Had a blast camping this weekend, GS camp staff reunion, in spite of a few small glitches:
We arrived at the site, and while I was unloading the truck, I called my husband. Unfortunately, I heard his phone ringing in both ears—he’d left it in said truck, and there it sat, all weekend. The kid has a phone, naturally, so we communicated that way.
I actually turned off my phone most of the time, checking it once in a while. It was kind of nice, especially since one kid had decided that I was Directory Assistance and the other one had a few issues with her car being towed—not that I could have helped, as she lives 300 miles away . . .
Of course, leaving the phone off also meant that I didn’t get a lot of pictures this year.
We set up the tent, put the handwashing jug on a stump, filled the fire buckets. I started to put together my cot, and was missing a critical bar—pretty sure it’s in the towed car, 300 miles away . . .
It’s all good, we’re Scouts after all. I used Pokey Senior, my original fire-poking stick, and slept like a baby.
Well, a baby in the woods, at temps down to 55; a baby with a touch of arthritis. But it worked out okay.
So we cooked out, we talked, we stayed up too late and got up too early. Well, some of us . . .
After breakfast on Saturday, we did some leather tooling—awesome—and then I tried to take a nap. Laid down on my cot, put up my feet, gazed up through the roof at the trees, listened to the birds singing, watched the clouds. And then a group stopped at the adjoining picnic area. With remote control cars.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZip. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZip. VROOOOOOOOOOOM.
Yay. Fun. For them.
No, I didn’t yell, “GET OFF MY LAWN.” But I nixed the nap.
And then we had a visitor: Sam, the horse! A lady was trail riding around the park and stopped to have lunch with us. Sam was a doll—I offered to keep him for a few days, but the lady wasn’t going for it. Bummer for me . . .
Not long after, the rest of the old, er, former staff began to arrive. We’d reserved the lodge up on top of the hill—and what a hill it is—for those who wanted to sleep inside; there’s a nice covered porch too, and a firepit just a few steps up the hill.
Had a WONDERFUL time! Around 10:30, those of us camping “downstairs” decided to head on down the hill. Turns out, we had the after-party going until around midnight.
Sadly, we couldn’t convince anyone to do a White Castle run for us . . .
Sunday morning was gorgeous. And painful. Uneven terrain, hills/mountains (yes, I know the difference; I lived in Colorado for a couple years, but trust me, this felt like a mountain). Breakfast, goodbyes . . . until next year.
What does this have to do with prepping?
Well, quite a lot, actually. Anyone can go camping—but your comfort level may depend on certain things. The more prepared you are, the better experience you’ll have. Of course, there are different types of camping: RV, camper, tent, hammock, car, all based on your sleeping choice, but any of the comforts associated with these can be combined or changed up according to your preference.
Now, I’m a purist (oh, shut up—I know I brought technology with me, but really, who leaves home without it anymore?) and I like to do things the hard way. And the safe way.
Take a campfire, for instance. We don’t leave our fire unattended while it’s flaming, and we keep two big buckets of water right there, just in case.
I see it all the time, newbies come out and start a big ol’ blazing fire and there’s nothing around to stop it if it gets out of control. Use the right size fire for whatever you’re doing, and make sure you can put it out when you need to.
Plus, the buckets double for washing dishes.
But stop and think for a minute: if SHTF, who’s going to be more prepared to bug out? Someone with organized camping gear, the stuff that makes it pretty easy to load and go and actually live in the woods? Or someone who has to grab whatever they can find quickly and throw it in the car and hope they got the right things?
Or even someone who has to first gas up the RV and then try to figure out which roads are accessible, besides the highways? And if you run out of propane? Can you start a fire? Can you put one out? Can you figure out which way is which without a GPS? Can you remain healthy?
Lots of questions, and everyone should be able to handle the basic skill set, even if they don’t enjoy camping on a regular basis, or enjoy it at all.
But those people who don’t like camping? Yikes, I’ll stop—I know almost exactly WHO is going to comment at this point! J