DTA

Beach Camping Advice?

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I bought an RS Cat 14. I don't have it yet. It's on order.

Once I get it, my plan this year is to try and do a lot of overnight beach camping (I'll split weekends with my RS700 learning project). I'll sail down the Padre Island coast (Texas), find a secluded spot by myself, spend the night, and sail back.

I've done a lot of hiking and camping in my life, but always in a cool alpine environment. Never in a hot, sandy, wet environment where my gear had to travel on a boat that can, and will, capsize from time-to-time. So, I've really got no idea about this whole space.

Anyone have experience doing this sort of thing?

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Not so much on a cat. Mostly canoe and kayak.  Get some good dry bags. I have a large one that will also work as a pack and other various sizes. For performance, stowing close to the mast is more efficient but then it might not be good for the rigging. Either way, you'll have to sort it all out. If you've done some backpacking, pretty much the same kit to load. Knowing the weather is more important though. Instead of just being miserable, you could be in grave danger in some conditions.

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28 minutes ago, DTA said:

I bought an RS Cat 14. I don't have it yet. It's on order.

Once I get it, my plan this year is to try and do a lot of overnight beach camping (I'll split weekends with my RS700 learning project). I'll sail down the Padre Island coast (Texas), find a secluded spot by myself, spend the night, and sail back.

I've done a lot of hiking and camping in my life, but always in a cool alpine environment. Never in a hot, sandy, wet environment where my gear had to travel on a boat that can, and will, capsize from time-to-time. So, I've really got no idea about this whole space.

Anyone have experience doing this sort of thing?

What TF said. Hopefully you already have something like a tube tent with really good mosquito screens.

FB- Doug

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I've done a fair amount of beach camping while sailing. Because of all the sand, I prefer to sleep on a boat at anchor about 50 yards offshore. But depending on where you are and what you boat you are in, it's not always possible. Because I recently changed boats, I'll be doing a lot more sleeping on the beach going forward. 

It's basically the normal backpacking kit, but since you don't have schelp the load up and down mountains you can afford to add a few heavier items. 
 

You need really good dry bags. But you should also be prepared for them to leak, so anything that would be a bummer to get wet, like your sleeping bag or your camp clothes should be inside a trash compactor bag inside your drybag. 

Have one set of 'sacrosanct' camp clothes that are well packaged and that you will never never wear on the water. Coming in cold and wet and having a guaranteed set of warm and dry clothes can be a godsend. Package them back up and put on your wet gear from the previous day before you start breaking camp and loading the boat the next morning. 

Sand gets everywhere, and by everywhere, I mean everywhere. You just have to learn not to stress about it too much. There are a few things you can do that really help get the sand mostly off before getting in your tent at night. First and foremost, bring a bottle of talcum powder. Strip down outside your tent, apply the talcum powder liberally all over your body and brush it off. It really helps to dry your skin and remove most of the sand. Second is to place a plastic dishpan filled with about 3" of seawater outside your tent to use to wash the sand off your feet and out from between your toes. Then dry your feet with a microfiber towel and do the talcum powder treatment. Do all this and you'll sleep much less itchy. And you'll smell nice too. 

Just about any backpacking tent will do when beach camping. The one caveat is that you will need sand stakes. I just get the big plastic sand stakes from Walmart that are at least 12" long. Otherwise your tent is liable to blow off in a gust. At best your tent gets wet, but damage or total loss is a possibility as well. The Texas coast is notoriously windy, so a good quality dome-type tent is preferred. 

Bring a small chair or stool because sitting on the sand just gets you damp. 

The sand isn't that soft so bring a pad of some sort. It can get surprisingly cold laying on the bare sand without one, even in the summer. 

In warm and sticky conditions I like a flannel sheet instead of a sleeping bag. But also I carry a 50F rated bag, just in case. 

If you're doing any cooking, think about creating some kind of windbreak. 

Beach insects can be atrocious when the wind dies down: mosquitos, no-see-ums, etc. I carry a head net and have long pants and a long sleeve shirt as part of camp clothes. 

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Regarding tents - my plan was to keep it super light. I'll pull the Cat up onto the beach (no camping anchored offshore as there will be surf) and just sleep directly on the trampoline. My plan was just a tarp (for rain & wind) and mosquito netting. Mid-March through September in Texas is ridiculously warm, even at night. So, no real need for bedding, other than a camp pillow. All I'd need is a small Crazy-Creek for sitting. So, just: tarp, mosquito netting, dry bag with dry camp clothes and camp pillow, water, camping stove, fuel,  Crazy-Creek, and headlamp.

Reasonable?

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Only way to find out is to try it for yourself and see if it works. You'll want something waterproof to protect you from the tramp. The biggest issue with sleeping under the stars is you often get really heavy dew which makes for a cool and uncomfortable night, even at 80-85F and especially if there is any breeze at all. AI'd carry a tent just in case. It's also nice to have when showers threaten overnight. Just remember to stake it down well because a tent rolling in the wind will go down the beach or over the dunes a lot  faster than you can run. 

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Gold bond powder or the dollar store knock-off will get you through some rough times overnight. Do not get hooked on the green bottle  extra strength GB powder. Once that monkey is on your back it is really hard to get off and go back to the yellow bottle.

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15 hours ago, DTA said:

I bought an RS Cat 14. I don't have it yet. It's on order.

Once I get it, my plan this year is to try and do a lot of overnight beach camping (I'll split weekends with my RS700 learning project). I'll sail down the Padre Island coast (Texas), find a secluded spot by myself, spend the night, and sail back.

I've done a lot of hiking and camping in my life, but always in a cool alpine environment. Never in a hot, sandy, wet environment where my gear had to travel on a boat that can, and will, capsize from time-to-time. So, I've really got no idea about this whole space.

Anyone have experience doing this sort of thing?

Insects.....day, night...all the time 

hard to give any advice other than to be prepared..

outer island beaches are free of humans...wildlife and the ecology are before your eyes.

would be a good idea to tune into this stuff...perhaps speak to a local wildlife specialist , environmentalist   and find out what is happening in the region you plan to explore .

on small boats you are always wet.   Remember to pack a method to wash out the salt with fresh water and dry your clothing . It takes very little water to flush modern synthetic clothing 

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13 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

Gold bond powder or the dollar store knock-off will get you through some rough times overnight. Do not get hooked on the green bottle  extra strength GB powder. Once that monkey is on your back it is really hard to get off and go back to the yellow bottle.

Is that stuff legal? Sounds dangerous..... maybe I'll bring some GB green to the next regatta party   B)

FB- Doug

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1. Water

2. Sunscreen 

3 Bug juice, with a morning check of your entire body for ticks.

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Camped out at Sabine Pass and Holly Beach(east of you, and in Louisiana).  After and just before dark mosquitoes are savage!!  Get you stuff rigged before it gets dark, especially if it rains or has rained recently.  Have enough room in your mosquito proof enclosure to get dressed etc without getting outside.  If near where people drive on beach, maybe a reflector or something so you don't get run over in dark.  I got a Wally world sleeping bag for $8 that is the best warm weather bag ever.  It breathes but is roomy and packs into about a quart sized bag.  Campguard or yard guard spray around area before setting up camp helps esp if not windy.

There are so many adventures out there!!  Have fun!

 

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Camping on the beach at a state park on the Texas coast, my arm was in contact with the mosquito netting overnight. Next morning it was really swollen up. Ended up sleeping for hours the next day with fainting spells if I tried to stand up. Poisoned.  Dave Ellis

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Holiday Inn as a minimum!

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There's some hammock "tents" with built in mosquito netting. Also, lots of material on this topic at thebeachcats.com :-)

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Canoeing 5 gallon buckets with Gamma Lidsgamma_seal_lid.jpgmake for good places to carry & keep food dry as well as keep small critters and vermin out of the foodpack. If you want more storage space upgrade to a 6.5 gallon homebrew fermentation bucket (easy to find cheap) which'll take the same lid. Might be too  much windage for trampoline though.

 

in a pinch plastic bags (thicker ones) can work as sand stakes; buying some decent camping ones work better, but a self supporting tent is easiest to deal with. sand gets everywhere and wears out some stuff pretty quick.

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The bugs go crazy just after sunset, but they take a few minutes to realize you're there, so don't give them time to figure it out.  If you have to camp at sundown, don't walk around finding your camp site and then start pitching your tent.  Consider pitching your tent a ways away and then carry it, stake it down, toss your stuff inside and get inside as quick as possible.  Take a pee bottle so you don't have to get out at night.

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On 1/12/2018 at 12:38 PM, DTA said:

Regarding tents - my plan was to keep it super light. I'll pull the Cat up onto the beach (no camping anchored offshore as there will be surf) and just sleep directly on the trampoline. My plan was just a tarp (for rain & wind) and mosquito netting. Mid-March through September in Texas is ridiculously warm, even at night. So, no real need for bedding, other than a camp pillow. All I'd need is a small Crazy-Creek for sitting. So, just: tarp, mosquito netting, dry bag with dry camp clothes and camp pillow, water, camping stove, fuel,  Crazy-Creek, and headlamp.

Reasonable?

I was camping on Padre Island Seashore just last March, it was actually a little chilly! Great time of year to be there though, the water was cold but there were no bugs and we didnt miss air conditioning at all, there was a cool breeze the whole time.  

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