Camp Season

Over a lifetime, I’ve had a lot of camping experience. Sometimes by choice, sometimes fleeing town pursued by angry redheads.

I’ve gathered a few tips and tricks along the way, and a buddy suggested I write them out for the neophyte campers out there. I guess he figures my bad examples might add up to a good one.

Spending some time in the Army, I never understood the grunt and groan reaction to “FTX” (Field Training Exercise)

I also never understood sleeping on the ground. That’s where the bugs and snakes are. Fellow scribe Spider Robinson also points out you will inevitably find that’s where God keeps his significantly large pointy rock collection.

You’ll discover this AFTER you hit the tent to sleep for the night. They’ll magically appear in an area you swear was bare dirt mere hours before.

Dig a hip hole. It’s a shallow 2-3 inch deep by a foot wide hole, designed for your hips to fall into when rolling around at nite. Air mattresses fail (see pointy rocks)

I prefer the hammock and tarp method. You’re off the ground, but one particular downside comes along with this.

Fire ants.

Having recently returned from Florida, I can state for the record that the dumbest thing you can do is to put up a hammock between two palm trees. You’ve created the equivalent of a Route 1 bypass, and upon discovering this the ants will head for it in huge numbers.

That is when you will discover that a hammock is like a giant waterslide ride for ants, with a terminus directly at your crotch.

If camping alone, bring twice as many books as you think you can read, and half as much underwear.

Learn how to keep a clean camp…and live it.

Skip modern technology. It’ll fail you. Although that solar powered cell phone charger looks snazzy, do you REALLY want to hear the nerve jangling sound of your electronic leash while on vacation.

Shut it down, shut it off. Bring paper and pencils.

I don’t care what it says on the package… dehydrated food tastes like dehydrated garbage. Learn to cook rice and such outdoors. It tastes better.

Keep that flash light right next to you. You never realize how your body adjusts to the rise at 230am to help water it.

Deep Woods OFF is your friend. Get a lot of it.

More on the next pass. I feel a.woods inspired nap coming on.