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Thread: Equipment Suggestions for Airplane Camping

  1. #1

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    Equipment Suggestions for Airplane Camping

    I am finally getting my plane sorted, and I basically want to spend my spring and summer camping at a new spot every weekend (this may be a bit optimistic).

    I am currently in a position where the only camping equipment I have left is a cot pad and a camp stove (due to moving, job changes, giving stuff away, loaning equipment and just not camping for a few years).

    So, starting from scratch, what equipment would the more experienced airplane campers suggest?

    I have a Grumman AA1C (Yankee/T-Cat). Most of my camping will just be me, but I would like the option of bringing a date for an overnight (again that optimistic side).
    1978 Grumman AA1C w/O-320

  2. #2

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    Get a name brand, aluminium pole, low profile 3 person tent (which will work well for 2), some lightweight air mattresses off of Amazon, and a couple of lightweight folding chairs off of Amazon. I prefer to bring sheets and blankets to camp under, but a sleeping bag of equal warmth will usually be much lighter.

  3. #3
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    Just about everyone in our crowd uses the Cabelas Arctic Guide domes. They will stand up to an Oshkosh thunderstorm.
    I bring an Aeropress and a JetBoil.

  4. #4
    lnuss's Avatar
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    Gear made for backpacking is light and compact, making it good for aircraft, especially something like your Grumman. My "air mattress" choice would be a Thermarest, which is light, comfortable and self inflating (unroll it and give it a few minutes). Stores such as REI have quite the selection, though of course you can find some form of camping gear at Walmart and such, but Cabelas, Sportsman's Warehouse and such can be a decent source, but tend to be aimed more towards hunters and fishermen, so their stuff may not be as light and compact.

    Larry N.

  5. #5
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    I agree with Larry. You have a couple of challenges.

    First, shop for gear that is light weight and packable. Almost all stores and online sources cater to back packers for lightweight gear. Like he said you can buy a sleeping bag at Walmart but it rolls up into the size of a 5 gallon paint bucket or you can spend a few extra bucks and buy a compressible bag that is the size of a football or less.

    Second, AV, SNF, Triple Tree and the like all have great amenities that you won’t find elsewhere. I know that that there is one state park in our area you can fly into but its primitive camping. That means dragging along food, snacks, maybe even water etc. If you’re lucky the FBO might let you have access to restrooms and water overnight. Try finding a bush pilot group and see what products they recommend. As a fellow Atlanta resident you get the weather variability thing. Oh yeah, don’t forget the tie downs.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  6. #6

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    If you want to eat hot food or drinks your going to need something to cook with. You can spend $150 on a multi-fuel stove so you can burn auto fuel or Avgas but for just a few overnight trips you might try a AOTU Portable Camping Stove. It uses the disposable butane fuel canisters which I'm sure some folks will object to. Many of those objections would be legitimate if you were backpacking, but your not. This stove will have it's limitations but your not going to find a smaller lighter stove and you can buy it on Amazon for $10.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ripTTB6CcU




  7. #7
    lnuss's Avatar
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    Try finding a bush pilot group and see what products they recommend.
    So long as he doesn't try to treat the AA1 as a bush plane, especially at higher elevations. That laminar wing can be treacherous, as one of our instructors discovered on a warm Albuquerque day. He landed in a cemetery just off the runway end).

    Larry N.

  8. #8
    gbrasch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    Just about everyone in our crowd uses the Cabelas Arctic Guide domes. They will stand up to an Oshkosh thunderstorm.
    I bring an Aeropress and a JetBoil.
    Ron, doing a search, I find "Alaska Guide" but no "Arctic" guide tents, do you have a link? Thanks, Glenn
    Glenn Brasch
    KRYN Tucson, Arizona
    2013 RV-9A
    Medevac helicopter pilot (Ret)
    EAA member since 1980
    Owner, "Airport Courtesy Cars" website.
    www.airportcourtesycars.com
    Volunteer Mentor www.SoAZTeenAviation.org

  9. #9
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    It's Alaska guide. My mistake.

  10. #10
    Dana's Avatar
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    What Larry said, backpacking gear is going to be lighter and better quality. I don't use a tent; instead I use a bivy sack (a gore-tex sleeping bag cover) and sleep under the wing. But if I was going to be camping someplace busy like Oshkosh I'd bring a tent for privacy, might also consider a tent in bug season.

    When I flew my Starduster home over 4 days (3 nights camping) this is what I brought, much of the same stuff I use for backpacking. Of course my baggage space was a lot smaller than an AA1's! I only cooked breakfast (oatmeal and coffee), had snacks for lunch and got dinner along the way, otherwise the cooking gear would be different.

    • Hyke & Byke 32 down sleeping bag
    • Outdoor Research bivy sack
    • Therm-a-Rest NeoAir air mattress
    • Marmot inflatable pillow
    • Trangia-style alcohol stove
    • Bottle of fuel for stove
    • MSR Seagull cook pot
    • Collapsible silicone cup (for coffee)
    • Plastic spoon
    • Paper cups (for oatmeal, saving cleanup)

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