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#199139 - 09/20/17 08:36 AM In tent entertainment
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
There was a discussion on a local Facebook group about in tent entertainment. I am wondering what others take. Since I am a solo hiker and at this time of year it gets dark early and there are a lot of hours spent in a tent I take my Kindle Paperwhite for reading and a small radio to listen to things like newscasts. I also take a basic Android phone which allows phone calls when a signal is available and text messages. Since I have limited data it is not used for maps etc. For reading on the phone it burns through battery at an alarming rate. Others take a paper book, read on their phone, and just enjoy nature in silence.

I am curious what others take along. I am sure that being solo makes a difference. With a group there are others to talk to and campfire chatter is an option.

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#199140 - 09/20/17 08:58 AM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
I take my iPhone and ear buds along for short trips. I have downloaded a lot of music and have a Kindle app with a number of books aboard. For longer trips I bring an aging iPod Mini with my music, my iPhone for reading and whatever communication is available and a small battery charger. But, truth be told, I'm usually tired enough after a day's walking that if I lay down in my tent, I go to sleep.
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#199143 - 09/20/17 12:51 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I've loaded up my phone with audio books and listen to those in the tent. As long as I put it in airplane mode, the battery life isn't an issue on short trips (all I've done so far).

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#199145 - 09/20/17 01:14 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 115
Loc: PNW
I bring a paper book along if I think I'll have lots of in-camp time or in-tent time.

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#199146 - 09/20/17 02:07 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2835
Loc: Portland, OR
I spend a lot of time in used bookstores and one of the things I look for are lightweight paperback books suitable for backpacking. I try to have a selection of 6 or 8 titles set aside that I can choose from, depending on what sounds interesting. Average weight: about 4.5 oz. That's my main in-tent entertainment.

I also own a 1 oz. mp3 player w/ 2GB of music that I can take if I wish. Sometimes I take a small notebook in which I can write notes about what I've seen or thought about on the hike. I might spend a few minutes reviewing the photos I've taken, but that's a pretty minor pastime in terms of how long it occupies me, usually no more than 10 or 12 minutes at most.

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#199147 - 09/20/17 07:43 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1338
Loc: Southwest Ohio
My main in-tent entertainment is:
1. Sleeping.
2. Killing all the little flying nasties that follow me in.
3. Skunks - even more entertaining when it's not my tent. smile

All kidding aside, I tend to go to bed when it's dark, and get up with, or just before, the sun clears the horizon. Sometimes, I'll spend a few minutes looking at tomorrow's route on the map, or even bring a map for somewhere else and plan the next trip.

In my younger days, when I traveled with others and shared a two-person tent, I'd take a deck of cards. When solo tents became available, and I began hiking solo (or with someone who is like-minded about bedding down and rising early - in his solo tent), the cards stopped going along.

On a clear night, when I don't need/want the fly on, stargazing through the roof of the mesh inner tent is a nice way to drift off to sleep.

For sheer amusement, usually before tent-time, you can't beat watching folks try to set up a bear bag.

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#199148 - 09/20/17 10:33 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: Glenn Roberts]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
For sheer amusement, usually before tent-time, you can't beat watching folks try to set up a bear bag.


If I'd been there, you would have died laughing! I couldn'thit the side of a barn if I were inside it!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#199149 - 09/21/17 12:57 AM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: OregonMouse]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
I backpack with my wife, so we have each other to entertain. Sometimes she brings a book...but I find it pretty peaceful just to lie in the tent and be in the moment. Of course, that often leads to me being in deep slumber...
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#199150 - 09/21/17 06:20 AM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: Glenn Roberts]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
The problem for me is that at this time of year is that sunset is at 7:30 PM and sunrise is 7:30 AM. That makes 12 hours of tent time. In the summer time the bugs are bad and being outside of the tent is not a pleasant experience. If I fall asleep at 8:00 I know that I will be wide awake at 3:00 and just stare at the ceiling until I now have to get up to pee. Easier to just read or listen to the radio until 10:30 and I will still wake up at 5:30 which is my usual sleep cycle but that is better than spending 3 or 4 hours waiting for daylight.

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#199151 - 09/21/17 11:57 AM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
I usually download a book or two and some games that don't require internet access onto my phone. I used to bring a book, but my phone phone is lighter and has more options. Games that don't require internet access usually cost a couple bucks, but it is worth it. My favorites are Limbo, Brain It On!, and I believe the original Plants Vs. Zombies doesn't require internet. My phone has become the ultimate multi-use tool for enjoyment purposes in the backcountry.

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#199152 - 09/21/17 02:29 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: BZH]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
It appears that my problem is that my phone does not hold a charge as long as others do. I have a prepaid Tracfone which costs me about $10 per month and the basic phone cost me about $50. I cannot begin to justify a phone bill of $50/month. I make about 2 to 5 calls per week and text a couple of times per month. If I just use the phone to make phone calls the charge is down to 50% at the end of the week. If I use it to do things like check email the charge is down to 50% in two days. I would guess that reading a book would discharge the battery in one or two nights. I have access to a computer or my Kindle on WiFi almost full time so I really do not have a lot of use for an iPhone.

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#199154 - 09/21/17 06:17 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
yup, battery life is the big draw back. It does improve a bit in the backcountry if you turn off Wifi and turn on airplane mode. I believe I have the last Samsung that has an interchangeable battery. I bring a spare or two with me.... but alas this option is becoming a thing of the past. A friend brought a battery charger and it seemed to work pretty well. I guess a phone and a hefty battery charger would weigh as much as an e-reader, but would have more functions.

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#199155 - 09/21/17 06:26 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1338
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Getting up to pee - how could I have forgotten to include that on the list?!! (It would even qualify as in-tent if you use a P-bottle.)

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#199159 - 09/22/17 12:17 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
Jeffrey Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/11/17
Posts: 13
Loc: New York, NY
Usually, I take crosswords or sudoku to make my leisure less boring. It may kill some time during short hikes.

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#199166 - 09/24/17 12:31 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I don't bring or really use anything. I spend so much time staring at monitors that reading with a phone is more like work than entertainment. I've carried paperback books with me a few times, but it's not very comfortable lying in a tent trying to read them, so I didn't spend much time doing that and stopped bringing them.

I generally just sit in front of my campfire and ponder, look at the stars, listen to the forest, and relax until I get in my tent and fall asleep. But my trips are not very long, generally not more than 3 nights and by then I get bored with myself so I'm ready to come back.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#199172 - 09/24/17 08:09 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
Depends on your style of backpacking. If you do long miles each day, there really is not a lot of boring tent time. If on the other hand, you stop at 2-3 in the afternoon you have a lot of time on your hands. My "entertainment" then is fishing. I may fish the daylight hours and then cook dinner in the dark, with a lamp (I like the small Luci solar lantern at 3 oz). As for inside tent, I have a 1-oz I-pod that I use for music or books on tape. It has about 8-10 hours battery life, so on a 9-day trip I can do about an hour a night.

I seem to have my days filled, either with walking, fishing, photographing, camp chores or exploring that I really do not have much need for in-tent entertainment. I also have no problem sleeping 9-10 hours. I do not need to have constant activity or mental stimulation. I guess that is more charteristic of we old folks who grew up without all the current entertainment and spent a lot of time just sitting in the woods contemplating life.

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#199184 - 09/25/17 02:24 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: wandering_daisy]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6371
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I absolutely cannot spend 12 hours or more a night cooped up in a tent, which is why you won't find me going out overnight between October and March!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#199189 - 09/26/17 03:17 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: OregonMouse]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2742
Loc: California
OM, if you lived farther south, you would not have to spend 12 hours in a tent for late season hiking. I can sympathize, however, because I grew up in Spokane WA and remember going to school in the dark, coming home and it being dark by 4PM.

I have also had to retreat to the tent in the summer- due to swarms of mosquitoes! Just as bad!

It really helps to go with a good group of people when you have to spend more time in the tent. Conversation helps.

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#199191 - 09/26/17 06:55 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: wandering_daisy]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1338
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I didn't check the previous posts, but one thought if you do, for whatever reason, find that you consistently spend a lot of time in a tent not sleeping:

Consider getting a two person tent, even if you can get by with a solo tent. Yes, you may end up carrying half a pound or a pound more, but the extra space to sit up, stretch out, spread out your gear, or just have some floor space for playing solitaire.

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#199261 - 10/11/17 02:10 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: GrumpyGord]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 627
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By GrumpyGord
It appears that my problem is that my phone does not hold a charge as long as others do. I have a prepaid Tracfone which costs me about $10 per month and the basic phone cost me about $50. I cannot begin to justify a phone bill of $50/month. I make about 2 to 5 calls per week and text a couple of times per month. If I just use the phone to make phone calls the charge is down to 50% at the end of the week. If I use it to do things like check email the charge is down to 50% in two days. I would guess that reading a book would discharge the battery in one or two nights. I have access to a computer or my Kindle on WiFi almost full time so I really do not have a lot of use for an iPhone.


If using a phone as backcountry entertainment or navigation ever became something you were interested in doing, you could always get a used, deactivated phone or an ipod touch. People are a bit nuts about upgrading to the latest and greatest, so you can get the second most recent model for a song sometimes. If you know who to ask, they might even give it to you for free. And, without the cellular data turned out, the battery life is far better.

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#199264 - 10/11/17 07:20 PM Re: In tent entertainment [Re: 4evrplan]
GrumpyGord Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 846
Loc: Michigan
I already have a Kindle Paperwhite which is light and holds a charge for a week even using it for 3 to 4 hours per day. That with my cell phone to make the occasional phone call really take care of it.

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