This past weekend my son Mark and I went camping with my best friend Phil and his three sons - an event that has been happily repeated through many years. Now that our sons are all in their twenties, we don't know how many more of these we'll be able to do with all six of us there. It was a fabulous weekend - so enjoyable and relaxing! We enjoyed having Sliding Rock almost to ourselves. (Who else was crazy enough to plunge into 55 degree water?) The fall colors up in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina were not quite at their peak, but they were further along than they are here in Greenville. I had taken my digital camera along to capture some Kodak moments, but we were so busy enjoying ourselves all weekend that I forgot to pull the camera out. Some blogger I am, huh?!
We've done this so much that we have most of the details down pat. However because my 35-year-old Coleman stove, which I had been able to light just fine in our driveway last week, decided that it would not light Saturday morning. We had to take a quick trip to the store to get a replacement for my stove and for Phil's air mattress that lost its air Friday night. (Mine didn't lose its air until Saturday night.) There were a couple of other items we wished we had brought along, but none that we felt like we had to buy to get through the weekend.
Below are some camping tips for you. I'll start off with a story.
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."
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?
"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients." - Julia Child
A great deal of hostility can be released when camping in the fall by using campaign literature of politicians for toilet paper. (I'm ivman, and I so approve this message!)