Can being military or other combat individual influence your camping?

2:09 a.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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I know it affects they way I camp and hike and was wondering if it's just me or if other feel the same?

9:34 a.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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Undoubtedly it does, but you will get over it.  I had done a fair amount of climbing and camping before i entered the military and I found the military style rather doltish and amateurish...There's the right way, the wrong way, and the Army way.

10:41 a.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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I would have to say no for me..I was still backpacking and camping while on active duty..So I kept them separate....One was mission the rest was to relax...

11:29 a.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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No, but we were brought up with Army surplus equipment.

12:51 p.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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I was never in the service but grew up in a military town and I've camped and hiked with military folks.

I must say it's nice to go out with folks who know how to show up on time, get up early, and cover ground.

Not that I don't have days where I prefer to do nothing....

2:15 p.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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I must give the Army some credit.  First i was stationed in Colorado, so i did Longs Peak East face,and several other 14ers (On a slow summer day, I could grab my pass and do Pikes Peak before dark).  Later on in Korea, I did a few summits and scored Fuji on a memorable R&R

3:42 p.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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Not really excepting the Army taught me often what good recreational outdoor equipment wasn't.  What the Army did is get my to areas I'd have never been fortunate enough to get into otherwise.

7:05 p.m. on December 18, 2015 (EST)
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I was in the Navy 40 years ago, and I find the only aspect of it that affects me outdoors is that I was a lookout on the bridge of a ship so when I scan the area's I am in with binoculars I tend to do it the same way I did as lookout. Meaning I look more at the details than just looking.

Before the military I had only done Boy Scout style camping and backpacking. A year after I left the Navy in 1976 in the summer of 1977 I started my lifestyle of adventure travel by hitch hiking 10,000 miles around the USA in four month and that is how all my outdoor pursuits started to evolve.

I cooked in the Navy and so about the only thing the military did for me was give me two years experience of cooking for a large amount of people furthering my working career as a chef.

9:54 a.m. on December 19, 2015 (EST)
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My crazy years in the Air Force '69-'73 caused me to run screaming from politicians and modern Syphilization and embrace the outdoors in whatever way I could---and I didn't care if I had to become a homeless hobo to do it.

When you experience an entire military system descending into Lunacy and headed up by guys like LBJ and Tricky Dicky, well, a pair of boots and a cheap Kelty packback and finding an unbroken wilderness area is on the top of your To Do List when your DEROS approaches. 

My Airman's Date Eligible for Return From Overseas was the only ticket I needed to punch to get the hell out and back in the forest.  So yes, my military experience severely influenced my future camping.

10:41 p.m. on December 20, 2015 (EST)
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One thing I hate while camping is clutter, I tend to keep all my gear packed except what I'm using at the time and like a neat, organized tent & campsite. Proper latrine discipline is also very important. I've noticed that GENERALLY, ex-military people do this more readily than others. Having it constantly beaten into your head by drill sergeants, section chiefs/squad leaders, platoon sergeants, and first sergeants may result in a shallower learning curve than learning at the school of hard knocks when you lose something, have it damaged, or can smell the latrine after a few days in a long-term campsite.

10:23 p.m. on December 21, 2015 (EST)
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My thanks to everyone who served our country through military service.

5:06 a.m. on December 25, 2015 (EST)
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I think Phil hit on something with being packed and unpacked..But I got that from scouts prior to being in the military...I still can break camp in 15 mins..People are surprised I am so fast...

7:21 a.m. on December 26, 2015 (EST)
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Most of my scout leaders were ex-military and taught us to keep our camp & tents neat. To me the biggest reason for a neat campsite is gear accountability - like I used to tell my soldiers, you're issued that gear because a few thousand years of hard-earned experience has taught soldiers that this is what you need in order to survive long enough to fight and keep you as healthy as possible. Which is why you have to take care of it, so it can take care of you. Same goes for everything else, from your boots to your rifle to whatever vehicle of whic you're part of the crew.

Since getting out of the army I've worked as a mechanic, and take care of my tools the same way. It may not be a life or death situation, but if I lose something I can't do my job and I have to buy something twice. It's easier and makes more sense to keep the work area neat and put tools away when I'm not using them so I can give more money to REI than the Matco or Snap-on dealer. 

7:55 a.m. on December 26, 2015 (EST)
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You don't have to have a military or scouting background to appreciate the benefits of gear organization and control. I always preach there are two places an item should be, in use or in its spot in the pack. Set it on the ground for even a second and you risk not seeing it again or worse yet, seeing it after a long hike back to where you left it.

To answer the original question posed; Yes, everything we've done can influence our camping. We are the sum of our experiences and that is what we bring out on the trail with us. That's not really important though. What matters is what (or who) we bring back when we return.

November 20, 2019
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