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Below are the 12 most recent journal entries recorded in CampingChicago's LiveJournal:

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007
6:56 pm
Last Call
Just a reminder about Yellowstone Lake camping on the nights of the 5th and 6th.

Details are in my previous community post.
Tuesday, September 4th, 2007
8:47 pm
Camping Oct 5-7
Site Map

I reserved one site for up to four people and two cars. I have a massive tent if anyone cares to room with us. it can be a two roomer, ut Fear snores.

Reservation site. For Friday and Saturday nights it was $24 + a $10 reservation fee.

Current Mood: impressed
Sunday, September 2nd, 2007
11:00 am
Wisconsin Camping
Fear and I are looking into reserving a site at Yellowstone Lake Campground outside of Madison, WI for the nights of 10/5-6. (Friday and Saturday nights) It looks like it is about a 3 hour drive from here.

Anyone interested in joining us is more than welcome to. We were going to reserve a walk-back site.
Friday, April 27th, 2007
1:04 pm
Dark Lord Camping Trip
It's on. We leave tomorrow (Saturday 9/28/07) at 10 A.M. If you want to come let forestdruid or myself know tonight. So far it looks like it's forestdruid, ordinary, voidness, myself, and possibly (skulde13 and donutatokun for part of the time).

That is all. :)

Current Mood: chipper
Tuesday, April 17th, 2007
2:24 pm
REI Orienteering Clinic
For those interested, REI in Oakbrook will be having an Orienteering clinic (how to navigate with Map and Compass) this Thursday at their Oakbrook store for free. Assuming the length of the class is about that of the Backpacking 101 course, it should run about an hour and a half.

Also, as the weekend nears,, we should have a better idea of if it is possible to go camping next weekend, weather wise. Stay tuned for more details. :)

Current Mood: excited
Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
12:06 pm
Quick Reminder
If anyone else is interested Skulde13, drl909, and myself will be at REI in Oakbrook tomorrow night to go to the Backpacking 101 course at 7:00 P.M., and just generally hang around for a couple of hours. If anyone else is interested, you are welcome to join us.

Current Mood: predatory
Monday, April 9th, 2007
1:05 pm
The Camping season looms nearer - The 1st trip of the year is possibly only a mere two weeks away-
The first trip of the year (weather permitting; Read: it's not freezing, raining and/or snowing) will possibly be the weekend of April 27 through the 29th, at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a nice campground (those of you have went with on previous trips may remember it), that offers a nice enviornment, with nearby hiking and beach. It also has the ammenities of showers as well as actual bathrooms, not outhouses or chemical toilets. There will be a stop on the way home by the Three Floyds Brewery in order to sample some of the Dark Lord Imperial Stout at it's 2007 release.

As we get a little closer, we will let everyone know for sure if we are going at the end of the month or not. IF you are interested in coming along, contact me, or forestdruid and I/he will fill you in on the details, so we can make plans.

Please note that if we do not hear from you, we are going to assume that you are not interested in this particular trip, so please please, please, if you are interested in going, let as know so we can begin planning.

Also- REI is having a Backpacking 101 course at their Oakbrook store on Thursday night at 7:00 if anyone is interested. The cost is free (Hey, it's in my price range . . . SWEET!); Skulde13 and I are probably going to go, barring sickness, alien invasion, or an attack by a giant, fire breathing lizard smashing up Chicago and/or Tokyo. Therefore, if you would like to meet up with us, give us a call, email, LJ comment or Response, use telepathy, etc . . .

That is all; hope to hear form you all soon.

"Sleep comes like a drug, in God's Country. Sad eyes, crooked crosses, in God's Country"
-U2, "In God's Country"

Current Mood: productive
Wednesday, April 4th, 2007
7:50 am
REI Workshops
At the REI store in Oakbrook, in case anyone is interested, there are a few intro to type courses which last, I believe, about an hour. These are open to anyone, and the cost is free:

Thursday, 4/12 7:00 P.M. Backspacking 101
Thursday, 4/19 7:00 P.M. Compass and Map (Orienteering)
Thursday, 4/26 7:00 P.M. Kayaking 101

and, if you are a MEMBER OF REI ONLY, they are having their "Garage Sale" from 9:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. on Saturday, 4/21. They basically sell returns which are in mint condidtion, floor models, and gear which was displayed in their catalogs for 40%-80% off, but to reiterate, this is for REI Members only.

More info is available on the REI website.


Current Mood: annoyed
Monday, March 26th, 2007
1:12 pm
Someone at work suggested this place-
Blackwell Forest preserve: http://www.dupageforest.com/PRESERVES/blackwell.html

They said that it is a really nice place to camp, but they are a bit strict on a couple of rules, specifically, no alcohol, and they lock the gates at 7:00 P.M., after which no one can come into the campground.

That being said, it's fairly close and seems to offer quite a few ammenities including hiking, canoeing (Canoes can be rented for $25.00/day or $5.00/hour), and horseback riding right down the road. It also allows dogs, but they must be kept leashed, unless a a off leash permit is bought for sed dog (which is pricey if you are from out of that county).

What does everyone think? Should we try here for one of our spots this year?

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
1:30 pm
Get yer links here . . .
I just thought I'd put up a list of links for people.

voidness suggested this one: http://chicagowildernessmag.org/camping/

A great camping/hinking/climbing/outdoors activites Magazine that I just subscribed to (which, incidentally, provided most of these links): http://www.backpacker.com

General all around gear/info resources:

REI: http://www.REI.com
EMS: http://www.ems.com
The North Face: http://www.thenorthface.com
Coleman: http://www.coleman.com
Gander Mountain (although for my taste, they're a little more concerned about the huntin' and fishin', and less about the camping and Hiking . . .): http://www.gandermountain.com

Inexpensive Gear (because, as much as I hate to admit it, price is an issue):

Target: http://www.target.com
Walmart: http://www.walmart.com
Kmart: http://www.kmart.com
Sears: http://www.sears.com

REI: http://www.REI.com
Merrell: http://www.merrell.com


Asolo: http://www.asolo.com
Esatto: http://www.esatto.biz
La Sportiva N.A. Inc.: http://www.sportiva.com
Lowa Boots: http://www.lowaboots.com
Teva: http://www.teva.com
Zappos: http://www.zappos.com


Backcountry Gear Limited (Ultralight gear and clothing): http://www.backcountrygear.com
Bergans of Norway (Packs): http://www.bergans.com
Big Agnes (Tents): http://www.bigagnes.com
The Compass Store (Navigation Tools): http://www.thecompassstore.com
Garmin (Navigational Tools): http://www.garmin.com
Hilleberg the Tentmaker (Tents): http://www.hilleberg.com
Integral Designs (Bags and Tarps): http://www.integraldesigns.com
Lowe Alpine (Packs / Apparel): http://www.lowealpine.com
Marmot Mountain (Equipment / apparel): http://www.marmot.com
Mountain Hardware (Equipment): http://www.mountainhardware.com
Nalge Nunc International (Containers): http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com
Sierra Trading Post (35%-70% off Name brand clothing, footwear, and outdoor gear): http://www.sierratradingpost.com
Travelcountry.com (Gear / Apparel): http://www.travelcountry.com

If you have further suggestions or links, feel free to put them up here.

Current Mood: calm
Tuesday, March 20th, 2007
7:43 pm
Key item not to forget
Always have a backup plan for wet wood.

Its not a bad idea to invest in a cheap coleman cook stove. And there are cheap ones available at Target. Others may consider this an unnecessary extra, but if the wood is wet and you want something hot to eat or at least warm your hands by, it is great.

My other suggestion is a vinyl waterproof bag and some sturdy rope. While tying your food into a tree is generally reserved for bear country, it is nice to have a place to stow food away from the critters. ( I prefer walk-back sites to drive up sites... it sucks making long trips back to the car at night.)

Otherwise Limiter's list was pretty thorough.
1:15 pm
Welcome aboard, all . . .
Hello everyone. I just thought I'd start here with a quick post to let you all know that the first trip or the second (depending), will be a trip down by the Mississippi River. Any later than that in the season, the mosquitos become unbearable. I will have more details on that after I've had a little more time to talk with samcallahan. The other trip to get us rolling will most likely be a trip to either the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore or Starved Rock.

If anyone one the board has any ideas, feel free to contribute those here as well.

darkhunter3941 asked the other night about what he and white_rabbit_1 should bring, as he had not had a lot of experience camping. Therefore I just thought that I would put up a basic checklist of what to bring camping. If anyone out there sees any basic thing(s) I've missed, feel free to add them:

Personal Gear:

A Tent (you can get these starting in the $30 range at Walmart and Target, but they can easily go into a $600 range if you start looking at nicer ones in places like REI, Gander Mountain, or Outdoor World). If you are just starting out, and/or if cost is a concern, you can get a basic tent which will service you just fine in fair to moderate conditions, but you most likely will want to invest in a tube of seam sealer and seal the seams in that tent before you get out with it. There's nothing more unpleasant than being caught in a downpour, and having rain leaking through your seams. With an inexpensive tent, you are also more likely to get heavy condensation on the walls in the moring due to an adequate lack of ventilation.

Sleeping bags - On a nice night you may even opt to Meadow Crash (Sleep outside your tent). Sleeping bags, like tents, come in a wide range of prices from about $20- to about $300 (although I have seen a bag that costs $830. [no, I'm not kidding]). As we will be camping in the warmer months, you should not to need to expensive of a bag.

Air Mattress or Sleeping Pad - You can get a sleeping pad in the $30-100 Range, and an Air mattress in the range of about $30-60. Air mattresses give a little more cushioning, but it comes at a price: namely, cold air may circulate under you, leaving you shivering in the night. Sleeping pads aren't quite as cushiony, but will leave you a little warmer. You don't definiteively need one of these, I guess, but it can get real uncomfortable if you have a rocky ground stabbing you in the back all night.

Boots - If we go hiking, a good pair of boots can be your best friend, especially if the hike is fairly lengthy. Boots designed for hiking can range from about $90-$300, but keep in mind that the most important things are comfort, how well your feet are supported, and the traction the boots give you. You may also wish to look for something which has been made/treated with Goretex, which is an excellent weaterproofing solution.

Packs - In general we haven't done many weekend long hikes, so a day pack (anything that carries 2,000 cubic inches of space or less) should be just fine. These are good to carry snacks, first aid kits, water bottles, ipods, small tools and so forth, as well as rain ponchos, and perhaps a change of clothing.

A Mess Kit / Paper Plates and Plastic Utensils. You can get Mess Kits ranging from about $8 - $80 . . . or you can get paper plates, plastic utensils, and lug a (old) pot or two from home. The advantages of Mess kits are that they double as both pan/pot and plate, are designed to be thrown on a campfire, and are designed so that the pieces fit inside each other and take up as little rrom as possible in your gear. Paper plates can be burned in your campfir when you are done with them, but the plastic you either have to hold on to or throw out in a bag you have brough with you.

First Aid Kit - While in general there should be a larger communal one, you should really bring with a basic first aid kit with bandages, aspirin, ibuprofen, gause, burn cream (such as aloe vera gels), disinfectants, and so forth.

A Towel - As Douglas Adams suggested, on of the most neccessary items for traversing the universe is a towel. If you don't know the uses this can have, I'm not explaining.

A Hat - Keeps your head warm on cold days, and cooler (and the sun out of your eyes) on hot ones.

Sunglasses - On a hike, especially a longer one, the last thing you want is to be directly staring at the sun for any length of time.

Sunscreen - An ounce of prevention . . .

A Rain Poncho - Rain Happens.

A Tarp - for under your Tent, or to rig another layer of shelter against rain.

A Knife - A good knife can help you out in all sorts of ways; the Swiss Army Knife is best for camping, as it really has everything you need. It's even better if you can get one with a locking blade. A Leatherman is also a good choice.

Clothing - You may want to think about bringing some heavier clothing for at night when temperatures fall. You may also want to pack something like fleece which will dry relatively quickly if you are soaked, and still keep you warm.

Food - In addition to the regular meals which we often plan as a group, you may wish to bring snacks / trail mix, as well as tea, instant coffee, hot chocolate, instant hot cider, and powdered drinks or powdered Gatorade. Avoid Soft Drinks as they will dehydrate you.

Sundry other things - Lightweight Camp Chairs, waterproof playing cards or games (invaluable when you are stuck in your tent due to a deluge), ipods, harmonicas and the like may help you round out you camping experience, depending on what luxuries you feel you would like).

A Pillow - Or you can use some of your spare clothes, if you're okay with that.

Bug Repellant - Even with a fire, mosquitos can be murder

It sounds like a lot, but you probably already have most of these lying around, so really, your big investments are: your tent, your sleeping bag, your sleeping pad, a first aid kit (which you can put together yourself, if you are so inclined), and possibly a mess kit. That's the basics.

If anyone else feels like adding to this list, please do so. :)


Current Mood: full
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