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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Weekend camping trip to RI



My lovely wife and I just got back from a weekend trip to Rhode Island. We got together with family and went to some events.

Rather than rent a hotel room, we decided to stay at a campground. The campground was a lot cheaper than the area hotels. Not only that, had we stayed at a hotel, we'd have eaten most of our meals in restaurants. Instead we cooked in the great outdoors.

This was the first time we camped with our new tent. It's a L. L. Bean Big Pine 6. Normally we'd set up a new tent at home first. That way there's no pressure to get it set up before dark. That's also the time to find out if anything is broken or missing. Unfortunately, we didn't have a chance to do that ahead of time.

The Big Pine 6 has set up directions sewn into the tent's carry bag. Those were a big help. I decided to refer to them after making a false start right off the bat with the wrong pole. After putting my ego in check, it set up easily.

My lovely wife and I have been tenting for decades. We've owned many tents. I like this one a lot. It's good sized and has an attached vestibule large enough for a couple chairs and a small table. That's nice when the weather is bad. Everything is well made. The tent can be closed up tight for blustery rain storms or opened up for good ventilation on hot days. This is our first tent that has a full sized back door -a nice feature.

If I've got a complaint it would the tent pegs. It comes with those ubiquitous yellow plastic pegs. The pegs are fine for soft soil or sand. Most campgrounds have fairly hard packed soil and plastic pegs are rarely up to the job. With that in mind, we also brought a bag of metal pegs and they were needed for the compacted gravel of our site.

This is not a paid review as we bought the tent. It was on sale for half price, but was still a hefty $275. Of course, quality only hurts once. After using the tent, I'd have paid full price for it if I had to.

Our first night with the tent was on Friday. Saturday morning I woke up after an excellent night's sleep -better than I'd been sleeping in my own bed at home. In fact, I was happy to wake up in a tent.

We tried another Mountain House freeze dried meal. I picked up a half dozen breakfast packages. The label said it was hash browns, eggs, sausage, green peppers and onions. Yep, all that stuff was in there, but it was like a good breakfast was all thrown into a blender. It suffers from the transformation. The food wasn't bad, but it wasn't excellent either. Had I hiked twenty miles the day before and been on a mountain somewhere, it would have been great. However, for car camping I should have just picked up some real eggs.

All in all, it was a good trip and the camping part went well.

-Sixbears

12 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good way to spend a weekend.

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  2. We've got a Coleman 10x15 two room tent that we really like. Had occasion to set it up here a few weeks ago for hunt camp.
    Bad mistake tho...neglected to test run the Honda Genny before the last minute...it has never failed in fifteen years to run flawlessly...it failed to start...
    Finally diagnosed the issue...the low oil switch went bad... Now I've got to decide whether to spend $15 for the part and do it myself...or $150 to have the man install it.
    Not an easy to replace doodad either...
    I still praise Honda Genny's tho...

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    1. Those little Hondas are good gennies and that's from a guy who hates most of them. They are quiet, sip fuel, and are more reliable than most of them out there. If you got 15 trouble free years, you are doing well.

      I've still got an old canvas 10X16 that's like 35 years old, but the poles are shot. The canvas is still good. Also, it's a 50 pound tent that's pretty bulky. Still, it would make a good hunt camp tent for long term set up.

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  3. Had a good lare Sierra Designs tent for five years and did the same as your LLbean tent, for about the same price. It is a good direction to go for camping. We also got a small ceramic electric heater, and put it on a small chair inside the tent. Yes we know the tip over fire hazard issue. But it was toasty warm inside when it was high 40s outside.

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    1. Sierra Designs makes some good tents. With tents, you pretty much get what you pay for. There are some low cost exceptions, but you have to hunt for them.

      I friend used to heat his tent. I was camping with him once when his dog tipped the heater over. Set his sleeping bag on fire. He dragged it out of the tent and threw it in a stream. Then he had to spend the rest of the night in a half burnt and wet bag. Good memories. :)

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  4. Sounds like a nice adventure. Appreciate the review on food and tent. You are lucky your wife enjoys the experience of tent camping.

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    1. I am quite fortunate to have a lovely wife who also thinks tents are romantic.

      Glad you like the reviews.

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  5. You need to get over to Falmouth asap
    https://maine.craigslist.org/boa/d/free-ericson-27-sailboat/6712291933.html

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    1. Sometimes the most expensive boat is a free one. That doesn't mean I'm not tempted. It's a good model.

      Motor has some hours. Probably an old Atomic Four. Maybe need new sails? $3000-$6000. Electrical upgrades? Standing rigging? Running rigging? Storage? It can add up. That doesn't mean it can't be done.

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  6. More of us should get out and enjoy the joy of nature, in my opinion. I know I should, for sure!

    Good honest reviews, my friend!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by Hermit Jim! Always a pleasure.

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