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Camping in the everglades

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by miamiglock19, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. miamiglock19


    May 25, 2009
    I'm planning on doing some camping now in December in the everglades. I've never gone before and wanted to get some suggestions/ideas from you guys before finalizing anything.

    So far the plan is to go by boat (a friend has gone up to 35 miles into the everglades with it) find a spot and set up camp.

    Any suggestions on what to take?
  2. cowboywannabe

    cowboywannabe you savvy?

    Jan 26, 2001
    a friend that runs slower and swims slower than you.

  3. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009
    How much back-country camping experience do you have?

    How long are you planning on staying?

    Are you a minimalist or into your creature comforts.
  4. miamiglock19


    May 25, 2009
    back country experience: haven't been camping in a VERY long time. did the grand canyon in the early/mid 90s.

    length of trip: at most 2-3 nights.

    I'm not sure what you'd define as a minimalist but I don't mind getting dirty and becoming one with nature. However, I'm not heading out there to be survivor man.
  5. Jonesee


    Apr 16, 2009

    OK, cool:

    In no particular order, and avoiding the obvious stuff (tent, bag, food stuffs etc...)

    * leave a map with campsite option "A", "B", "C" etc circled at home or with a friend. don't forget this!
    * a hand held GPS (turn it on when you enter the boat so it adds the track to memory. (take extra batteries for the gps)
    * iodine tablets for water purification
    * knife (not an elephant skinner)
    * fire starter (cotton balls saturated with vaseline jammed in a film cannister)
    * small steel and magnesium fire starter (in case your lighter gets wet)
    * fishing pole, preferably 5 part that breaks down, but 2 part break apart will work.
    * a handful (3 or 4) of cheap small led flashlights with a few extra batteries
    * since you will be in a boat, a snake charmer 410 would be easy to add (drop a few slugs in with it).
    * a paperback book.
    * sunscreen
    * mosquito spray
    * a few excedrin/ibuprofen
    * roll up a little tiny roll of duct tape about 10 feet long. Great for a lot including closing a cut
    * a small towell. think "sham wow".
    * a poncho

    * Take 2 changes of clothes, including an extra pair of shoes for camp. No more than that.

    * Guess the amount of food you think you will need and cut it in half.

    The list I just provided will fit in any pack (other than the gun) easily. It will also keep you around long enough for someone to find you if something happens.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  6. miamiglock19


    May 25, 2009
    Thanks Jonesee, I really appreciate it.

    The map will definitely be left with someone at home and I think one of the two guys has a GPS to take.

    I've got most of the things on the list: magnesium fire starter, fishing poles, flashlights, don't have a snake charmer but I do have a shotgun (didn't think about taking the SG just the glock). I will have to get a knife though since the one I had I lost a couple months back.

    Any idea where to get some empty film canisters? I've been wanting to get some for a survival kit (to keep cotton balls and some peanut butter).

    Again thanks for the help.
  7. bustedknee

    bustedknee Curmudgeon

    Aug 1, 2001
    Wythe County, VA
    There are bugs out there that put Deet on their corn flakes for breakfast.

    My wife and I rented a boathouse there once. The bugs were relentless and deadly!

    Take much, and many, bug dopes, head nets/gloves, citronella, Permethrin, and a Thermacell.
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    Man I hate swamps, and swamp monsters ! I'm from Oklahoma and now live in W. Texas. My cousins live in Tennessee. When I go there to visit and or hunt, and they take me in those cypress (sp) swamp bottoms, I am sweating like a stuck hog. They took me walking through waist deep water in that mess once to fish for stinking blue gills. I had a tackle box and rods in one hand, and after they told me "mid way through this mess," that the place was full of gators and cotton mouths and such, I pulled my Ruger 44mag out of a shoulder holster and walked through that mess with the hammer cocked ! :wow:

    I hate swampy places !

    Good luck dude on your camping trip to the glades, and hope we hear from you again....

    I'll stick with the cougars and rattlers here on the ranch in the dry canyons ! :tongueout:

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  9. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Jonesee, God bless ya hoss, you sound like a man who knows what the heck he is talking about for glade camping. But my gosh! :wow: If I had to pack all that stuff to go and "have a good time," I'd need a bottle of Xanax to get through it all..... :faint:

    If I was the OP i would bail out at this point. :rofl:

  10. Don't listen to any tall tales about the skeeters.

    A .410 is plenty big enough for them.


    Don't pad your bedding with Spanish Moss.
    That's the kind of mistake nobody makes twice.
    Chiggers aka redbugs will seek out the worst place to bite you.

    Take fishing gear, you'll hate yourself if you don't.:fishing:

    Polarized sunglasses so you can resist the glare and see under the water.

    A looped noose on a stick for relocating pesky snakes.

    A banjo.:outtahere:
  11. I'm assuming your serious, if you are than ;

    1st what part of the glades are you going into? The glades is a loose word and is made up of numerous terrain and conditions are vary depending on what/where you at.

    Jonesse has it right for the very basic stuff, but you not even close as to what I would take if I was serious about this.

    You do know they have area rules and summaries on what you can and can't do, can and can't camp at, and place you can and can't start camp fires.

    Once you get thru that you need to think about the enviroment, You have sawgrass in most area, and islands of clump of nothing, drain areas that are suited for camping. So where do you pitch a tent at? how do you get to it? And how far from boat is it ? Can you clear an area ? Can carry your goods to the clear area ? Are fire ants around ? ( ooooh so many issues B4 you even popup a tent ;) )

    I also see in your list ( jonesee ) of goods your missing one item and got one right, the most important thing is not a 410snake charmer , and that would be a low priority at that & no need for slugs, how about mosquito sprays + netting as in a lot of spray and a lot of netting materials? And you are still going to be bitten and the skeeters are going laugh at your spray, net and thermo-cell :rofl: So bring some skeeter bite treatment medicine and alot of it btw.

    Do you have long sleeve shirts and wide bream hats for protection from the sun ?

    What do you do if lighting strikes? Where do you go to hide out if it should happen and where your at and right on top of you ?

    What happens if fire starts up ( brush fires from the lighting from the above )
    Granted your in dec, so this would be minimal risk BUT could still happen. Would you be able to navigate another area and get out of harms way? or back to safety ?

    You should never go into the glades without a plan and than 2-3-4 more backup plans.

    Great to leave GPS waypoint of where you "might" be at, but what happen if you run out of fuel and drifting, who do you call, heck does your GSM celluar phone work out in the middle of bum****Glades ? ( mine doesn't and I'm barely more than no more than 1-3 miles into the wildness and live aproximately 2miles from the start of the glades technically ;) , you do know off the major thruways, no cell phone towers are situated point into the glades for coverage ) . So I would advise for a EPIRB or portable ham radio.

    If you halfway serious on what your trying to do, may I suggest you go explore it first, before you become a search and rescue victim, or show up on our 10/11 O'clock late news, or evacuated in bodies bag by a Dade, Collier or Broward county corner office personnel.

    Holiday park would be the best area to explore from Broward county point of view, or camp out on the Leeve in Rotenberger/Holeyland WMA,

    And from Dade county you have a fish camp ( Mack's iirc ) that's right next to the reservation and borders the Miami Canal.

    Off of Tamiami Trails up have another park setup with a man made camp ground and manual water pumps for non Potable waters. I can send you way-points if you want, if I still have them logged on my GPS.

    A person with knowledge would have done this ( exploration & gathering ) before posting on this forum and would then KNOW what he/she would need for 2-3 nights in the glades. And not rely on asking this in a forum.


    I would 1st go find a safe fish camp or state manage camp ground, get out and explore that for 1-2 days. It would teach you the basic of what you needs for survival and then judge from that as to what you need to do and improve on. Stay from sunrise to sunrise, so you can get one night of experience.


    what do you mean by this ?

    * Guess the amount of food you think you will need and cut it in half.

    I would guess the amount you need and then double it And secure it in at least 2-3 separate containers and position on the boat in case of capsizing event and if that should happen ( very likely if your navigating waters and have stumps or melaleuca stumps below the water surface ). So now your in the water , capsize, lost food, bye GPS, EPIRB, Cell ( unless you had that in a floatable/waterproof container.

  12. miamiglock19


    May 25, 2009
    Noway: I'm the rookie going on this trip, of the other two at least one of them knows what he's doing. Besides, what would be the fun in starting a thread asking a question I already knew the answer too?

    We are going to a camping ground it just happens to be out in the middle of no where. There will be no cell phone coverage or VHF (boat radio). We may be taking a satellite phone but i'm not really worried about it. We'll be leaving a map with our destination.

    I am serious about doing this, I just want to get information from the more experienced campers especially those that have done it in the everglades. Keep the advise coming.

    Thanks in advance
  13. miamiglock19


    May 25, 2009
    Also in Jonesee's defense he did recommend mosquito spray

  14. Here you go for starters

    Read all rules once and then again. Pay attention to camping and fires regulations and also for firearms and the season that they apply to. Your snake charmer would be confiscate at best if your boarded by FL-FWC officers and they see it.

    Here's Mack Fish camp info. Great spot and full of history and information.

    There's a few abandon camps in the middle of bum****glades, but you will need a Airboat ( FanBoat ) to get to it. I would go visit Mack's and speak to them. They may give you waypoints or directions to these camps. Right off the sawgrass, I think a camp exists in 2B. When you get to collier, the conditions and enviroment changes, but read the rules and get farmilar as to what/where you can be at that time of the year/month.

    Striking a fire is going to be limiting if you want to do it legally and if something goes astray and a rogue flame breaks out and your small fire becomes a nature disaster, don't expect the state to be nice to you.

    A satellite phone should be okay, but what happens if it doesn't work ? or you loose it or it falls into gator fested waters?

    Think this out very seriously and have some plans and planning.

    Here's what noway would do to add to jonesee list

    I would carry enough food that sealed in a natural pkg or better yet, vacuum sealed. Canned dried goods would be best from protection from ants, flies, and water contamination.

    All foods would be split between 2 or 3 containers and I mean waterproof containers and coon proof. I would becaution to leave it on a boat but it should be okay. But we do have bears and where ever your at on dry land, could be bear habitat. I wouldn't worry about blackie the bear attacking you ( they are federal protected ), but something to think about.

    true story, I found out coons can open ammo cans,

    The best secured containers are LOCKed ammo cans. A milspec 7.62 containers holds 1500 rounds or alot of dried jerky and canned chicken or tune. A coon will not get that open if you lock it.

    If you see panther, count your self bless and don't leave you food or trash out. They will investigate it along with bear, bobcat, feral cat, coon, o'possum and skunk or anything with 4 or more legs. I've seen 2 panthers alive in the glades outside of a exhibit and one dead or just hit & dying. They are cool and zero threat unless your a goat or small calf.

    Next, water is probably more important than food, and you could drink the glades water ( it freshwater ) if you where in a pinch. I would do the same like with the food. Waterproof ( waterproof sounds stupid, but it's not ) and separate in 2-3 more containers. I would also carry some 24oz personal containers like probably 4-6 cases of 24 bottles

    now for life and convenience; mosquito spray and I mean alot of it. You will get BITTEN regardless. For night you might want to look at netting and use that ducttape for sealing the ends. It makes for quick entry and exiting and re-sealing when you have to exit your tent to relieve yourself.

    I would also add to that rool of tape, some medical or athletic tape. Seal it in ziplock bags and separate it. You could use the duct tape for serious cuts, bruises.

    I would also carry 2-3 pairs of shoes/boot/hipwader and if you have shoes, place them in big ziplock bags. A trick I use when hiking the florida trails and have to cross water obstacle where you WILL get wet. You carry the spare shoes and socks in your ziplock bag, along with some newspaper to wick the water away. If your feet get wet, pull out backup pair and continue on. If you come to another water or possible obstacle, you can elect to try with the shoes you have on now, or pull out the previous wet pair and procced, once you reach dry land if that's even possible, pull out dry shoes, dry your feet and continue on. BTW hiking the florida trails in some part is bad for the average joe, but not as nearly bad as being in the middle of the glades and bum**** middle of nowhere.

    4 Flash lights, and separate into to 2-5 locations. Use the duct tape to secure it on the boat or better yet a lanyard around your neck is best. If you have a light you like alot, buy 2 more and or some spare bulbs.

    Alternative around the camp for safety and animal distractor would be chemical or cyalumes for examples. Hanging on whatever you can hang them on. They are great for marking areas around your camp.

    For firewood, you will need to carry that and not rely on finding it just laying around. It isn't like a oak or hickory trees are laying around awaiting to be burned :rofl:

    if you don't insist on a fire, than a propane tank and burn and sterno for small reheating jobs. Dec can be cold, so it could be cool to near 35-40degs at night.

    I would also keep on me, waterproof matches and along with that a lighter. Lighters are known to fail after getting wet or falling aboard. A few candle would not be a bad ideal.

    I would carry an additional 2-5gal of fuel in 2 containers. Duct tape or secure it to the boat & away from the engine area.

    I would carry enough spare oil for the engine and a spare plug.Never knows what will happen.

    I would also carry a spare prop if your not in a air/fanboat. Props are known to break, crack, get caught on everything outside of a shoestring and unless your in a boghog mudboat and no prop shield, you should expect to bump into every thing from A to Z to include rocks, stumps, sunken boat parts, trash or even a gator and yes all of these above have happen to me at one given time.

    I would back up my sat phone with some other means of signalling. A EPIRB would be ideal but a flaregun would be the minimal. I would also use a finemespot or similar for locator ( google it ).Sat phones would not provide reliable "location" when compared to a EPIRB or other beacon. If a life death or other on the water emergency should happen.

    And finally, I would invest into ear plugs, cause your not going to get a good night sleep from all of the outdoor noises, and with that, I mean the 20K skeeters buzzing your netted tent continously from sunset to sunrise, looking for any entrance into your ducttape sealed tent /bag/cot or whatever you have.And yes 20K skeeters is probably a conservative number and they are loud.

    Then you have 5+k frogs croaking non-stop and your wondering why these frogs don't eat all of them skeeters ;)

    Next you will have some stupid birds and owls making all sorts of noises for whatever reeason and hooting all night,

    And then the 1K other noises that you have NO CLUE as to what created it :wavey:

    Lastly after you have all of the above secured, you need your 35mm or D_SLR. Glades is filled to the bream with exotic games, rare birds, a panther might sneak by , or you could find one of these pythons that the news Team makes it seems like one is around every corner.

    You know a wild mosquito is going to laugh at your spray. I hunted middle of glades for ducks and in about 2-4 hours of standing in water up to my chestline, I was probably bitten by 3 dozen skeeters & battle 10k of their friends. And unlike city skeeters, they fly and bit thru out the day, thru your clothes, they try to bite thru my rubber waders ( and yes they are that cocky).

    Now picture your self in the middle of this for 2-3 days/night in your glades of all places & in your clothing. Boy are you going to be in a surprise of your life.

    Also you have other flying things that could cares less about DEET, Citronella, lemongrass or eucalypthus oil based sprays & yes I've tried all of that with little to no luck. You will have no-see-um, bitting flies, etc... all trying to bite you.

    I can tell from your responses, your a newbie and have little to no experience in the outdoors in the middle of the glades if you choose to head that way for 2-3 days/nights of honest back country.

    Good luck with your encounter & and I wish you the best & be safe, you will learn very quickly, that mother nature is not always picture perfect and friendly.

    Please take before and after photos and post it on GT. We will need something to laugh at :tongueout:
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  15. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    Just be careful and frosty in the everglades. I've heard stories of folks being robbed of their guns down there. Kapish?
  16. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002


    Man oh man ! OP I know your serious hoss, and I am NOT makin fun here. I know these old boys and I'm "sure" their advise is something you better listen to, as they know what they are talking about. ;)

    BUT, man i am sitting here laughing my backside off, feelin so sorry for ya I can't stand it !

    Killer Mosquitoes, tons of netting, you need a full medical chest, and a doctor and a nurse, and swamp boats, a ton of water 4 flash lights, a suit of armor, a bazooka, and watch for gun stealing bandito's, not to mention the gators and cotton mouths, plus at least 300#'s of other assorted survival gear, and don't forget those flares !

    I would carry one extra bullet, (you'll know what to do with that).

    Man I am just trying to picture this as FUN ! I mean dang. I live in the desert SW, and am always outside, and sometimes in the high Rockie mountain range etc. I didn't take this much stuff on the pack train ! :rofl:

    Again, I know these amigo's are telling you the truth, and giving great advice as they have done this stuff. I am just tremendously amused at all this as being FUN ! :rofl:

    Sounds more like a 13 month tour in Viet Nam ! LOL.

    Sorry. Whew! If nothing else man I got a great laugh out of all this..

    Good Lord man, stay safe and have your local Church praying for you ! :whistling:

    Have fun ? :dunno:

    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  17. miamiglock19


    May 25, 2009
    LOL I know they mean well, the trip won't be for a few weeks but i'll definitely keep you guys updated on it.

    Again thanks to all who have responded and given their insight, its greatly appreciated.

    my favorite advice so far is: "a friend that runs slower and swims slower than you." cracks me up every time I read it.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  18. Dennis in MA

    Dennis in MA Get off my lawn

    Aug 16, 2001
    Taunton, MA
    Based on what I lurnd on Swamp People, leave your rancid-chicken necklace at home.