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  #1  
Old 05-26-2010, 11:00 AM
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Anyone Else Sleep In Their SUV At Hunting Camp


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As my boys were growing up, we did lots of camping out.
We used a tent pretty much every time.
Now the boys are married, but we still go to our property for weekend camping-hunting trips.

Putting up the tent and then repacking at the end of a hunt became a chore that took extra time, and since I often was there first and last to leave, I lost interest in doing the tent setup/breakdown by myself.

As time went by, we would occasionally stay at a motel that was about 18 miles from our place. The boys got kind of spoiled staying at the motel, and for a while it was the preferred thing to do. Bad part was that it reduced the time we would spend sitting around the camp fire and also required us to get up an hour earlier to make the drive to the property. Good part was being able to shower and be in a warm room in a real bed.

I have an SUV and decided that it could be my on-site abode if I emptied all the camping items out to make room for a cot. (I even am able to leave the windows open when its warm, by putting a mosquito net over the open windows.)

This past year, the boys decided to see if they were ready to give up the in-town motel room. All three of us now have SUVs and we now enjoy staying at our camp site, enjoying the fire and all till late each evening.

Anyone else find that their SUV is a good place to sleep, when at your camp site.
Bob Nisbet
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2010, 11:21 AM
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I have slept in, at one time or another, a '69 Dodge van, '71 International TravelAll, '89 Isuzu Amigo and even a '69 Triumph Spitfire. (Jeez, I sound like a homeless person, when I write it all out like that!)

The best option was the full-size van where the back of it had been converted into a bed. It was quite comfortable and in the California weather, was almost never too cold, even up in the mountains. Out there, mosquitoes aren't much of a worry, so even when it was warm at night, I could crack the windows and be comfortable.

These days, hunting where it's too cold for such silliness, I sleep in my own bed, or in a travel trailer/RV/hotel bed. I would like to say I miss the "good ol' days", and there are parts I sincerely DO miss, but those impromptu sleeping arrangements are not one of them! I definitely hunt better after a good night's sleep, which I often did not get when sleeping in a vehicle. If I lived where it was warmer, I would consider one of those tents that attaches to your SUV or truck, increasing the "living space", as it were.
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  #3  
Old 05-26-2010, 11:59 AM
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I was a state trooper for 22 years. Heck yea I have slept in my car.....

I have slept many hours in the back of my granddads pickup prior to opening day deer season.
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:00 PM
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I have at times spent the night in the car to be able to get out early without a lot of set up time, but my preferred method is still definitely a tent with a mess tent attached. Though I have also used a backpacking tent when further in the backcountry during warmer weather.
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2010, 01:22 PM
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Years ago and much younger, had a Chevy Suburban that I would drop the rear seats, move the cooler and stuff to one side and put my mattress and bag on the other. As above, had a net that draped over the back with the tailgate down. Set the Coleman stove on top of the cooler and even made hot water for breakfast instant oatmeal and coffee in the vehicle.

Nowdays, the motel with shower, bed and TV are just the ticket!
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:28 PM
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My dad and I used to sleep in the bed of his Dodge Dakota when hunting. We even did it once when it was -5 to -10 F! That was a bit unpleasant and I think we ended up spending more time in the cab with the engine running and the heater on.

I'd like to do it again someday when we can pull off another trip to the mountains.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:30 AM
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I used to use a 1 ton Ford with a slide in camper, and even used it to tour Europe while stationed in Italy, but now I just take the Old Bluebird Bus and stay in it with all the comforts of home.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:00 PM
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Yeah done that. Slept in the reclined driver seat of my Bronco many a time when I would head out late after work and get an early jump on a hike or a hunt in the morning. The Bronco didn't have quite enough room for me to stretch out in the back even with the seat folded down. Now that that truck has been gone a few years I really miss it, wish I never sold it. Now I have an explorer and it is still too short with the seats folded down to really stretch out but it does ok.
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Old 05-27-2010, 12:22 PM
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Helix - have an Expedition now, and even that is too short with the rear door closed. Guess it's the Chevy Suburban or upgrade to the Excursion.
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2010, 05:08 PM
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I have a four door pick-up that I can take a good nap in. Is real good for cold camping(Easy to fire-up the motor for heat prior to sleeping bag exit)!

Prefer a tent and sleeping bag though for the "stretch-out factor".

Midnight pee is allways a problem when camping. Sure feels good to get back into a warm bag after though!

Cheezywan
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  #11  
Old 05-27-2010, 05:23 PM
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My first vehicle was a 1970 Lincoln continental i got for 500 dollars had ac and a 460 v8 was a beast of a car car.

It was wide enough i could lay across front seat pretty comfy if cold it it was warm out i would sleep on hood witch was big enough that three guys could fit across it.

Now i have pickup with topper and i through a memory foam mattress topper in the bed and its superr comfy.

The memory foam mattress topper is best sleeping pad iv ever used you can through it on any kind of suface not even bother to clear sticks and rocks and you don't feel a thing. It takes a lot of space up in back of truck but iif you got the room its the only way to go.
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  #12  
Old 05-28-2010, 03:53 AM
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I think I have done it all. Cold and heat extremes are always the problem. If those aren't the skeeters are. We are using a tent now and it is super crowded with 4 big guys in it. One of the guys has been sleeping in his vehicle. We do leave the tent up all season and it usually makes it for 3 seasons. Our hunting is from Sept thru Dec.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2010, 03:06 AM
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I'll be 52 next week, and I have sworn off sleeping on the ground in a blasted tent. There isn't a sleeping pad made that's comfortable-enough to give me a decent night's sleep. I can sleep in my truck better. I have an '09 Tacoma TRD with the access cab. I just flop the seat all the way back and I bring a pillow. Done deal.

I have been thinking about getting one of those jungle hammocks, but I worry about being a hanging meal for bears.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2010, 07:52 PM
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For the summer camping in these parts, the suburban works great. Night can be in the 30's to the 60's in the mountains. Even if cold, I crack the windows. Hate to breathe my exhaust air all night! Can even fit two big dogs in with me!

For hunting camp, nothing better than a canvas wall tent with wood stove & cots with foam pads. Have to get off the ground in the cold weather.
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  #15  
Old 06-27-2010, 03:26 AM
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Slept in vehicle first time I went on a deer hunt in southern Il , the frost I had to scrape off inside was like it was glued to the glass.
Solution get an electric heater & go to campground with power NOT, the next year took a heater & there was an ice storm , roads at the N F campground were so slick couldn't stay on them even with 4 wheel drive,had to get out of there before I couldn't & got a motel room , was nice to have a bathtub to clean my muzzle loader.
Early 90's NW CO halloween weekend ,slept in back of same suv 2 nights @ -26 F
not fun got a touch of frostbite on toe from foot compressing bag against tailgate.
monday came, a couple of the guys had to return to work, got to move into a walltent w/ wood stove. Worst part of this trip was trying to eat ,most stuff got frozen solid ,A 5 gal waterjug sitting next to a woodstove had a thaw rate about the rate of coffee consumption.
Years back took an economy car on a trip instead of suv ,found out why first Christmass was in stable , They had dogs,couldn't get room with 2 english setters .
finaly pulled into a KOA , was too tired to set up tent ,kicked dogs out of back , had them sleep in driver & passenger seat,I slept in dog bed in the back of a Pinto wagon.After being up well over 24 hours I slept like a rock .
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  #16  
Old 06-27-2010, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Runnin Lead View Post
Slept in vehicle first time I went on a deer hunt in southern Il , the frost I had to scrape off inside was like it was glued to the glass.
Solution get an electric heater & go to campground with power NOT, the next year took a heater & there was an ice storm , roads at the N F campground were so slick couldn't stay on them even with 4 wheel drive,had to get out of there before I couldn't & got a motel room , was nice to have a bathtub to clean my muzzle loader.
Early 90's NW CO halloween weekend ,slept in back of same suv 2 nights @ -26 F
not fun got a touch of frostbite on toe from foot compressing bag against tailgate.
monday came, a couple of the guys had to return to work, got to move into a walltent w/ wood stove. Worst part of this trip was trying to eat ,most stuff got frozen solid ,A 5 gal waterjug sitting next to a woodstove had a thaw rate about the rate of coffee consumption.
Years back took an economy car on a trip instead of suv ,found out why first Christmass was in stable , They had dogs,couldn't get room with 2 english setters .
finaly pulled into a KOA , was too tired to set up tent ,kicked dogs out of back , had them sleep in driver & passenger seat,I slept in dog bed in the back of a Pinto wagon.After being up well over 24 hours I slept like a rock .
Man-o-man, it sounds like a couple of rough seasons!

Not to drift the thread much, but this kind of reminds me about cold winters growing up in Maine. When I was 12 (1970), my dad and his buddy Charlie took me hunting way up in northern Maine. We stayed in some cabin way out in a potato field. Its friggin cold. The cabin had no insulation, and my father and Charlie were drunk as skunks on whiskey for most of it. They were laughing and frying bacon and cooking a can of beans. They farted all night long.

That was about the only real hunting trip my father ever did. We didn't even see a deer. My dad sucked at hunting, but excelled at poaching deer. He and my Uncle Eddie would come in at night with five or six deer in the back of Eddie's truck, laughing and clapping each other on the backs. Mom and Aunt Geneva would be up helping the men cut up the meat and package it. They'd all be drinking Carlings Black Label beer, and listening to country music and having a good time. The women would be busy baking biscuits and frying some backstraps and eggs.

Me and my brothers loved those times, mainly because we got to stay up late, but also because mom and dad were in a good mood and things were good. Good times. Better times, imho.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:46 AM
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Well, I have but it sure is a pain to empty the SUV out to get room to sleep. Then, the rain starts and you have to deal with stuff outside the SUV! I have a 4 person Bibler tent with vestibule. Maybe 5-10 minutes to set up and stake down. Roomy, dry, has hangers for wet socks, the boots and dog stay in the vestibule. I even have a single burner stove that hangs from the ceiling. The Bibler is a single wall 4 season tent and weighs 7#s complete so it is packable.
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