View Full Version : Personal Campsites?

2007-03-22, 07:20
hey guys, long time no see. Been busy. I was the guy setting out walk across America to find a new home. Well, I found it a lot sooner than I expected! I'm working on rebuilding a redwood cabin in California's coastal range. It sits on 44 acres of second growth forest that has sat dormant for the last fifteen years. Absolutely amazing, with an ocean view across 35 miles of alternating timber preserve and state forest. At night, the only lights are stars, the only sounds are breezes and critters.

So, I have a huge clearing, about a twenty minute walk from the cabin and a bunch of friends already planning carpools to come up and help me rebuild the cabin and install infrastructure. So I'm setting up my first "guest house".... A VERY developed campsite. Now, it's not going to be a house, nor a traditional campsite, but a mix of the two.

Have any of you done anything similar to this? I figure I will start with two raised beds for my friends with tents, and a larger raised bed for an 8 person family tent of my own. I will be carrying down water at first, but plan to eventually place fog harvesters down there to collect water during the week for the weekend visits. using scrap madrone to build an outdoor shower stall, picnic table, etc. I've got a few nutty ideas, like using the campfire to generate radiant heat for the tent beds and possibly building a few primitive structures, like wikiups or mud houses eventually. convection coolers, a cob oven and all that nonsense probably lies in the future.

So, do any of you have your ow developed campsites? Are there any sites or books on the topic? I grew up reading wild craft books and already have started using those methods to do small improvements to the cabin, but I'm curious if any of you guys have ideas for an outdoor guesthouse.

Thanks all!
-Spice 1

2007-03-22, 08:56
You need a wall tent with a stove, just like they use in western hunting camps, it is a proven system. A slighty raised level platform, built of pressure treated lumber the size of the tent, would be a deluxe floor.

2007-03-22, 13:00
That something else I was looking at TaK. I also thought about geting a GP medium or hex tent (military surplus) with an old stove, but then I remembered that I preferred to sleep in my firing position than those things. (Probably due to the gas stoves they used hack then). Essentially the same thing.

The site also has an cliff on the eastern side with a 10 foot wide, 16 foot long ledge about 20 feet up. Gotta play with the location more, but aside from the 100 gal water tank I want to put up there not sure what I want to put up there. Judging from our ground, I might start building our sandstone metropolis.


2007-03-22, 13:36
Spice, I remember the blazo burning yukon stoves, we used them with arctic tents in Alaska, they were dangerous as hell. You want a woodstove of course, you could build your own if you know someone that can brake sheet stock and weld or rivet. Since you aren't going to be moving this thing maybe you can find a proper cabin type cast-iron stove used. A GP small would be good if you can find one cheap that isn't rotted, if you can set it up in the shade, that green gets hot in the summer. I'd put one of those cheap tarps over it as a fly to keep the UV off of the tent.

2007-03-22, 14:32
Yeah defnately planning on tarping all my tents that stay set up, especially my sierra omega, no way I'm killing a tent that expensive. . Didn't think UV was such an issue with Canvas though, but this is going to be there for a while. Yeah, I'm definitely going with a woodstove. You can make pretty good ones with small used water heater tanks, and I found a salvage shop near here that has three from old electrics. My biggest obstacle is that my only welding has been wire fed, and the welder at the ranch uses rods. Just something new and fun to learn.

Not only that, I have more slash wood than I know what to do with, as I am presently clearing a 1/4 mile road to our well site, and it needs to accomodate n 18 wheeler. Make me cry to slash so much scrub. I'm wishing for a chinook.

My favorite stove memory from the military days was launching the stovepipes off immersion heaters. Bang! Crash! "what!?!?"

2007-03-23, 17:48
Why don't you google some of the safari parks/resorts in Africa and see what they have done with tent villages?

2007-06-14, 20:57
You have to love REI. A few days ago, I get their spam, I mean, promotional e-mail saying I can save 20% of any item. Now, I live a LOOOOONG way (yes, 5 O's away) from an REI, and I had been planning on dropping my $60 dividend on a camping shower next time I made it back to civilization. Low and behold, I was able to get 2 solar showers (I expect the pack rats to eventually chew a hole in one of them), a little itty bitty dynamo light, a Frisbee and a 9 foot by 12 foot tarp.

Now, after years of using a poncho as my tarp (my fiance carries one too and we both use them as pack covers in the rain) I'm confronted with the fact the 9x12 foot is nearly the size of my living room. Do people going family camping use tarps? This thing should sleep five comfortably. If gas wasn't so damn expensive (It's a total 4000 foot elevation gain to my cabin, and I have a two ton truck) I would be going up to put this thing up as an addition to the cabin.

So, besides using it as a REALLY big shower curtain for the two solar showers, (Oh yeah, does it get any more opulent?) what in gods name should I do with the GORGEOUSLY large tarp, complete with a little covered grommet in the middle for a hiking pole? Ultra light garage? Fastpack guest house? Monster hammock?

2007-06-14, 23:26
Spice1, where you been?

Are you talking about this; REI 50-Denier Ripstop Polyester Tarp - 12' x 9' - Special Buy Reduced Price: $34.93 Item 751811 ? http://www.rei.com/REI-Outlet/product/751811

I was also looking at that, trying to convince myself not to get it for snow camping... Currently I have a silnylon version that I am worried about wrecking from occasional snow loading... spend spend spend spend spend..... but on the other hand it's only 35$....my silnylon was twice that...

If yours is the 50 denier, how does it feel? Way too stiff/heavy for tarping over a snow kitchen...? Weight is no big concern for snow camping...

I am still thinking about sewing up a tyvek snow shelter to try out....

2007-06-15, 00:56
It feels great. It's WAY more substantial than silnylon, but definitely still remarkably light. I'm still not sure why I got it, except that 12x9 sounded a hell of a lot nicer than the 6x3 milspec poncho I've been using for tarps. Oh yeah, and I'm not exactly sure HOW I got a $60 dividend this year, since the only money I spent lat year at REI was my $120 dividend.

As for where I've been, I've had WWOOFers. (no, nothing like chiggers) It's Willing Workers on Organic Farms. Over the last month, I had a couple from Pennsylvania, A french woman who spoke almost no english, a guy from oregon who is currently riding his motorcycle around america with a pack and camping all over the place, three brits celebrating their graduation with a world tour, and now; two 18 year old art students from NY.

In that time, We've built a green house, cleared out the animal pens, widened our road enough to get a well drilling rig down our driveway, reinforced the foundation of the cabin and drank four cases of soda, six cases of beer and smoked some really good weed from Washington. I've been busy, dirty and happy.

It kinda doesn't feel like camping when you can use a propane torch to light your campfire, start up the generator to have some light when the sun goes down on the BBQ, the thermarests stay inflated on a rafter in the shop, and the drill press I used to make my latest stove is only fifty feet away from the tent. But having 44 aces of fun, backed up against a 300,000 timber preserve (yes, a tree farm, but it's redwoods) with lions and skeeters and bears make it still feel wild. ;)

But hey, a man has to work, right? <grin>