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Camping Tips – Take 2

picture of a tent

Monday morning Becka and I left to go camping at the Davidson River Campground [1], near Brevard, NC. Although we have done lots of camping throughout our adult life, this was the first time it was just the two of us — we've always had children with us when we've camped in the past. Family and friends in Greenville who knew we were camping were concerned about us while we were gone because it absolutely poured here. We had only a little rain (normally all it takes to bring drought relief to an area is for us to go camping there). But when we got home yesterday our rain gauge had a little over 3 inches of water in it, but we saw nowhere near that amount up in the mountains.

All in all it was very pleasant, but it really is more entertaining with younger people along. We knew how to do everything to put together meals over our campfire and Coleman stove, and we enjoyed some simple yet delicious stuff. The hotdogs cooked over oak embers were nothing short of amazing, and we have to report, in all humility, that we experienced S'mores perfection during our camping trip. But I think future trips will need to include grandchildren. If Megan and the kids get to visit us this summer, I'm already planning to sleep one night in the tent with Drew, just in the backyard without all the work required for a full-blown camping trip. He's already excited about it.

Below are some camping tips. For the most part, this is a republishing of a blog post from October 13, 2008 [2]. Readers posted some good tips and comments there, and I hope there will be others who do so to this post.

I'll start off with a camping story that is not ours.

Setting Up Camp

The loaded mini-van pulled into the only remaining campsite. Four children leaped from the vehicle and began feverishly unloading gear and setting up the tent. The boys rushed to gather firewood, while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils.

A nearby camper marveled to the youngsters' father, "That, sir, is some display of teamwork."

The father replied, "I have a system - no one is allowed to go to the bathroom until the campsite is set up."

Camping Tips

Get even with a bear who raids your food bag by kicking his favorite stump apart and eating all the ants.

Old socks can be made into high fiber beef jerky by smoking them over an open fire.

When smoking a fish, never inhale.

A hot rock placed in your sleeping bag will keep your feet warm. A hot enchilada works almost as well, but the cheese sticks between your toes.

The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.

Acupuncture was invented by a camper who found a porcupine in his sleeping bag.

While the Swiss Army Knife has been popular for years, the Swiss Navy Knife has remained largely unheard of. Its single blade functions as a tiny canoe paddle.

Effective January 1, 1997, you will actually have to enlist in the Swiss Army to get a Swiss Army Knife.

Lint from your navel makes a handy fire starter. Warning: Remove lint from navel before applying the match.

When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant.

You'll never be lost if you remember that moss always grows on the north side of your compass.

You can duplicate the warmth of a down-filled bedroll by climbing into a plastic garbage bag with several geese.

When camping, always wear a long-sleeved shirt. It gives you something to wipe your nose on.

You can compress the diameter of your rolled up sleeping bag by running over it with your car.

A two-man pup tent does not have enough room for two men and does not include a pup.

A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes an excellent side dish. A potato baked in the coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck.

You can start a fire without matches by eating Mexican food, then breathing on a pile of dry sticks.

In emergency situations, you can survive in the wilderness by shooting small game with a slingshot made from the elastic waistband of your underwear.

The guitar of the noisy teenager at the next campsite makes excellent kindling.

Check the washing instructions before purchasing any apparel to be worn camping. Buy only those that read "Beat on a rock in stream."

The sight of a bald eagle has thrilled campers for generations. The sight of a bald man, however, does absolutely nothing for the eagle.

It's entirely possible to spend your whole vacation on a winding mountain road behind a large motor home.

In an emergency, a drawstring from a parka hood can be used to strangle a snoring tent mate.


Those camping tips, of course, were in jest. I hope my readers who enjoy camping will post some of their real favorite camping tips. Do you have any great tips to share? Last week Becka stumbled upon a great list of camping tips [3].

This post was delayed by a day because our computer died right before we left to go camping. Now that we're tidied up from camping, I'll have to see what I can do about our laptop. I think the hard drive may have crashed. The downside of life in civilization! 🙁


"S'mores are just warm, rustic Moon Pies." — Rob Loach


I gave up all-natural food when I learned that most people die of natural causes!