Baja Camp Tour…

17 01 2011

Bird's eye view of my camp...

Here is a shot of my camp in La Ventana Baja Mexico.  The square silver shed to the right isn’t mine it belongs to a windsurfer who keeps his sails and boards out of the sun inside.  I’m just using it for privacy and a bit of a windbreak.  Of note is the fact I can walk to the Sea of Cortez to kite in 30 seconds!  Very key…=-)

More exciting detail...

My camp consists of:

  • Big Agnes Big House 4 person tent + vestibule
  • living room [chairs and coleman table]
  • sun-shelter
  • kitchen [under sun-shelter]
  • Mazda truck

Living room...

This is my living room.  The ideal place to enjoy a cup of tea in the AM as the sun peeks over the edge of the rise behind me.  Note my competing reading material – project management study guides and Bicycle Quarterly back issues!

These chairs from REI are great and have lasted several years of 100+ days of camping not to mention all the bumping around in my truck.  The mesh breathes well, is durable and when it rains the water just falls through so it dries fast.

I love these Coleman tables…my oldest is over 10yrs old and is going strong. I’ve tried other camp tables, but nothing has made me as happy.

My kitchen...

This kitchen looks modest, but I can crank out a 4 course meal no problem.  I have a large BBQ sized propane tank fueling the stove for 2 months at a time.  I use a teflon grill for almost all my non-liquid cooking needs and love it.  I use a MSR teflon cook set for the boiling water, cooking rice/pasta, etc…  It’s big enough for 2 people everyday and 4-5 people for a meal or two.  I keep everything in a small rubbermaid box so it’s always ready to roll. I’m pretty carefully to make a note when I lose, break, run out, etc… of something so I can replace it.

My 10 yr+ old Coleman table gets kitchen duty because it’s a bit beat up and gnarly looking. The large Coleman cooler does a good job of keeping my beer and supplies cold. It’s big enough for 2 people for a week.  I want to move to an electric fridge in my next iteration of my truck camping setup.

The large box under the table is full of dry and canned food from home…including spices and curry packages.

Shade!

This sun-shelter has been to Burning Man and is a good design for withstanding high winds.  It’s heavy and bulky, but for truck camping that’s not a huge deal.  It’s nice to have some shade even in the winter.  It does occasionally rain in the desert and by strategic placement of a tarp, truck and that guy’s shed I can get a lot of privacy.  I use the shelter as a place to hang wet gear.

Big Agnes tent and huge vestibule...

Camping for a month or two at a time requires a comfy tent that can withstand a lot of wind. This Big Agnes Big House 4 is a great choice – especially with the optional vestibule.  It’s light and compact for it’s size so it can fit into a limited sized vehicle.  I’ve camped in low cost department store family tents and they don’t compare at all in terms of quality, strength and durability.

The vestibule is sized nicely for my kites and boards...

I love the vestibule for my gear.  It’s too low to use as an entrance, but for gear it’s ideal and if I had to cook in the rain it would also be ideal.  Note that I leave $5000+ of gear unlocked all day and night in Mexico and none of it goes missing.  I love this place!

Kite gear for two...

This is my Baja quiver for Sharon and I:

  • Naish Code 9m & 12M
  • Naish Cult 6m
  • Ocean Rodeo Rise 8m & 10M
  • Ocean Rodeo Mako 140cm
  • RRD 144cm x 47cm twin tip
  • Slingshot Tyrant 6’2″ surfboard
  • Liquid Force Kitefish

The sleep zone...

I don’t spend much time inside my tent since the weather is so nice all day and into the evening.  I have a queen sized double high air mattress for when Sharon shows up, but for myself I use a more spartan setup.  I started with an ultralight thermarest and then added a Exped Downmat 9 air mattress on top of it.  That’s been fine for me.  The exact air pressure in the Downmat is critical….too much feels like a rock and too soft is like sleeping on a waterbed that wants to spit you off.  I need a bit more air in it and it should be perfect.

I like the fact that I can stand up inside this tent and that the colours are bright and cheerful.

Truck and bike...

My trusty Mazda hasn’t moved since I got down here.  It acts as a windbreak and privacy screen.  It also gives me something to lock my bike to and provides storage.

My closet...

Since I don’t drive it I use the cab of my truck as a closet for stuff I want to keep out of the sun and sand/dust, but need frequently.

Charging station...

One upgrade I’m stoked about for this year is adding a deep cycle marine battery to my truck camping setup.  This lets me charge my laptop and small AA/AAA batteries.  I will get a boom box and some external lighting when I get home.  This way I can use as much power as I like without killing my truck battery.  That small red Honda generator is quiet and efficient for a weekly recharge of the battery.  I’ll get a solar pannel or two this year so I can ditch the generator.

I store my surfboard and extra gear in the back of the truck...

The back of my truck is used for extra storage of stuff I don’t use a lot or stuff that needs to stay cool/out of the sun. I can never keep it organized!  Maybe I’ll work on that today.

Hoop and fuel!

These are the supplies for my flaming hoop act for Burning Man in 2012….=-)~