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What will you do/bring differently next year? 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:21 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Arkansas/Missouri LIne
Make sure your ground cloth does not stick out past your tent or water will pool. General rule is cut it an inch or two smaller than your tent base.

Another alternative to weed cloth is a roll of flexible screening, the kind you would repair a screen door. Saw some today and was cheaper than weed cloth. Just remember to leave a couple inches away from tent so water doesn't pool near the tent. Set up your tent and cut what you need, so you don't have to drag the whole roll with you. Unless you want to share with your neighbors.


Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:39 pm
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:38 am
Posts: 193
I am not going to do the femme parade this year. I don't need to bring that costume.

I am not going to seek out a fest hookup. Don't want the drama, the stress, the fear of rejection.

I am going to go with an open mind and take care of my needs.


Tue May 01, 2012 6:28 am
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Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:15 pm
Posts: 305
Location: midwest
That window screening is a great idea!

I use a "tatami". It's not very traditional, uses recycled plastic made into a woven material. unfolds to about 10 feet by 6 feet, Folds up to about 10 inches by 10 inches by 5 inches deep. Very light weight.

Makes a great surface to walk on barefoot, water drains right thru.

I think I got it at an Ace Hardware. I know I've seen them there.


Fri May 04, 2012 3:17 pm
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:18 am
Posts: 1068
Location: Rochester, NY
El, I've used a natural bamboo (or straw?) tatami type mat for over a decade. It's been great for outside my tent to allow me a dry clean place to walk and dress while allowing rain to flow right through.

It folds in half twice lengthwise, then rolls up and self ties to keep it secure. Actually one off the ties fell of ages ago so I just use 2 short thin bungies to keep it secured. When rolled up, it's about 18" long and 9" dia, super lightweight. It has gotten frayed beyond belief now and is "shedding" lots of little pieces like straw so I'm looking for a replacement.

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Fri May 04, 2012 5:00 pm
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:11 pm
Posts: 940
Location: Cambridge, MA
This year I'm bringing a screen tent. The sporting goods store near my home went out of business and I got the cutest little dome "tent" (the same size as my actual tent, but made of mosquito netting) for about $40. I'm so happy! I love me my afternoon naps, but it can get really hot in a regular tent. Now I need a small thermarest, and I'll be all set. Naptime, here I come...


Fri May 04, 2012 5:59 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:01 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Madison, WI
If you feel the need to bring "just in case" items, leave those in your vehicle, like having a little shed out in the back 40. If you decide that you wish you'd brought extra boots or an extra sleeping bag "just in case", just go to the car and get them, but don't bother to shlep them to your camp "just in case".

I like using those little hooks that socks used to come on for quick hang-ups around camp, especially on a line that I put way up under my tarp. Also carbiners work. Or those big pins that people used to use to hold wrap-around skirts or kilts closed "way back when". Instead of clothespins, use those little tabs that close bread bags. Or come to the Main Kitchen at breakfast and collect bigger, stronger tabs from the bags inside the granola boxes. Small stuff that I tie up for the whole week (like decorations I like to hang from the unused grommets on the front of my tarp): I use dental floss. Strong, lightweight, any length you want.

Campmor.com sells lightweight battery-operated lights that attach inside the top or side of the tent with a magnet on the outside. Only $5.97 while they last. 3 LED lights, uses 3 AAA batteries. Sorry the link doesn't post well, but copy and paste this into your address bar:

http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/CAM ... s=JM+group

I use only bio-degradable shampoo, no soap while in MI. There's no reason I can't wash my body with shampoo for the little time I'm there. I like Heaven's Gate herbal shampoo. Whatever you choose, make sure to try it on all your "tender parts" to ensure that it doesn't sting.....'nuff said..... And don't bring a full bottle. You probably won't even use one quarter of it if you bathe every day. If you're worried about running out, keep extra in your vehicle.

And that toothpaste tube that you're using right now..... The one that is 3/4 used up, pack THAT one today and open a new one at home. Don't bring a full tube. You just don't need that much. Or just bring one of the little sample tubes from the dentist or "sample" area of the grocery store.


Sun May 20, 2012 10:23 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 656
Good idea about using shampoo for your soaping needs. I've been using shampoo for years that way, I can't remember the last time I actually purchased soap, I do get for guests the hotel soaps. I got CampSuds last year for Fest and liked it so much that I bought a gallon and use it at home too, for shampoo/shower soap. I got some plastic bottles with a fold down spout for camping. I like the way my hair feels with the CampSuds.

Lots of good ideas here! Keep 'em coming!


Sun May 20, 2012 11:16 am
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:50 pm
Posts: 260
Location: Maine
WW- what kind of store sells camp suds? Assume it is biodegradable?

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Sun May 20, 2012 12:49 pm
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:00 pm
Posts: 437
Campsuds is one brand of many brands of liquid biodegradable soap sold through camping supply stores and online stores (like REI, Eastern Mountain Sports, Campmor and Don Gleason's Camping Supply).
Here's another brand:
http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___84840
Camp Soap is safe for cleaning hands, body, hair, clothing, dishes, and more! Fragrance-free and works in fresh or salt water, and in hot or cold temperatures. Concentrated formula is biodegradable. Weight: 3 oz.

A number of years ago I wrote an article for Sea Kayaker magazine about soap you can use in salt water. . .what I learned doing that review (besides that washing your hair with ocean water in Maine in the early summer gives you a major ice cream screamy headache) is that the different soaps sold as "camp soap" really vary in their sudsyness, effectiveness in cold water, etc. . .

Another alternative is Dr. Bronner's which is biodegradable, comes in various scents (including baby soap that is unscented).

FYI. . .scented soaps/shampoos/etc. make you more attractive to mosquitoes and other biting bugs. When I used to lead womyn's outdoor trips, it was always fascinating to look around a circle of womyn and see clouds of bugs around some womyn's heads and no bugs around other womyn's heads. . . inevitably, the womyn with lots of bugs around their heads used fruity/herbal/etc. smelling shampoos and soaps.

So, along with biodegradable, I encourage you to use unscented body products. . . mostly because it is better for the many folks who are chemically sensitive to not be exposed to scents, but also to help reduce your attractiveness to those pesky little biting bugs. . .


Sun May 20, 2012 1:50 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:01 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Madison, WI
Dr. Bronner's BURNS in sensative places........ Try it at home first, if that's what you'd like to bring...... Alternative is to use Bronner's everywhere except scalp (no suds) and "down under", and use your shampoo there.


Sun May 20, 2012 2:37 pm
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:11 pm
Posts: 940
Location: Cambridge, MA
I got this fabulous soap that someone on this board recommended; wish I could remember what it's called. It comes in a bar, and you can use on your body and your hair. It's unscented and biodegradable. I cut the bar in half, and still have half leftover after last year. I love it.

I got it at my local health food store, and I'm pretty sure Whole Foods carries it too.


Sun May 20, 2012 6:03 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:00 pm
Posts: 656
Belzmom, I bought mine through Amazon. They have different sizes that one can buy. Since I plan on camping often this year, and happen to like using it on my hair and body, I got the gallon size. It's concentrated, not much in the way of suds, but it cleanses well.


Sun May 20, 2012 7:04 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 4
Location: North Star State
I use an old plastic snow sled for hauling camping gear..its easy and equipment can be stacked and bunged so you only have to make one trip from drop off to your camp site of choice.You could also use an ice fishing sled, may want to check the prices on this.


Thu May 31, 2012 10:58 pm
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Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:11 pm
Posts: 427
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
I still love my $58 collapsible wagon from k-mart/target - I made a cardboard table top so it double-duties.


Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:48 am
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:15 am
Posts: 67
Location: Southern Vermont
I love our variety! Reading this thread is reminding me of how unique we each are and how we come to Fest for different reasons. (One womon is leaving her screen tent at home while another is excitedly setting up a new one. One womon is trading in her thermarest for an air mattress. Another is switching from air mattress to thermarest.) Yet we all find joy in the Festival experience, in part because of the beauty of our diversity.

As for myself and my cutie, we just splurged on a double-wide Kelty brand self-inflating mattress, another sleeping bag that will zip together with one we have to make a big pocket, and quick-drying camp towels instead of standard, bulky terrycloth. I also bought a smaller stuff-pack pillow that I'll try out on a train trip in a couple weeks. I'm thinking that I will still want my regular pillow for Fest, but we'll see.


Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:15 am
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