View Full Version : Camping Uke

03-19-2012, 04:40 PM
Hi All,
Old Guitar player, relatively new Uke player here. I have a Kamaka HF3 Tenor and am waiting for a Mya-Moe Tenor to be built...However I do a lot of camping in a wide variety of climates from the wet rainy Pacific Northwest Coastline to the High Desert in Eastern Oregon where temp can vary in one day from freezing at night to the mid 90's (F) during the day and it is very dry, to the Southwest USA...With all of that and some of the potential perils of camping I am looking for a decent quality laminated Uke as I think (from what I have read) that it should be much more tolerant of those types of climate variations. I am willing to spend about $250-$300 or so if needed. I am interested in good quality sound in a Tenor size. I have access to try a Lanikai, an Oscar Schmidt and I think a Fender, but that is about it. What other types should I be looking at? Any specific recommendations for a Tenor size uke (even in the Brands I can try)?
Any help, including reference to old threads is gratefully accepted!

03-19-2012, 05:09 PM
I'd get a fluke for camping. I've had mine for about 9 years and taken it all sorts of places. Can't be beat for that purpose IMHO.

03-19-2012, 05:13 PM
Best hands down camping uke would have to be a Fluke or Flea.
with the laminate top, composite back, along with h a composite fretboard, it will withstand anything and it sounds great.

03-19-2012, 11:31 PM
Your Mya Moe will provide slightly more kindling than a Fluke if you can't get the fire started. :p

Seriously, I would go for a cheap uke like a Makala. It has the advantage that you can donate it to a fellow traveller if they take a shine to it. Plus if you break it, it's not the end of the world. The Dolphin is the one everyone talks about, but there is a tenor in a wooden finish. Someone at my club owns a Makala and I think it's nice.

mm stan
03-19-2012, 11:41 PM
KPK, Vineyard, Makai, Mainland, Oscar Schmidt OU2, OU5 gloss finish...Fluke, Flea...are just some..

03-20-2012, 12:53 AM
if its a tenor you are after, get a fluke with a tenor neck, it is really good when it comes to the weather, i camped up in scotland last summer where we had a mini heatwave, i left the fluke in the tent whilst shopping and when i returned it was 90 degrees inside the tent, all it needed was retuning slightly and it was ready to play, a couple of days later the temperature dropped and it did need tuning again and that was that, the only drawback with the fluke is the soundboard is very soft and dents quite easily, i also took a dolphin, this was bulletproof as well

03-20-2012, 01:06 AM
I have a cheap Lanikai LU-21 that I have taken all over the world, in suitcases or duffel bags with no case. It has held up well, and only cost $60. But I think a Fluke or Flea would be even more sturdy. My Lanikai has stayed dry, the Fluke/Flea would probably stand up better to moisture. But the all-laminate Lanikai has been in airplanes, both the cabin and in the cargo hold, and in hot and cold cars and does not show any signs of wear. I have fiddled with the saddle and nut until the intonation sounds right. The more expensive Flea/Fluke should sound better out of the box.

03-20-2012, 01:28 AM
I use quieter uke when I camp. I've used a OS OU5, now I use a Soprano Geko. Sound really travels when you are camping. When I co go the beach I use the loudest uke I can find.

03-20-2012, 07:14 AM
I recommend a Fluke.

03-20-2012, 07:26 AM
I use my Lanikai LU-21 as my camper.

03-20-2012, 12:47 PM
I use quieter uke when I camp. I've used a OS OU5, now I use a Soprano Geko. Sound really travels when you are camping. When I co go the beach I use the loudest uke I can find.

Good point Fleas and Flukes are LOUD. But if you stuff something in the soundhole it will quiet them down. Women's undergarments work well.

Kayak Jim
03-20-2012, 12:52 PM
Women's undergarments work well.

Now that's what I call incentive to practice!

03-20-2012, 01:11 PM
I use a Fluke for camping/beach and boat trips.
When you own nice ukes it is harder to play something too cheap.
The Fluke plays well enough and sounds good if someone else hears me play.
While they are not cheap they are durable and easily replaced.

03-20-2012, 03:55 PM
Wow! Great suggestions. Off to do some research... I like the Fluke/Flea idea, but am going to investigate all options.

03-23-2012, 07:41 AM
I built my own out of birch plywood, and made it headstockless so it fits in my saddlebag. And like a dork, I finished it to match my bike.



Chris Tarman
03-23-2012, 11:57 AM
I take my Flea camping. Before I bought it, I took my first decent uke, which is a Kala mahogany laminate. It worked fine, but the Flea is even better.

03-23-2012, 12:46 PM
One of the plastic backed Ovations would be good or for more money, you could go with a Karadoo carbon fibre uke http://www.etsy.com/listing/91152879/carbon-fiber-ukulele-composite-sound?ref=sr_gallery_19&sref=&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_query=ukulele&ga_order=price_desc&ga_ship_to=GB&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_page=0&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade. Not personally played one but from what I've heard they're rather nice. Still thinking of buying one myself.

Hippie Dribble
03-23-2012, 01:04 PM
just adding my voice to the chorus of approval for the fleas and flukes. Great intonation and volume. Indestructible. Pound for pound, one of the best ukes you can buy I reckon.

03-23-2012, 03:32 PM
This is cool Dan. Perfect for taking along to the beach, or the mountains!

03-23-2012, 04:13 PM
I recommend a Fluke.

Or I have a Flea with a tenor neck.

03-23-2012, 10:50 PM
Flukes and Fleas are probably ideal for camping, but having just played some laminated Islanders by Kanile'a this week, I find them to be INCREDIBLE for the price. I just might pick one up sometime as a true beater.