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Basin Campground Late July 2017

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Offline Despoblado

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Basin Campground Late July 2017
« on: August 13, 2017, 03:31:05 PM »
I’ve been meaning to post this but just got around to it. My wife and I spent the week of July 23 in the Basin Campground. This post will be a little more informational than trip-reporty.

Short trip report – We camped in Site 52 for 4 nights and stayed in the lodge for 2 nights. We’ve been to Big Bend multiple times before, but it’s been 8-10 years since we’ve tent-camped there. It ended up being warmer that week than the week or two before and after, with no appreciable rain in the Basin that week. We ended up sitting around until 10 or later each night before getting in the tent to allow the temperature to drop some. We’re definitely car campers with a focus on comfort (especially as we get older), and thus take a bigger tent than we need, tiles for tent floor, solar shower, etc. to make it more enjoyable. We also tried a DC powered fridge/freezer this trip (ARB 50 quart) which kept orange juice slushy the whole week. Nice to never have to purchase ice and it worked fine in the bear box. I put 100-150 watts of solar panels atop the shade cover attached to a Goal Zero Yeti 400 power pack and that setup would have run the fridge indefinitely (was not in a daily power deficit). The goal of the trip was to be relaxing and not run around all week. We drove out to Dagger Flat (and got a flat), hiked to Boot Canyon (after having both my boot soles delaminate, thus thwarting our early start for a South Rim loop hike), of course did Lost Mine, sat around the campsite some, drove into Terlingua once (to get flat repaired and have dinner). All-in-all, was a good trip.

I thought I’d include a few tidbits that might be useful to future campers…

Shade cloth – We took a 10’ x 12’ 60% shade cloth which I had thought we might use over the tent. It ended up being perfect to clip onto the I-beams supporting the picnic table cover and draping on the East side in the morning, and the West in the evening, to give us shade during those low sun hours. Without the shade cloth, it would have really shortened our sitting-around-the-campsite times.

FM Radio – We pretty consistently could pick up 93.5 - KRTS Marfa Public radio by fiddling with radio placement and antenna orientation when we wanted.

Weather Radio – I had read that there was a NOAA Weather Radio transmitter in Alpine (162.550 Mhz?) but was never able to pull it in in the Basin. Turns out the weather was pretty calm that week anyway.

Cell phone/Wifi – We’d occasionally get service on our Verizon Wireless iPhones in the basin but not predictably. Kinda funny how sometimes a text or voicemail would sneak through. Wifi at the lodge and Visitor Center is nice but severely bandwidth limited with more than a couple users. VoIP via Facetime Audio or wireless carrier voice over wifi worked ok on a couple occasions to check up on an elderly parent.

Bear Box / Bear locker dimensions – I had searched for this but couldn’t find it beforehand. The usable interior dimensions of ours was 41”W x 26”T x 36”D. The latch assembly intrudes into the 26” height at the top center. A mylar emergency blanket easily covered the top and portions of the sides in attempt to cut down on solar heat gain.

That’s it for now. I’ll add more if I think of anything later.


Offline mule ears

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Re: Basin Campground Late July 2017
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2017, 03:51:15 PM »
That is all great information to help make summer camps more enjoyable, thanks.

And welcome to the board!
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water


Offline bam.bam

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Re: Basin Campground Late July 2017
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2017, 11:09:29 PM »
Thanks for sharing. I like all the things you do to be the master of your environment, I enjoy  doing the same.  Great tip on shade clothe. Solar cells WORK!  again , thanks



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