Camping with Instruments

Camping with Instruments

Hello all

I am a big fan of both fiddling and camping. I have never taken my fiddle with me, though, always fearing that it would be relegated to kindling by the time the trip was over. I was thinking about getting a cheap beater fiddle for camping, but don’t know if that would even hold up. When I go camping, there tends to be a lot of portaging, so the fiddle would likely need to be in some kind of protective case (preferably water-tight), but weight is an issue, as everything must be carried across the portages. Does anyone have any experience with camping with a fiddle or similar instrument.
Thank you

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Yeah - camp with mandolin all the time. Never had any problem.

Once its inside a decent hard case, an instrument is far better insulated from the outside atmosphere than most people imagine. Wrapped in polythene - even more so.

If in doubt - do as you say and try it with a dispensible one.

Suggest that when you come to the portages, you get one of the more reliable native bearers to carry the instrument.

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That WipLstix thing is cool, but I doubt the sound of it would make you actually want to play it.

Meisel makes a form-shaped, hard case with backpack straps that I’ve used successfully. Bring some trash bags with you and wrap it in there. Maybe jam some rags in there to give it a bit more cushion for when you’re leaping over cliffs to avoid the bears. If it gets really cold at night, just be sure to not open the case until the temp comes up a bit the next day, that’ll protect it.

If you own a composite bow, take that.

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I always thought camping with musical instruments was fairly common, especially while attending festivals. However, I don’t have so much experience of serious outdoor life. I’m more of weekend camper and don’t even bother with cooking etc. Sometimes, it’s daylight before I get a sleep if the late night sessions are good. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thank you all of the advice. jim troy, I do not understand your post

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Couple of years ago I took my mandola down the Main Salmon River, here in Idaho. I built my Mackenzie Dory for that trip, it was her maiden voyage, about 120 miles of up to class IV rapids. I wrapped the mandola in her case inside a garbage sack, and stuck her in the drybox I built. She never took a scratch, and still plays sweet as ever, maybe even sweeter. Most all of my friends who play in our local sessions also are river-runners, and we all take our instruments, fiddles, mandolins, guitars, and I’ve even heard of a set of pipes making the Middle Fork Salmon run, with piper attached. Got to admit, if you go overboard, those pipes may be the flotation that makes the difference. And in thick weather, double as a foghorn.

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Come on Jim Troy, come out with it ๐Ÿ™‚
That Wiplstix’s brilliant, specially the inflatable chin rest feature !!!

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We cover the stringed instruments with newspaper inside the tent against direct sunlight and have only once had a problem when the glue melted in an old guitar. I think the bigger the instrument is, the more likely it is to have problems.

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Ooh err missus!

Well someone had to, you’re all so grown-up.

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Don’t leave it in a tent, or anywhere else, in direct sunlight, whether in or out of a hard-shell case - tents heat up in the sun almost as badly as cars. My old greek bouzouki cracked in the neck in a tent. If anything could take the heat, you’ld have thought a greek bouzouki could.

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Nobody understands Jim Troy’s posts.

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I thought everyone would understand Jim’s post!!!! Where’s the European contingent tonight?
Well, carry on camping fellows…

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We might have a chance of understanding them if he stopped writing them in his own private langauge.

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Oh pooh, I understand Jim just fine.

But then I was the only one in my family who could read my grandmother’s handwriting, so maybe I have an unfair advantage.

You go right on, Jim. I think you’re a hoot and a half. And you’ve got this lot gauged pretty well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Oh, as to the camping (which I will be doing myself in about six weeks!), I would agree with the advice about a hard case well-padded, and a composite bow. Try to get a case that’s set up to sling across the back, as that makes it easier to carry across the portages. And yes, don’t let it get any direct sun, in the tent or elsewhere.

And if you play by the river, be aware water magnifies sound and carries it an amazing distance. You may get other campers coming to investigate the music.

Besides that, relax and have fun!

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Why the spaces between the lines? Why the endless stream of non-sequiturs,the total lack of syntax and grammar and all the phatic phrases that seem to be his stock-in-trade? If members of the site who have Engish as their second langage can send in comprehensible posts,why can’t he? I think he he just enjoys annoying us,I’ve got him gauged too.

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I usually take my flute on trips where there’s going to be opportunities for music - ie. car camping. So far, no problems. I’d be more worried about the neighbors, but so far that has been ok.

My brother used to take his fiddle on extended (summer) trips to the Arctic, and apart from minor cracks in the finish due to the cold, no problems there either. Although he did say that one windy day he came back to camp to find that his tent and everything in it had blown a couple of kilometres down the valley, his fiddle case was open and full of jam, but the fiddle wasn’t damaged.

I suppose it comes down to - does your idea of "camping" leave room for an instrument that needs to be dry, not frozen, and not crunched up in a sack at the bottom of a boat/kayak/whatever?

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You’re asking those questions about someone who comes from the same culture that produced James Joyce?!?

I don’t think he’s trying to annoy anyone, I think he’s having a cracking good time being silly.

No birdie ever soar any wing to eagle it.

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I’ve just finished making a mandolin with a coconut shell for a body. The idea was for a mandolin that would fit onobtrusively in a rucksack. Obviously there is a degree of trade-off between practicality and musicality - it’ll never sound like a Gibson,wooden body no matter how well made it is - but it sounds good for what it is. To say it is unbreakable would be tempting fate, but a coconut shell, as anyone who has tried to crack one will know, is fairly tough.

I have been cycling and camping around Northern Europe, including Ireland, with a proper mandolin (i.e. with a full-sized, wooden body) in a standard ยฃ50 hard case strapped to the back of my bike, and it doesn’t seem to have had any ill effects on the instrument. Provided you keep it out of rivers, lakes and torrential rain, any hard case ought to keep it dry - and provided you don’t leave it in your tent all day on a hot day, it should give adequate protection against heat.

I realise that a fiddle is somewhat more delicate than a mandolin - if you were cycling, you’d want to think carefully about how to carry it. Having a second instrument for travelling and camping is a good idea, but don’t get an instrument that’s so bad you don’t enjoy playing it.

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You’re not comparing Jim Troy with James Joyce?!!. "Finnegan’s Wake" is full of elaborate,learned puns and masterful parodies.Jim’s posts are just unintelligible nonsense.

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No, I’m just saying that Jim’s Irish and the Irish have a marked taste for certain types of verbal humor. I think he’s indulging that taste here.

I don’t find Jim’s posts unintelligible, or nonsensical. Amusing and occasionally apparently well-pickled, yes. But seriously, most of them do make sense to me. Maybe the fact that I have dyslexia makes it easier for me to see what he’s saying. Who knows?

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i might be able to follow him,

if sometimes,y’know, he actually finshed a sentence

and joined them up

in the accepted manner, but then,

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Just put your eyes into soft focus. Makes it much easier to read because you’re not as thrown off by the extra spaces and so forth.

(And no, I’m not being sarcastic. I picked up that habit reading ee cummings. Helps no end with the weird typography.)

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Funnily enough, Jim’s prose reminds me of James Joyce’s Ulysses

and of course, Jim is short for James, and Ulysses destroyed Troy…

coincidence? I don’t think so

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LOL, Cath!

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Jim is a master of the preemptive response.

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*splorf!*
Jack, I love you.

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I own a wpl stick. The sounds not awful. Its kind of reinassancy sounding.The lack of a chin rest is a problem, but hey its better than nothing, plus its really light weight.

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oh and yeah for camping
im also a fan

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I think the ideal ITM camping situation of the future will be some variation on Michael Gill’s idea about an inflatable pub. Just pull the chord, stand back, and watch the thing auto pump. Wah Lah! Insta Pub. The only caution is not to have anything sharp in your backpack. If you puncture it, its like a gigantic whoopee cushion. It would migrate all the wildlife out of your area. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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I have a cheap mandolin which was bought specifically for camping, trips to the beach, etc. Not a wonderful instrument by any means, but it plays ok and sounds not too bad.
I’ve had it for quite a while and I’ve used it a lot. If you’re worried about your instruments, I think it is worth getting a beater for this sort of thing.

Going camping at festivals is a bit different, as the music is obviously why you’re there, and you’re going to want a good instrument, but then you’re likely to have it with you most of the time.
That’s fine if you’ve got a car to lock it in. If you’ve gone by public transport and are camping, you’ve got security problems. You definitely don’t want expensive instruments lying around unattended ( and yes, I have had an instrument pinched at a festival).

Dagger Gordon

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As for the heat in cars - ; I have found, from many years experience, that a mandolin and a wooden flute, in their cases, wrapped inside at least one sleeping bag and placed low down inside a vehicle will remain at a suitable temperature even in a vehicle parked all day in blazing sunshine.

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You can’t avoid using syntax Jim, even though you do your best,and as for phatic,take a look in a dictionary.

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Some people here need a sense oPH humour transplant! Come on, one of the great things about this site is to have a good PHecking craic as well as utilizing it’s database & "networking" with other like-minded (or not!) PHellow musicians. I hope my "phatic communication" (and sometimes, rather sarcastic - some might, legitimately say, bad) sense of humour has hit it’s target.

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Put down the grumpy stick and step *away* from the treacle, mister!

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Hi Q, I’m not being grumpy - just trying to be funny - but maybe not making a very good job of it!

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You’re certainly funnier than Jerklet (that’s with a French accent)

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Thanks Cath!

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Not you, damn it Ron - now hide behind this pineapple before he fires off another volley. I’ll cover you.

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I hope it’s a big pineapple.

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Yip, that’ll do the job!

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Hey, you could camp under such a big fruit!!

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Which rather neatly brings us back to the start of the thread and carry on camping……

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Ditch the fiddle and learn flute. Then get a delrin one. No problems. Dunking it in class IV rapids will do nothing but clean it out.

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I have a picture of Julie Clifford (IIRC, maybe someone else from that crowd) playing one of those STROH violin things in a tune book somewhere.

- Chris

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W.M.C.A. Jim?

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I meant: YMCA - isn’t it difficult when English is your second language - oh, I wish we could all be as good with words as Jocklet is ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jimmy Troy! Phatic communication (in case your question wasn’t a wind-up) is the sort of thing birds do when they chirp. "Cheep —- I’m here. Are you there?" "Chirp —- well, I’m here too." In other words, small talk. Little social comments about the weather and team standings and the other fellow’s missus and kids. Chit-chat made just to establish basic connections when sharing space, real or cyber.

Lovely morning, isn’t it. See the game last night?

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How do you know birds aren’t discussing something much deeper than that when they chirp?

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That was a cheep comment - ok, I can’t spell….

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They save the deeper discussions for extended songs. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Maybe Jocklet could change his name to phatic symbol - since somethig about him make me think is a bit of one
I had not heard the word before myself and checked it in the dictionary. Perhaps he could check pedant.

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The last few posts have cheered me up no end.Thanks. I can’t keep a straight face any longer,it was a wind up.It must be the warm weather here.

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Or is this a wind-up instead? ๐Ÿ™‚

I wondered what had gotten into you, you’re not normally in the running for Session Grouch.

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yeah was at da fleadh when a bunch of stuffed got nicked or nearly nicked out of a lads tent.cant remember though the memeory is hazy.

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I don’t know what got into me,it must be my warped sense of humour.I do apologise Jim.

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I’ve already told you my story about camping with music. I’m not telling you again.

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Jim, I think you deserve a cask of poitin.

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Is this the right room for an arguement?

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Wiplstix are great for camping; the bow’s short enough that you can play it in a tent without hitting the ceiling, or sitting on the ground without it hitting the floor…

Had to carve a chin/ shoulder rest for it first though, but then I’m fussy and like to be able to hold it under my chin without it escaping ๐Ÿ™‚