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Thread: Newbie on tent camping at Oshkosh, how do I do this properly?

  1. #1
    dragon2knight's Avatar
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    Newbie on tent camping at Oshkosh, how do I do this properly?

    Ok, let me start off by saying that I'm not even a pilot(yet!)and I've been dreaming of driving from NY to Oshkosh since I was 20y.o., I'm 54 now and finally have the time to do it. I'm not a rich guy, not by any stretch of the imagination, so renting a camper is out of the question. From what I've seen and read on here over the last few years, tent camping is the only affordable-ish way to do the show in it's entirety. While I haven't been camping since the Boyscouts, I'm willing to try this out----but I'm a bit skittish on it seeing on how folks with just tents are being treated on here. This is a concern for me. I'll be camping alone and with a single large tent. I plan on eating at the camp/show restaurants instead of cooking/eating on the campground as I honestly just want to do this for the show and plan on staying off the campgrounds for most of my stay there using it only really for sleeping/showering.

    I know exactly nothing about camping here, and despite reading as much as I can on this forum, I'm still not very enlightened on how to even do this. Do the cars get a separate parking lot or do you set up a tent right next to it on your campground? Are there enough showering/toilet facilities there for the amount of campers that show up? I've read numerous times that this place is HUGE, any tips on where to stay to limit my amount of really long walks to said showering/toilet facilities? I figured Wednesday the week before the show to be a good time to get there to get a decent campground, is that good or earlier is better(I have the time, I'm retired)? Honestly, anyone with major tent camping experience on here giving a new guy really wanting to be there some solid advice to make my first time a good time would be really appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    If you haven't already, check out the Camp Scholler website to get more specifics: https://eaa.org/airventure/plan-your.../camp-scholler Camping, although not everyone's cup of tea, can be a blast and EAA makes it pretty painless.

    1. It's "car" camping which means you park your vehicle on the campsite next to your tent.
    2. There's plenty of showers, plus porta potties (which they do a great job of keeping clean). There's also camp stores where you can buy food, drinks, ice, and some misc items if you forget something. Plus there's shuttle buses to Target and Uber/Lyft if you prefer or want to go to someplace else like Wal-mart and don't want to drive.
    3. Osh is huge and depending on when you show up you can be placed pretty far out, so it can be a bit of a hike to anything -- bringing a bicycle helps. IIRCyou can rent one too.

    Here's a sample list of items to bring:
    - Credit Card
    - Tent
    - Tent ground cloth
    - Camping chair
    - Sleeping bag or sheets/blanket and pillow
    - Air mattress (real nice to have)
    - Sunscreen
    - Comfortable walking shoes, preferably 2 pairs (in case onepair gets wet)
    - Hat
    - Jacket/hoodie (the cool night temps might not be anissue for you but for us southerners, it can get uncomfortably chilly)
    - Spare clothes
    - Dry bag or something you can put anything in you leave in your tent that you don’t want to get wet (unless you are 100% confident in your tent -- or just leave stuff in your car)
    - Shower/personal hygiene kit
    - Shower shoes/flip-flops
    - Towels
    - Phone
    - Phone Charger
    - Sun glasses
    - Baby wipes
    - Ear plugs
    - flashlight (I like the headlamp type to keep my hands free)
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 05-14-2019 at 10:09 AM.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
    I'll be camping alone and with a single large tent. I plan on eating at the camp/show restaurants instead of cooking/eating on the campground as I honestly just want to do this for the show and plan on staying off the campgrounds for most of my stay there using it only really for sleeping/showering.

    I know exactly nothing about camping here, and despite reading as much as I can on this forum, I'm still not very enlightened on how to even do this. Do the cars get a separate parking lot or do you set up a tent right next to it on your campground? Are there enough showering/toilet facilities there for the amount of campers that show up? I've read numerous times that this place is HUGE, any tips on where to stay to limit my amount of really long walks to said showering/toilet facilities? I figured Wednesday the week before the show to be a good time to get there to get a decent campground, is that good or earlier is better(I have the time, I'm retired)? Honestly, anyone with major tent camping experience on here giving a new guy really wanting to be there some solid advice to make my first time a good time would be really appreciated, thanks!
    There's tons of resources available to answer your question. The AirVenture site itself is a GREAT resource

    https://www.eaa.org/airventure/plan-.../camp-scholler

    Drive your car into through the camp scholler entry point. You'll be stopped by volunteers. Get out and register. You can pre-buy tickets, or buy at the window. Then drive onto the campground, find a 'spot', park your car and set up your tent next to it.

    There are literally hundreds of porta potties in the campground. There are shower houses with plenty of stalls. Like anything, there are 'peak' times where there might be a crowd. I've never waited for a open shower. Look at the maps to find out where they are and keep that in mind as you drive around looking for a spot.

    Yes, you can get by with only buying food rather than cooking at your site. There are several camp stores with munchies and drinks you can lug bag to the tent if you want.

    Wednesday before is plenty early. You'll be able to find nice spots. Saturday and Sunday before, and you'll end up in the south neverlands. I get there Friday morning and end up in "101 woods" which is pretty nice.

    Bring a bicycle. You'll never get there early enough to get a spot that is super close. Bring a folding chair to sit on. Bring lots of Deet. Bring earplugs.

    Edit: Wow, the guy above me simulposted with a better response than mine! At least we didn't give contradictory information.

  4. #4
    dragon2knight's Avatar
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    Wow, both of you guys gave some excellent advice, thanks so much! I was going to hoof it to where I needed to go, but now I'm looking into electric scooters(I can't bike, my back won't let me). Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon2knight View Post
    Wow, both of you guys gave some excellent advice, thanks so much! I was going to hoof it to where I needed to go, but now I'm looking into electric scooters(I can't bike, my back won't let me). Thanks again!
    Ouch -- with a bad back I'd add bring a big bottle of your favorite pain killer as camping can take a toll on your body, especially if you aren't used to sleeping on the ground. I'd also say a quality air mattress (not the pool kind) just went from the nice to bring to the must bring category if your back is such you can't ride a bike. A battery powered air pump to blow it up would be a good suggestion too.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  6. #6
    dragon2knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    Ouch -- with a bad back I'd add bring a big bottle of your favorite pain killer as camping can take a toll on your body, especially if you aren't used to sleeping on the ground. I'd also say a quality air mattress (not the pool kind) just went from the nice to bring to the must bring category if your back is such you can't ride a bike. A battery powered air pump to blow it up would be a good suggestion too.
    Oh yeah, I know that,lol. I've already got most of my gear and the very first thing I got, before even the tent,was a nice Coleman spring suspended cot with foam mattress I've tried it out and it''s really comfy. Air mattress's and me have a long history, I just altogether avoid them now. My tent also allows me to stand up(and then some, it's a teepee style tent), that also helps with the back. I'm pretty well prepared for this, just needed to know how to actually do it, thanks again!

  7. #7
    One more thing... learn how to get your tent tied down TIGHT. And then tighten it some more. Every year, without fail, there will be at least one "major" weather event that involves some pretty impressive winds and puh-LENTY of rain by the bucket load. Every time this happens, there are tales of tents rolling across the fields, someone's screen shelter blowing across the flight line, etc. If your tent only comes with those tiny little bent metal stakes, head out to an REI and buy some real stakes that stay driven into the ground.

    Speaking of water, be sure you waterproof your tent seams (all of them, from top to bottom, both inside and out) before coming to OSH. Nothing worse than a wet tent. Skip the suitcase and pack pretty much everything in plastic tubs.

  8. #8

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    I would add bring some bug spray. One year at Scholler the mosquitoes and chiggers ate up my feet and ankles. Speaking of feet, wear very comfortable shoes and socks. I usually wear my Brooks running shoes and often walk 10 miles in a day.

    +1 on some good tent stakes. I use these.

    I normally camp in the North 40 but this year I will be staying for the entire week in Scholler. I'm bringing my big 6 person Marmot tent for the extra room (I normally camp in a small 2 person tent by the plane). I usually bring food to eat breakfast at camp, eat lunch at the show, and in the evening meet up with a group of friends and visit one of the local restaurants in town. I always take my shower at night after dinner, 8-9ish, and usually the shower house is mostly empty by that time.

    Congrats on finally making it to Oshkosh! 2015 was my first year and I have been back every year since

  9. #9

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    One item I don't see in the other responses is that if you plan to use your car during your time there, bring some extra stakes and some rope or streamer to mark off your parking spot. There are not marked campsites, and while most people are polite with regard to giving some space, if it is not marked someone might think your parking space is open ground.

  10. #10
    dragon2knight's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the great advice!! I think I might change my choice of tent if the winds get that bad. Also will definitely get some better stakes, thats easy enough. Good idea on the car spot, will also add it to the list. Glad I asked about all of this, it's gonna be really helpful!!

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