Primitive Campers

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  • #692
    Profile photo of bringerofgame

    Any primitive campers on here? Dispersed campers? Hammock campers? Just sending up a flare, seeing what camping preferences abound in our community. Most memorable spots or experiences around the state or not far out of it would be welcome additions to this topic. Whatcha got?

    a short walk goes a long way
    Profile photo of Ryan Rogers
    Ryan Rogers

    Hammock camper and primitive camper here. We recently went to buccaneer state park in Bay St. Louis, it has been recently redone and is beautiful. With great views and lots to do during the summer months we will be making it a staple in the future camping trips.

    Profile photo of Kevin Henderson
    Kevin Henderson

    Used to do a lot of camping, not so much anymore. Most of it was Scouting trips. but we still like to get away from time to time and do some camping. never got into the hammocks but that would be the way to go in the warmer months for sure. our tent has gotten larger and larger over the years. Ms Donna wants to be able to stand up (that doesnt take much though) and wants her blow up mattress. (I think its queen size Ha.) so yea we have one of those 10 X 12’s I think its bigger then our first house.
    last few campsites were nice. Big Lagoon St Park down in FL and Tickfaw State Park in Lousiana.

    Profile photo of bringerofgame

    So Ryan, what kind of hammock setup are you hanging? I’m running a doublenest one link system for now, changing out the suspension though. Atlas straps are awesome, but mine are a bit short.

    Kevin, those big tents get heavy don’t they? I had one for a while, but it finally gave up the ghost. We were gearing back up when I decided to look into the hammocks. The kids love them (think swings) and they’re so light we’re trying to get to a point where the kids pack their shelter and clothes (they’re 6,7,8,& 10) while mom and I get the food and so forth. This should extend our range outside of car camping, without losing much in the way of amenities. It’s either that or I’ll be the one backpacking a queen size mattress. The lowest I’ve gotten temp wise was ~40 degrees last weekend, but it was quite comfortable being all bundled up in my bag. I still use my sleeping pad, I just throw an extra layer on top of it to ward off cpt (cold posterior syndrome.)

    a short walk goes a long way
    Profile photo of MacGyver69

    CuteBoots (Angie) and I started to get into hammock camping last year…although we didn’t spend an entire night in them. I made my own whoopie sling out of Dyneema cord from West Marine. Those and some cheap nylon straps from Harbor Freight work great. We also have a large cabin tent. We hike a lot at the POW Camp in the Desoto Nat’l Forest…which has free primatave camping. Airey Tower Camp Ground, not too far away, has running water and a bathroom. No power at either place. We haven’t camped at either place, but we’d like to. We are in search of a nice place across the creek we can pack in to for a remote get-away.

    We have reservations in the FL Keys and will be tent camping on the beach for our late honeymoon. Water and power are available there, so it will be semi-primative.

    MSGA President, Hub City Cachers VP, Saucier MS
    Profile photo of bringerofgame

    DeSoto is one of my next two NF hangs. I’m ready to get down there too. Right now I’m giving the webbing and descender ring setup a go. Trying to keep it simple since we’re all learning together. After everyone gets comfortable in sure the personal preferences will come out. Knowing us it’ll be a regular r&d lab in the gullies behind the house.

    a short walk goes a long way
    Profile photo of deltadawg

    Primitive/hammock camper here. I do have a tent when I take my wife/kids, but when its just me and the boys we experience the life outdoors. I have not camped in Mississippi in some time, but I am moving back and will be hopefully exploring a great bit. I am rocking a cheapo hammock from Amazon, but it has lasted 3-4 years now.

    Here is a writeup from a recentish trip I did with some of my students in Alabama.

    Mentor Camping Adventure

    A few weeks ago, my mentor group and I went on a camping trip. Most of them had never camped away from civilization and electricity and this was quite an adventure for them. I do not like to take much gear when camping (other than food) so we did not have all the conveniences of home, but we did not go without. We canoed from Wadley Alabama to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park over the course of three days. This was almost a 30 mile trip in water that was not exactly flowing. I planned on taking photos with my phone to document the trip, but that did not exactly work out.

    The group learned three major lessons during the trip, other than exploring is hard work. I was very proud of the cadets I took and their ability to cope with almost anything.

    • Be prepared, teenagers will lose things, including important things like their only pair of shoes and their paddles
    • Attitude is the key to having a good trip. From a waterlogged iPhone to sleeping in the rain without a tent, we kept each other going in good spirits and had a blast
    • Taking care of business before you go to bed, keeps you warmer and drier

    Within the first minute of putting canoes in the water and attempting to leave Wadley, my canoe partner and I had successfully flipped our canoe, leaving my phone on the bottom of the river and all of our gear floating away. He and I quickly righted and emptied the canoe, drip dried our gear as best we could (everything was in trash bags or ziplock bags, so the only thing wet was the actual bag) and I went swimming to retrieve the phone that I was attempting to take a photo with prior to the spill. We got back in, very wet and cold from the experience and started padding for some sunshine. We put in after lunch, so we didn’t need to stop until the sun was about to go down. It was a beautiful start for the day, not many clouds in the sky, even though the forecast called for rain most of the weekend. Camping and canoeing in the rain is not ideal, but when you say you are going to do something, then you need to do it.

    The first bridge we passed under was a train trestle. Of course we had to climb to the top of it and walk out over the creek. We also marked our territory from a great height, which is something that boys have to do.

    We had trouble finding a good place to pull out, the river was very low and the banks were very steep. I had made a joke during the day, that the cadets were going to pick someones cow pasture as a great camping spot, as they kept pointing these out to me as ideal. This proved true as the best place we found to get the canoes out of the water was a spot that cows used to get water from the river. Cows have better traction than we do and it was very slippery with all of us sliding down during multiple attempts to carry our gear and canoes up the hill. Laughs were had by all, though it was cold and muddy.

    I showed them what kind of wood we needed for building a fire and slowly they all gathered a little wood. This was source of contention, until the next night, when they all wanted to be much warmer than we had been the first night. We build a little fire and cooked some steak and onions along with some mashed potatoes on the fire. I got a lot of credit for cooking awesome steaks but everything tastes better on a camp fire. We also strung up a clothes line to dry all of our clothing. They did not follow my lead of drying everything over the fire and they left it all on the line when the rain came sometime after midnight.

    The boys wanted story time after we finished supper and the dishes, but paddling takes a lot out of you and they were soon all asleep around the camp fire. I brought my little half terrier dog to keep bad things away from us at night and she slept in the bottom of my sleeping bag. Coyotes were heard in almost all directions, but they were not interested in us.

    Rain started a little after midnight and I woke them all up, moved them to the top of a nearby crest in the pasture and spread a tarp over us all. It was loud from the rain, but we kept mostly dry. I have never camped in a tent in the rain and stayed completely dry, so our plan of just having a tarp was a successful one.

    At sunrise, we woke up to a break in the rain, everything not stored properly was wet (I wore the same clothes the entire trip, I just dried them both nights). We got a quick fire going to start to dry everything and make breakfast; oatmeal and coffee warmed us right up. Teenagers take forever to pack and by the time we were ready to go down the river it started to rain again. The only thing we left was the mark from our fire and some trampled grass. The cows left us alone and so did the bull, but we had a plan of “Run Away” prepared in case the bull decided that he didn’t want us in his field.

    Most of the morning it drizzled on us. We started seeing a few camps, which I think gave the boys some relief of civilization. If I had a quarter for every time they commented that they were going to see Mr Wes (the medical officer) on monday, I would have have a new camera. I had to tell them that even if we could convince a helicopter to come, land, and take them to a hospital, we had no way to actually call a helicopter. “But what if it gets infected?”

    As the rain finally broke, the day just got prettier and prettier. We all hit our stroke with paddling. There were less attempts to stand up in the boat and less paddle spinning over their heads. I did learn that teenagers have a very odd rhythm of paddle, paddle, touch the water with the paddle, stop for a second, paddle, paddle, stop.

    We passed under Germany’s Ferry Bridge in the late afternoon. This gave us our first real bearing of where were were, as my very nice waterproof GPS with the detailed basemap and points of interest already marked, was sitting on the dash of my truck in Camp Hill.

    The second night’s campsite was even better than the first. Getting up the bank was a breeze, the cadets gathered more firewood than we needed and the grass was tall and thick. We stuffed ourselves on salmon croquets and campfire bread before drying out everything and going to sleep. The second night camping is always better sleep than the first and this was no exception.

    For breakfast in the morning we cooked bacon flavored spam and it was outstanding. This was sunday morning and we knew that we needed to get off the river at Horseshoe Bend in the evening and that we had a long way to go. The boys decided that we could stay an extra night, I convinced them that some Chinese food would taste really good.

    The sun shined all day, we had to take off our rain coats and put on sun screen. It was a great morning on the river. We saw a bald eagle in the wild, which was awesome and we had lunch on a little island near some fast moving water.

    We got to where the river split, one lane was slow and shallow, the other was much faster moving, narrow, and about waist deep. We decided to go down the fast moving side and ride it out. Life jackets were buckled tight and away we went. My canoe made it out quickly, we almost flipped a few times, but we were starting to get good at canoeing. The other canoe tipped over almost immediately. I waited for some time, looking for them to come floating around the corner and nobody showed. I started wading up the flowing river water when I heard one of the cadets yell help. I envisioned that an actual emergency was going on and I David Hasselhoffed as fast as I could to them, where I found them floating in an empty canoe using my axe as a paddle. After informing them that the word “help” was reserved for actual emergencies, we fashioned some paddles from nearby trees and continued on. My homebrew paddles were not as nice as the ones that were lost, but with most of their camping gear missing, the canoe was a lot lighter. I doubt they will ever lose a paddle again.

    When we saw the mowed grass at Horeshoe Bend, we knew the trip was almost over. Mr David was waiting for us at the boat landing and laughed as the fragrant foursome loading up canoes in the truck. That poor guy had to ride back to campus with us smelling up the place.

    We had the best time, everyone was slightly burned, waterlogged, sore, blistered, cut, scratched and happy. I am preparing for the next mentor camping trip as it gave us just great chances to bond and talk. These boys are trying to figure out who they are going to be, trying to understand their parents and the girls they are “talking to”. The world ahead of them is scary, but if they can survive a wet, cold, camping trip with a good attitude and at least half of the shoes and paddles we started with, they have some more confidence that with work, they can get where they are going.

    Profile photo of bringerofgame

    That’s what I’m talking about deltadawg! Sounds like y’all had a blast! We’ve come quite a ways the past few months on getting transitioned into hammock camping, and it is great. There are actually a few group hangs in the early planning stages for us Mississippians going on now. These will vary from primitive/dispersed camping to just car camping on a loop with amenities for the inclusion of the less able (or less inclined to really rough it) crowd. It’s all about the fellowship anyway, right? Turns out that geacachers and hammockers are odd bunches, respectively, and I seem to have fallen in with both crowds. Have not regretted meeting a single person from either group. Plus I do try to plan my campouts with caches as a factor, but not a requirement. (How else could we find brand new awesome spots to hide at?!) Anywho, time to get moving again so I’ll leave you with this; “You are never lost in the woods, only in civilization.”

    p.s. If you are interested in the group hangs or want to plan a group trip, drop me a line or for hammockers you can keep up on in the trip planning section, southeast subforum.

    a short walk goes a long way
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