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Old 09-16-2014, 10:36 PM   #21
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We are 64 and 57 years old respectively and will continue to sleep on the ground on occasion after we begin using our 17b this January. The piece of equipment that makes this possible is our Exped 9 pads. DownMat 9 M | Exped USA. These things are almost 4" thick and are FAR more comfortable and warm than any other mat out there. Not cheap but if you want to continue camping, consider this piece of equipment.
+1. Great air mattress
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:57 PM   #22
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It seems I am getting myself in a bit of a pickle here, with my admitted love for what tent camping offers me. Oh well, I gots thick skin.
No pickle, no judgment. There will always be folks running Marathons at 95 years of age.

I'll watch it on TV from the comfort of my 5.0TA on the television!

And... be grateful I'm still camping and have my eyesight
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:02 PM   #23
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Thank you everyone. I've learned that having a trailer does not signal an end to tent camping if you're still enjoying that. I knew we would continue to backpack to get to those hard to reach places. But I wondered if we would get so spoiled with the trailer that we would never want to 'car' camp again. Sounds like that is not necessarily the case.

Really looking forward to getting an Escape in probably a year, after we retire. Until then I will continue lurking on this great forum! Thank you!
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:23 PM   #24
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Doubt we will. Our trip to Kings Canyon in July '13 was the catalyst for buying a trailer. I did camp last night at Rasar State Park in a $25 tent from Big 5 in Burlington. It worked, but am at Sandman tonight in Abbotsford; tomorrow in the 21 somewhere...

BTW, saw a man in his 70's with an old canvass tent chopping wood at Silver Lake County Park. Was checking it out for tonight but wussed out. Had to be in Canada 2nite.

Backpack camping is a different league of course and cannot compare to park tent camping. Have been fortunate to have been on Mailgne Lake and can only imagine how fine that must be camping back there.
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Old 09-16-2014, 11:24 PM   #25
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We are 64 and 57 years old respectively and will continue to sleep on the ground on occasion after we begin using our 17b this January. The piece of equipment that makes this possible is our Exped 9 pads. DownMat 9 M | Exped USA. These things are almost 4" thick and are FAR more comfortable and warm than any other mat out there. Not cheap but if you want to continue camping, consider this piece of equipment.
We have had those since they came out 10 years ago. I would bet my wife would not even come along, if we did not have these. I rate them as the top single item that has improved our camping gear since...forever.
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Old 09-17-2014, 12:49 AM   #26
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You do not have to sleep on the ground or use a tent. My sons have slept in hammocks while camping for years now, and I have recently started hanging in a hammock as well. They are super comfortable and I get a much better sleep than in a tent. Here is a pic of a typical hammock setup.

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Old 09-17-2014, 06:16 AM   #27
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Talking Reminds of a great trip and how we became an RV family

When my wife and I were first married, we were both laid off (the first Arab oil embargo and subsequent recession). We borrowed camping gear and took off with $200 and her 1974 Chevy Nova. Drove to Colorado and did a two week circuit, seeing some of the great sights of Colorado. With a $200 dollar budget I think we ate one restaurant meal on the whole trip. Was a great trip since my wife had never been west before.

On our next to last night we had planned on staying at Colorado Springs but there were thunder storms over the city. We decided to start back east and drove an hour or so toward the East. Stopped and stayed at a brand new campground (maybe a KOA). The rain followed us and in the middle of the night it started to rain and rain and rain. The campground was on freshly graded ground and as the water accumulated tent pegs loosened. I remember 3 or 4 inches of water in the tent, a collapsed tent, me in my underware trying to pound pegs back in. Finally we gave up and retreated to the car. In the morning we packed up our mud saturated gear and drove straight back to Ohio.

My most vivid memory was as we were being pulled out of the sea of mud by the owners tractor. A gentleman opened the door of his motorhome, looked left, then right, marvelled at the carnage before him, and troopeded off to the shower house high and dry.

I vowed then to get some kind of RV. The next year we bought a van and converted it for camping and had many a great trip. Later I enjoyed many great tent camping outings with boy scouts but our family vacation became RV vacations for ever more.
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Old 09-17-2014, 07:21 AM   #28
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You do not have to sleep on the ground or use a tent. My sons have slept in hammocks while camping for years now, and I have recently started hanging in a hammock as well. They are super comfortable and I get a much better sleep than in a tent. Here is a pic of a typical hammock setup.

An interesting option, especially where the ground isn't level enough for a tent. Using a hammock also illustrates Jim's point that tent camping enables you to get to special places inaccessible from a trailer. Backpacking even more. Setting your campsite up 1/2 mile from the road can feel like 100 miles away as the sun sets, the other hikers head to their cars, and you experience solitude and peace.

As a retired Occupational Therapist who worked in home health, I also have to agree with Jim that declining physical capability is not strictly age related. Physical capacity in aging has been well studied, and the consensus is that a physically fit person will decline at approximately half the rate of a sedentary one up until 80 or so when we all approach life's end. There is actually good news here. We also know that if someone is otherwise healthy, it is possible to "get back in shape" beginning in your 60's and 70's. Running with the Grand-kids--cool!
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:06 AM   #29
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You do not have to sleep on the ground or use a tent. My sons have slept in hammocks while camping for years now, and I have recently started hanging in a hammock as well. They are super comfortable and I get a much better sleep than in a tent. Here is a pic of a typical hammock setup.
I slept in a friends hammock one night, and it was quite comfy. I would not hesitate to do it again. However, I really like the volume of a tent, having my clothes handy, and to be able to get changed easily. Mostly canoeing now, we use a 4 man tent for the two of us, and Jasper, and it feels like we are living in a huge palace compared to the hammock. Besides, Jasper, though a cozy fella, would be a space hog in a hammock.

Have you used the Exped Downmats, Dave? Holy crap have they gone up in price though. I went with my youngest brother who picked up a couple at $295 each, whereas I thought mine were expensive 10 years ago for $180. No matter, it is well worth the great sleep and comfort they afford you.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:11 AM   #30
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We haven't used a tent car camping since we got our teardrop.
We have however been backpacking and kayak camping.
Here's a shot of our last backpacking campsite several years ago.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:24 AM   #31
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I'm a senior and a long distance backpacker. Unfortunately, my wife has an issue with her foot and is unable to backpack. Our idea is to use the Escape as a middle ground to allow us both to get out, travel, and enjoy nature together. I can do day hikes and with the Escape, she has a comfortable nest. I fully expect to continue long distance backpacking, with probably one long distance (5 - 6 weeks) hike per year, as long as the body holds up. On hikes, I actually sleep better in my tent, than in hotels. I love the sleep I get in a hammock, but for the shoulder months, there is a weight penalty with the hammock vs my tent.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:37 AM   #32
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...Have you used the Exped Downmats, Dave? Holy crap have they gone up in price though. I went with my youngest brother who picked up a couple at $295 each, whereas I thought mine were expensive 10 years ago for $180. No matter, it is well worth the great sleep and comfort they afford you.
Have not gone there yet, but they look very appealing. Still using an inflatable backpackers air mattress when I am tenting. In the hammock that I have, I find it easier to use a thin foam pad rather than an inflatable pad.

One of my buddies who came on our Bowron trip this year (he is a kayaker ) actually brought a small cot to use inside his tent. Not exactly sure which model he has, but he says that he slept very comfortably and was both warm and dry.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:18 AM   #33
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Have not gone there yet, but they look very appealing. Still using an inflatable backpackers air mattress when I am tenting. In the hammock that I have, I find it easier to use a thin foam pad rather than an inflatable pad.
Holy Cow, when I do stop camping, I can sell my Exped for what I paid for it!
If you are car camping, an air mattress underneath a closed cell pat like a Thermarest should give you most of the comfort of the Exped 9 at a fraction of the cost while retaining enough r value for three season use.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:54 AM   #34
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Yea, tent camping has come a long way in recent years. There is a lot of really good lightweight gear available, most of it very expensive. I believe that the cot my buddy uses for tent camping is made by Helinox and is called the Cot 1.



Helinox seems to make really good stuff. Another friend brought along a chair made by them that was super comfortable. I was really jealous that my tripod chair had no back rest.
The Helinox cot is actually quite similar in appearance to the cot that Escape uses in their trailers. We have the cot in our 19' and my daughter prefers to sleep on the cot rather than on the front dinette bed, so we usually just leave the table set up and assemble the cot above the table at night.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:58 AM   #35
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My wife's back surgery put an end to backpacking as a couple. There's a limit to how much I can carry. Hut to hut hiking is still doable. I still go backpacking with my avatar, occasionally, though she snores worse than my wife and usually smells like wet dog. For the most part, tent camping is with the grandkids. We intend to use the Escape for ourselves and tent(s) to bring along our daughters and their families.
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Old 09-17-2014, 11:59 AM   #36
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Yea, tent camping has come a long way in recent years. There is a lot of really good lightweight gear available, most of it very expensive. I believe that the cot my buddy uses for tent camping is made by Helinox and is called the Cot 1.

Helinox seems to make really good stuff. Another friend brought along a chair made by them that was super comfortable. I was really jealous that my tripod chair had no back rest.
My brother has those cots, finds they are quite comfy, but cold without a mattress of some sort on them. He does use a thermarest when cold, but this really adds to the bulk if canoeing. This is why he went out and bought the DownMats.

I don't have those chairs, but know hordes of people who do. I still just use my folding stadium seats, and put them on a barrel for a taller chair, but if I was buying another chair to take with me, they would be the one. If on loose soil, you do need a pad of some sort under the feet though, or you sink.

We have Kermit chairs that we use with our trailer, as they fold up nice and small, are very comfy to sit in, and are one quality built piece of kit. You can use with, or without their legs extensions. We have taken them canoeing too. Not a bad size, but not lightweight like the the Helinox.

Click on pick for link.



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Old 09-17-2014, 03:26 PM   #37
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We were tent campers for a long, long, time. Then we picked up our trailer last month and camped for the following three weeks. Third night in the trailer a couple folks pitched a tent on the site accross from us. I learned she was 60, and he, a friend, was 80. They were sleeping on pads on the ground. I looked at my trailer and wondered if I've gone in the wrong direction. I think I need a few cold nights in the trailer to remind me why we went in the direction we did. It's awfull nice!
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:39 PM   #38
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I am trying the new x-therm from thermorest this year, So far is quite comfy and warm. Love how small it packs and how light it is. Nice to not have a rolled up pad on the outside of my pack.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:40 PM   #39
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I am trying the new x-therm from thermorest this year, So far is quite comfy and warm. Love how small it packs and how light it is. Nice to not have a rolled up pad on the outside of my pack.
Have you tried it in the snow yet? I am curious as to their performance, but no noone that has one. They are half the weight of the large Exped, and 2/3's that of the smaller one.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:09 PM   #40
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I am trying the new x-therm from thermorest this year, So far is quite comfy and warm. Love how small it packs and how light it is. Nice to not have a rolled up pad on the outside of my pack.
I have an Xtherm as well. I really like it and it has an R value of 5.7. I purchased a large to obtain the width and cut it to length. Its tough to take a pair of scissors to a new inflatable pad, but it works really well. I have about 20 nights or so since cutting it.
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