2019!

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Craig M

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Advocate I

4,459
Euless, Texas
First Name
Craig
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M
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5444

Hey guys, so this will be the first time tent camping with my family...I think I’ve spent far too much time thinking / preparing, but want it to go well so they will want to do it more. The weather doesn’t look promising, so could be interesting. Looking forward to meeting people, though! This is my first rally.
The most important thing to remember, IMO, is that in the beginning there will be some discomfort as you gain experience on what works and what doesn't. If it isn't 'perfect', or everything you hoped and dreamed, ust don't get discouraged and hang in there. The more you do it, the better it will get. Set-up and tear down get easier as you develop a repeatable system and things start becoming second nature. Then you'll start to see what gear works and what doesn't, what items you just don't need and ideas of things that will make life easier. As for spouses and kids that may not be as gung-ho on the whole thing, take a little extra time to make things easier and more comfortable to them until they catch the bug and really start enjoying it. That often means that in the beginning it may even seem to you to be more work than it's worth, but pretty soon everyone will know their tasks and what to do when, and your burden will start to lessen. Before you know it, you won't even have to really think about it as much, you will knwo what you need to take, where it is, where it goes while driving, and how it's set up at camp.

When I started taking my wife she had never tent camped (only huge travel trailers), and never outside of developed campgrounds. We started with some easy weekend trips to local state parks, which went well. We always brought two cars, mainly because she felt better having an 'out' if it got too cold for her, and once or twice she hung out until bedtime and drove home to sleep. I was initially bothered / worried, but didn't want to risk totally turning her off to it altogether, so I fully encouraged her to do what made her most confirmatable.

Our first big trip without an easy escape was to the Alpine Loop area, in CO. We were still using crappy walmart gear, and did not have adequate clothing or bedding for the weather. The first night it got down into the low 40's and she wanted to leave, go get a motel room, and drive home the next day. At the time I had a crew cab F350 and got it warmed up, blasted the heat, and sat with her until she stopped shivering. I then offered a compromise.. The next day we woudl drive out to Gunnison, get her some appropriate gear, and give it one more shot. If she still hated it the second night, we would leave.

I'm normally pretty frugal, but at that point I said screw it and we got her high end boots (she had been wearing running shoes), wool socks (she had then cotton athletic ankel socks), synthetic base layers (she had old school thremals), Ski gloves (she didnt bring any) , wool beenie (she had a ball cap), and a decent jacket (she only brought hoodies). If I recall I spent well over $500 that day (luckily it was summer so some sales were going), but that night she was WAY more comfortable and by the next day, she expressed what a difference it made, and that was it.

From then on one thing I never cheap out on is her comfort, especially when it comes to clothes and sleep gear. As a result, she is a different woman when it comes to camping, and is always up for it. I still make sure she has the best gear, but we save a lot of money by picking items up when we see really good deals, rather than waiting until we need them and paying full price. I have even converted her to hammock camping, which she swore she would never do, and she's even spent a number of nights in below freezing weather!

Now we have at least 2-3 options with us every time we camp. Hammocks are usually the priority, but we always bring backup options now. We were taking way too much time finding spots with perfect trees, so the EZUp and Camp Cube is great, not only for longer duration base camping, but also when there are not good hammock trees. We always take it for shade and shelter when hammock camping out of the Jeep anyhow, since we camp in all types of weather. We also keep a decent 2+ person backpacking tent with us, for those times or places when the big tent is too much.. Honestly, I am the only one that has used that, because I was solo (with friends) and didn't need a 10x10. And of course, we havea number of variations we can set up, depending on the circumstances. The nice thing is that we now look for sites more based on their location, views, etc, and less based on our own limitations due to our gear. For example, sometimes we would absolutely love a spot we came across, but it wouldn't have usable hammock trees. In the past we would have to keep looking. Now we just set up the tent! I even like just cowboy camping, right out under the stars.. She's not quite there yet, so even when it's not going to rain, must have her rain-fly over her hammock. :p

Wow, that ended up longer than I intended! Haha.. Oh well, I often see the topic of getting disinteretsed spouses involved, so now I can just copy and paste. :p

Anyhow, see you out there!
 
Last edited:

Jube

Rank I
Member

Traveler I

271
NW Arkansas
Member #

9023

The most important thing to remember, IMO, is that in the beginning there will be some discomfort as you gain experience on what works and what doesn't. If it isn't 'perfect', or everything you hoped and dreamed, ust don't get discouraged and hang in there. The more you do it, the better it will get. Set-up and tear down get easier as you develop a repeatable system and things start becoming second nature. Then you'll start to see what gear works and what doesn't, what items you just don't need and ideas of things that will make life easier. As for spouses and kids that may not be as gung-ho on the whole thing, take a little extra time to make things easier and more comfortable to them until they catch the bug and really start enjoying it. That often means that in the beginning it may even seem to you to be more work than it's worth, but pretty soon everyone will know their tasks and what to do when, and your burden will start to lessen. Before you know it, you won't even have to really think about it as much, you will knwo what you need to take, where it is, where it goes while driving, and how it's set up at camp.

When I started taking my wife she had never tent camped (only huge travel trailers), and never outside of developed campgrounds. We started with some easy weekend trips to local state parks, which went well. We always brought two cars, mainly because she felt better having an 'out' if it got too cold for her, and once or twice she hung out until bedtime and drove home to sleep. I was initially bothered / worried, but didn't want to risk totally turning her off to it altogether, so I fully encouraged her to do what made her most confirmatable.

Our first big trip without an easy escape was to the Alpine Loop area, in CO. We were still using crappy walmart gear, and did not have adequate clothing or bedding for the weather. The first night it got down into the low 40's and she wanted to leave, go get a motel room, and drive home the next day. At the time I had a crew cab F350 and got it warmed up, blasted the heat, and sat with her until she stopped shivering. I then offered a compromise.. The next day we woudl drive out to Gunnison, get her some appropriate gear, and give it one more shot. If she still hated it the second night, we would leave.

I'm normally pretty frugal, but at that point I said screw it and we got her high end boots (she had been wearing running shoes), wool socks (she had then cotton athletic ankel socks), synthetic base layers (she had old school thremals), Ski gloves (she didnt bring any) , wool beenie (she had a ball cap), and a decent jacket (she only brought hoodies). If I recall I spent well over $500 that day (luckily it was summer so some sales were going), but that night she was WAY more comfortable and by the next day, she expressed what a difference it made, and that was it.

From then on one thing I never cheap out on is her comfort, especially when it comes to clothes and sleep gear. As a result, she is a different woman when it comes to camping, and is always up for it. I still make sure she has the best gear, but we save a lot of money by picking items up when we see really good deals, rather than waiting until we need them and paying full price. I have even converted her to hammock camping, which she swore she would never do, and she's even spent a number of nights in below freezing weather!

Now we have at least 2-3 options with us every time we camp. Hammocks are usually the priority, but we always bring backup options now. We were taking way too much time finding spots with perfect trees, so the EZUp and Camp Cube is great, not only for longer duration base camping, but also when there are not good hammock trees. We always take it for shade and shelter when hammock camping out of the Jeep anyhow, since we camp in all types of weather. We also keep a decent 2+ person backpacking tent with us, for those times or places when the big tent is too much.. Honestly, I am the only one that has used that, because I was solo (with friends) and didn't need a 10x10. And of course, we havea number of variations we can set up, depending on the circumstances. The nice thing is that we now look for sites more based on their location, views, etc, and less based on our own limitations due to our gear. For example, sometimes we would absolutely love a spot we came across, but it wouldn't have usable hammock trees. In the past we would have to keep looking. Now we just set up the tent! I even like just cowboy camping, right out under the stars.. She's not quite there yet, so even when it's not going to rain, must have her rain-fly over her hammock. :p

Wow, that ended up longer than I intended! Haha.. Oh well, I often see the topic of getting disinteretsed spouses involved, so now I can just copy and paste. :p

Anyhow, see you out there!
 
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Habsontheroad

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233
Cave Springs, Arkansas, USA
First Name
Vernon
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Habersetzer
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Hey, thanks for the encouraging post! Really great advice! Comfort was top of mind as I’ve been preparing, but haven’t tested out the gear yet so we shall see how everything works / feels! I made a sleeping platform inside the 4runner for the kids to sleep on (with sleeping pads) and I have an ARB awning tent that she and I will sleep inside of (cots with pads). Everything seems like it should be pretty comfortable, but that’s easy to say! Might be a different story when it’s hot and muggy and raining outside!

My thought was to do a few local trips like this one (we are only 90 minutes from the rally point) to test out the gear and make sure we have everything we need, and then head to Colorado, Utah, and Washington to do some trails up in the mountains. I used to live in the Pacific Northwest and she and I love the scenery up there. We just got back from a trip to Seattle and got inspired by all the awesome gear at the REI flag ship store
 

OKT4RCPL

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3,124
Chandler Oklahoma
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4627

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KI5DVC
Hey, thanks for the encouraging post! Really great advice! Comfort was top of mind as I’ve been preparing, but haven’t tested out the gear yet so we shall see how everything works / feels! I made a sleeping platform inside the 4runner for the kids to sleep on (with sleeping pads) and I have an ARB awning tent that she and I will sleep inside of (cots with pads). Everything seems like it should be pretty comfortable, but that’s easy to say! Might be a different story when it’s hot and muggy and raining outside!

My thought was to do a few local trips like this one (we are only 90 minutes from the rally point) to test out the gear and make sure we have everything we need, and then head to Colorado, Utah, and Washington to do some trails up in the mountains. I used to live in the Pacific Northwest and she and I love the scenery up there. We just got back from a trip to Seattle and got inspired by all the awesome gear at the REI flag ship store
I was stationed in Oak Harbor my first tour in the Navy...loved it up there and wanna take my wife there. REI is an amazing store, I think we are getting one here in Oklahoma City and can't wait.
Another piece of advice if I may offer is walk around and talk with other that are camping and check out their sites. What they use what works and didn't work. Like @Chili was saying comfort for my wife has been the biggest upgrades we have made. We now carry a portable shelter and port a potty for her to use which has been the biggest highlight for my wife LOL.
Looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend.
 

Habsontheroad

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233
Cave Springs, Arkansas, USA
First Name
Vernon
Last Name
Habersetzer
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I was stationed in Oak Harbor my first tour in the Navy...loved it up there and wanna take my wife there. REI is an amazing store, I think we are getting one here in Oklahoma City and can't wait.
Another piece of advice if I may offer is walk around and talk with other that are camping and check out their sites. What they use what works and didn't work. Like @Chili was saying comfort for my wife has been the biggest upgrades we have made. We now carry a portable shelter and port a potty for her to use which has been the biggest highlight for my wife LOL.
Looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend.
That’s neat you might be getting an REI in OKC! The closest one to us is Kansas City, I think.

Funny you mention the portable shelter. I purchased one as well, along with a portable toilet. That’s probably the one thing I am dreading the most for her. It doesn’t help that we have a perfectly good motorhome to travel in. LOL
 

OKT4RCPL

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3,124
Chandler Oklahoma
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4627

Ham Callsign
KI5DVC
That’s neat you might be getting an REI in OKC! The closest one to us is Kansas City, I think.

Funny you mention the portable shelter. I purchased one as well, along with a portable toilet. That’s probably the one thing I am dreading the most for her. It doesn’t help that we have a perfectly good motorhome to travel in. LOL
They usually bring in Porta Potties but they can get quite full fast if there is a lot of people and I am sure there is gonna be so this will make her really happy!!!
 
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mnormand

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233
Lafayette, LA, USA
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Mark
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Normand
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19302

I just joined and so bummed out I had plans this wkd and can't do this Ozark trip ! Been there before with dual sport motorcycle advrider gathering a few years back. And I go up to Ark a few times every year, what a great state, I love it up there.
I hope ya'll have a good time, watch the ticks up there, haha.
Hopefully I'll be finding some OB members soon to hook up with and ride, camp, cook, and eat !
 
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