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bass camping

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lola99, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    I don't know if this is the right thread for this question, so please forgive me if it should be somewhere else :bag:

    I will be tent camping in Wyoming the entire month of June, which means we'll be outdoors for a month. There's no electricity, heating or air conditioning where we'll be. I'm hoping to take my bass and practice acoustically. The bass will stay in the van while I'm not practicing.

    My problem is that it gets extremely hot and extremely cold in Wyoming--one day it could be 100 degrees and sunny, and the next night it could dip below freezing and snow. I was wondering if the temperature changes, the dry climate, the pressure changes going over the mountains etc will damage it. Given the lack of heating or air conditioning there won't be any protection for this poor bass aside from its case and the van while we sleep in out tents...:rollno:

    Is this a bad idea?
  2. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    Like guitar players who have cheap acoustics for taking outdoors. I would go out and buy a cheap bass to take. All those weather changes are not going to make your good bass happy.
  3. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Having lived out in Wyoming for a summer and familiar with the weather...it's definitely gonna **** your bass up. I'd either buy a cheap, beater acoustic or forget about it. Maybe a dobro bass would hold up a bit better, but the temp changes overnight are pretty steep and the climate pretty dry. Most pieces of wood aren't going to agree too well with it.
  4. schmittuml


    Oct 25, 2004
    Lowell, MA
    get a modulus.......it needs to be like -1000 degrees to effect that graphite.

    grab that and a tascam bass trainer
  5. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    A Modulus acoustic? :confused:
  6. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Martin makes models with composite and laminate bodies and necks that would probably be fine in most if not all weather conditions.
  7. phishaholik

    phishaholik Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Portland, Oregon
    Just buy a Dean acoustic and bring a wrench for the truss rod. They are under $200 new, so you won't be worried about it. They sound and play very nice for the money.

  8. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    This is embarrassing but I don't have a lot of money, so the basses involved are beater basses: an ESP b50 and a Peavey Fury from 1984, both of which cost well under $200. Cheap or not I love them both and I don't want to torture either one of them.

    The problem is I'm new: started December, and I'm worried that if I go a month without playing I won't remember much when we get back :rolleyes: And I don't have a lot of money, so investing at the moment in something as inexpensive as a Dean acoustic is going to be hard for me--the Modulus could happen if I won the lottery but not before.

    Do you think either the Peavey or the ESP will be able to deal with the weather conditions? The Peavey, especially, is tough as nails, but it's still made of wood :bawl:
  9. It is very unlikely that you will permanently damage the bass, unless a bear munches on it or you use it for a canoe paddle.

    The neck will change it's shape a bit from changes in humidity, and you will most immediately perceive this as the strings get higher or lower on the fretboard. This is really a change in neck relief, and you should get accustomed to adjusting it with the trussrod.

    Your trussrod is accessed either at the top or bottom of the neck, wiith either an allen, phillips or hex head bolt that often has a cover on top. Be sure you have the correct tool (metric or inch or custom socket or whatever) and hold down the strings (one at a time) at the first and the 14th fret. In the middle, around the 7th fret, there should be an average of about a postcard of air showing between the fret top and the string. If there is more space, tighten the trussrod about an eighth of a revolution in the clockwise (looking at the end of the rod) direction to straighten the neck. If there is no visible space, loosen the rod a touch to put some bow in the neck. Give it a day to adjust and then check it and give it a bit more if needed.

    Once you get used to adjusting the neck relief, you will find you almost never need to adjust the individual string height, and you can take your bass anywhere and maintain playability. Here in Hawaii the humidity changes greatly, and one day the strings can be laying on the neck and rattling and a week later there can be an eighth inch of space below them. Luckily it is easy to adjust.

    Do take your bass and play the heck out of it under the big sky and beautiful Wyoming nights.


  10. now there's an idea...

    "well... we're up shat-creek without a paddle."
    "not so my friends!"

    bass player saves the day... again.
  11. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Get a pignose amp, add some stuffing to the cab to deepen it a bit, take an inexpensive electric.
  12. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Pignose...so tempting...

    Come to think of it, I brought my Regal dobro bass to High Sierra Music Fest last year and it held up just fine. Similar summer weather to Wyoming, maybe a little more humidity...but dry and hot during the day and cold at night. It spent a few days in the car and did just fine.
    I wonder, though, if the resonator cone helps the instrument withstand the temp changes.
  13. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    The most you have to worry about is the neck. The resonator cone wouldn't have anything to do with that.
  14. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    Thank you so much for the advice. I'll probably take the Peavey: I've already adjusted it a bit so I'm more familiar with it.

    I am looking forward to playing it under the big sky. My labor-intensive monster children are going along, and that bass is the one thing I will have for myself on this long trip, and the kids will have to learn to deal with it!!! :p
  15. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    What about keeping the body from warping. I've seen horrible things happen to acoustic guitars not kept in a proper environment.

    Enjoy, Lola! Where in Wyoming are you going to?
  16. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have seen it happen as well, and it is usually on very old acoustics where the bridge pulls up the top. I don't think travelling with a bass will cause this as long as the instrument is allowed to acclimate. I don't think he'll have a problem.
  17. withdevil


    Apr 23, 2005
    dont bring it
  18. lola99


    Jan 28, 2006
    Rontalsaurus, we'll spend the month at Medicine Lodge State Park. We've done this before, but back then I didn't have to worry about a musical instrument tagging along.

    I've only been playing for 5 months and it's likely that after a month off I'll remember nothing I learned during those 5 months. On the other hand I like both of my cheap basses and don't want to see one of them die a painful, slow death :bawl:

    Thank you, everyone, for your advice.
  19. rontalsaurus


    Aug 19, 2002
    Don't worry about losing it. Yes, you will lose some of it and your coordination may wane. You may feel uncomfortable when you go back to it and the instrument may feel foreign, but it will come back.
    I've taken time away many times. I'm in med school right now and I sometimes go a month, even two without even picking up an instrument. It sucks, but it happens, and after a few days of struggling to get my coordination back I start feeling like a bass player again.

    Don't fret about not fretting...:D
  20. Cubeface


    Apr 9, 2006
    Just rent a bass for a month.

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