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View Full Version : What Ukulele for a Camping Trip



Fu Manchu
03-07-2013, 01:01 PM
I'm thinking of getting a new ukulele to take on camping trips to the lake district. Which one would be best considering temperatures in the tents vary drastically from hot and humid to very cold and damp.

I was thinking of a Dolphin because of the plastic body but would the laminate wood thats on it warp or get damaged due to the temperature and humidity changes?

Love to know your thoughts.

Newportlocal
03-07-2013, 01:11 PM
A Flea or Fluke.

Pueo
03-07-2013, 01:13 PM
A dolphin is inexpensive and you don't have to worry about it too much. But it is still a dolphin.
A fluke / flea is more expensive, but a much better ukulele, and it happens to be nearly indestructible.
Depending on your budget, I would also just get any type of basic Lanikai or Kala or Ohana type ukulele - something you could replace if it were to get damaged and not really cry about it.
Ah, I see you are in the UK. Probably not as many places to get inexpensive ukuleles as I have nearby.
Some people swear by dolphins, and I have a mainland gecko which is basically the same thing, but I would rather play a nicer ukulele. The intonation on mine kind of sounds like it is never really in tune and drives me crazy sometimes.

Chris Tarman
03-07-2013, 01:18 PM
I take my Flea camping.

seeso
03-07-2013, 03:07 PM
Soprano Flea.

uke552
03-07-2013, 04:26 PM
I probably won't be the last to say this...Flea / Fluke

Great sounding uke's and short of leaving it under a steam roller-you are not going to hurt it.

dkpianoman21
03-07-2013, 06:14 PM
Another vote for the Flea / Fluke. I was recently at my local music store in the acoustic room looking for a guitar for one of my students when I heard a God-awful CRASH followed by a not unpleasant ringing / harmonics sound. A kid had knocked over a Flea. After the parents yanked him out of there and the sales guy put it back, I picked it up to see if I could see any scratches or cracks. Nothing. It was even still in tune!

Louis0815
03-07-2013, 10:59 PM
I was thinking of a Dolphin because of the plastic body but would the laminate wood thats on it warp or get damaged due to the temperature and humidity changes?

Love to know your thoughts.Depends on how much you are willing to spend. Constructionwise the Flea and the Dolphin are identical (generally speaking), both have a sturdy plastic body and a laminated top. You just don't have any intonation issues on the Flea due to the molded plastic fretboard.
There is another thread about UK Fluke vendors, just in case you're going for one.

You could get a plain soprano Flea for ~166 GBP (incl. shipping) when ordering from Germany (RISA instruments, www.ukulele.de), for some strange reason they seem to be a bit more expensive in the UK.

lancemanion
03-07-2013, 11:28 PM
If you are hiking or trying to travel light, nothing is better then a Kala Travel Soprano. The Flea and Fluke are about twice the size but are a little tougher. If you do go with the Flea or Fluke pay the extra for the wood fret board, the plastic one is terrible. As far as dealing with the elements, I have had my travel uke to the top of both Half Dome and Mt. Whitney and regularly travel between damp Hawaii and super dry destinations such as Vegas and Phoenix, never a problem. I am not exaggerating when I say this uke has been to many, many countries; I never leave it at home. I do like that the Flea and Fluke are made in America, and if Seeso recommends them you know they are good, but if you want compact, go with the Kala travel uke. Hope this helps.
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TG&Y
03-08-2013, 01:23 AM
I'd go dolphin, since that's in my arsenal, but I don't know the answer to your humidity concerns with one. Be interesting to hear an after-action report on what you eventually choose to take along. At least you'll have a spare paddle...

Tonya
03-08-2013, 05:38 AM
[Oh, lancemanion, I love the pix of the family backpacking--avec le ukulele! We're long-time backpackers, too (son section-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail a few years' back).]

I've a soprano Ovation and it's backpacked with us to to many, many Sierra lakes and seen lots of sunny, dusty trail with no problems with the heat (I strap the gig bag on the pack and it's always in the sun if that's how the trail is). I always worry about it a bit with stream crossings, but it's never been doused...

Below pix is my Ovation at Ukanom Lake in the Marble Mountains (get it, a uke at Ukanom?)
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TG&Y
03-09-2013, 01:17 AM
Cool photos in this thread

ukuLily Mars
03-09-2013, 01:55 AM
Well, my experience is somewhat limited in this area as I have only ever owned a Dolphin, but I can say that this past January I took it with me from my home, in an extremely dry, cold climate, to Miami, and even being packed in my checked bag (it IS a Dolphin) it arrived practically in tune. That being said, I finally got to try a Flea and the sound was much, much better.

Advantages to a Dolphin over a Flea: price, it's quieter (if you don't want to disturb your neighbors). If you get one that is set up properly it could be a good choice. The Flea sounds so much better but it is a lot more expensive.

Bazmaz reviewed both in his Gotaukulele blog, and he was quite thorough. Obviously you may be considering others but check out his blog. If I remember correctly he has videos of both.

Pondoro
03-09-2013, 03:10 AM
My Lanikai LU-21 has survived extreme temperatures and being thrown in a suitcase without a case, or in a car trunk without a case (but never more than say 90 degrees F). The laminated body has never complained. It required some set up but I bought it in 2007, recent Lanikais are coming better set up from the factory.

Fu Manchu
03-11-2013, 01:47 PM
Thanks for tips guys, much appreciated. :cool:

Cornfield
03-12-2013, 01:42 AM
I bought a Mahalo for the grandkids to play when they visit. With Aquila's on it it stays in tune and sounds good. It.s painted brightly enough that it might serve as a flashlight as well.

I also have a Regal Resonator uke (one of the $300 metal ones). That uke has been all over the US. TRavels well and humidity doesn't matter.

Tootler
03-12-2013, 01:59 AM
For camping in the Lake District, Flea or Dolphin would both be fine. Depends how much you want to spend. I have a Flea and it's my go anywhere uke. Mine has the plastic fretboard and I have no problems with it. No signs of wear and it doesn't cause me any problems in use. I've not used it for camping but I have used it a Weekend folk event in an old byre where we were sat on straw bales and it was just fine.

Leigh Coates
03-12-2013, 02:40 AM
I myself have a Fluke (with a Cowboy on the top!) It sounds great and hasn't ever come to any harm. I happen to like the plastic fretboard. It stands up by itself on the tent floor and the picnic table too.

Whatever you choose, you'll have a lot of fun.

seeso
03-12-2013, 04:44 AM
I myself have a Fluke (with a Cowboy on the top!) It sounds great and hasn't ever come to any harm. I happen to like the plastic fretboard. It stands up by itself on the tent floor and the picnic table too.

Whatever you choose, you'll have a lot of fun.

I too like the plastic fretboard.

Newportlocal
03-12-2013, 05:28 AM
I too like the plastic fretboard.

Ditto on the plastic fretboard. I have had two fleas with plastic fretboards and loved them both.

Chris Tarman
03-12-2013, 05:38 AM
Ditto on the plastic fretboard. I have had two fleas with plastic fretboards and loved them both.

Same here. I've never had any problems with the plastic fretboards. If I was using wound strings I would upgrade to the wood, but otherwise I see no real reason to.

bnolsen
03-12-2013, 06:18 AM
The plastic fretboard seems to be mostly personal preference. I kind of like the feel of it, although it will buzz with hard strumming due to the low action. Or maybe that's just me. I'll repeat what others have said in the past: for the cost of a fretboard upgrade on a flea or fluke there are much better choices in that new price range.

UKEonomics
03-12-2013, 06:53 AM
This!

http://outdoorukulele.com/

This is going to be the perfect camping trip/take anywhere uke. Of course, it's not out yet....coming out sometime this summer.

Louis0815
03-12-2013, 11:04 AM
The plastic fretboard seems to be mostly personal preference. I kind of like the feel of it, although it will buzz with hard strumming due to the low action.I doubt this buzz would be gone with a wooden fretboard - it has the same low action with the zero fret....
Biggest advantage of the molded plastic fretboard is its precision: every single "fret" is exactly where it should be and has exactly the height it should have.
Biggest disadvantage is that frets and board are all black - it can be hard to see what you're doing there (esp. with transparent strings).
That said, I love it and wouldn't go for wood on the Flea.

mds725
03-12-2013, 11:21 AM
499154991449916

Cool photos! Where were they taken?

csibona
03-13-2013, 05:48 AM
I am also in the Flea/Fluke camp. Highly recommended.

strumsilly
03-13-2013, 06:02 AM
if you really want weatherproof, get a plastic vintage islander , tv pal, or carnival. they pop up on ebay pretty often, from 50-100 bucks. sound pretty good, are light, and waterproof.
one ike this, but I'd stay away fron this one, the tuner will be hard to find
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ISLANDER-UKULELE-/181100642738?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a2a7081b2

rreffner
03-13-2013, 07:01 AM
Bring what you have, don't worry, be happy! :o

TG&Y
03-13-2013, 07:03 AM
Best answer


Bring what you have, don't worry, be happy! :o

Rubio MHS
03-14-2013, 08:51 AM
Lanikai O-8E with Aquila strings because it's one of the the loudest ukes on the market.

johninmass
03-14-2013, 09:32 AM
I used to camp alot. But, not anymore, too many fleas.

Shazzbot
03-14-2013, 09:47 AM
Johninmass, all those fleas must have been a fluke.

lancemanion
03-14-2013, 08:31 PM
Cool photos! Where were they taken?

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Top of Mt. Whitney, Top of Half Dome in Yosemite and 50 mile hike on Rea Lakes Loop