Prep Monday—Camping

Let’s talk about camping. Most people have done it at least once or twice, some love it, some hate it. My personal idea of camping is sleeping in a tent, cooking over a fire, doing your household chores and personal business without the conveniences of home.

My husband disagrees.

(I will not also get into the fact that SO MANY of my friends—and children—are too wussy anymore to actually sleep in a tent, but if the shoe fits . . .)

So last week, we bought a camper. Not an RV, not a 5th wheel, although, in hindsight, those would certainly be easier to move around inside—although more difficult to haul wherever you’re going.

My kids laugh at me and say I’m turning into my mother.

Joke’s on them, it wasn’t MY idea.

See, my husband will go camping—the tent kind—but he bitches and moans ALL NIGHT LONG about the hard ground, he’s too hot, he’s too cold, he has to get up and down, etc., etc. Don’t even let him see a mosquito, or hear one, or even think one is within a half mile of him.

So. We bought this pop-up tent camper.


It has a propane tank, a battery, electric hookups, a water tank or water hookup, your choice; it has a heater and an AC unit—good thing, because when pulling it with my truck, that’s the only thing I can see behind me. There’s a tiny fridge and a tiny kitchen sink, a couple cabinets, curtains, a very small dinette, and a propane stove that you can set inside or put on a railing outside under the canopy.

Oh, and heated beds. Good grief.

And you don’t raise it with one those old cranks, the modern tent camper has a switch. Thank goodness. Takes a lot of turning to lower the jacks on the back end as it is.

The first night, we’d parked it in our “guest parking” that no one ever seems to see. Ahem. I think I’ll put up a sign that says “PARK HERE ALREADY” or something . . . Anyway, we set it up and thought, gee, why not sleep here tonight? So we did. Nothing says camping like walking out the door and running smack into an F-150.

We moved it the next day to a more permanent spot, near the house and the fire circle outside the yard. The extension cord reaches there, and it’ll be a convenient guest room. We stocked a few things, like beer and coffee, and set out to spend Night 2.


The beds are pretty small too—there’s a theme here. One is a single, the other is full-size. Doable, but barely. My husband let me have the larger one, in front, because the dog sleeps with me, mostly. She loved it, by the way.

So I had plenty of room to stretch out, but see, here’s the problem: he snores. Normally, I poke him or holler at him to get him to stop, but I was clear on the other end of the (admittedly) small camper. Here’s the other thing: I do not, and have never, gotten out of bed in the middle of the night for any reason. Well, okay, mostly—I mean, when the kids were little and had those annoying 2 a.m. feedings, sure. Of course, the first time any of them skipped that, it proved to me they could wait until morning and so they did.

Fine, if anyone is pissed thinking that I let my babies wail all night, think again. I did not.

But, for the record, I hate getting up at night.

So, in the camper, I seriously considered throwing something at him. Nothing too painful, and of course nothing within my reach was NOT going to be painful, so I suffered in silence.

Ha, who am I kidding? I just hollered. It mostly worked.

Then, during one his middle-of-the-night forays, he missed the step coming back into the camper. Talk about being jolted awake! The whole thing moved and shimmied and I was AWAKE! Fortunately, it was close to time to get up, and yes, he was fine. Scared the crap out of me, though.

Why am I talking about this on a prep blog? Because a lot of people who plan to bug out will also plan on camping. It’s not like, when SHTF, you’ll be able to check into a Motel 6 or somewhere.

First, know where you’re going and how to get there—multiple routes, because some may be impassable for a variety of reasons.

Second, keep your camper well-stocked and know how to set it up and use all the features. Practice makes perfect, after all.

Third, have your gear together and ready to throw in your vehicle. Know how to use everything you purchase and take with you. Practice again.

And fourth, make sure wherever you’re going is permissible for you to be there. Again, I can’t say this too often, know and practice what to do once you arrive and have to live there for a period of time.




Work Wednesday—The Rest of the Farm

I’ve kept you all entertained, or something, the last ten months, with the house remodel. I’m happy to say that we’ve reached the end!


We’re still mulling over the bathroom, particularly the shower, which means we haven’t yet tiled the floor. Or finished the baseboards or doorframe in there. And the dungeon, aka the lean-to, still needs some work, mostly cleaning and some repairs.

Or knocking it over and starting from scratch.

Oh, and the kitchen backsplash. Well, there’s a giant PITA.

Fortunately, there’s an upside: if you don’t look up, you won’t notice. Much like the rest of the house, if you deliberately look anywhere besides the booboos, it’s all looks great! And that, my friends, is due to my husband—the booboos are mine, I admit it, I kinda stink at this stuff.

But truthfully, we’re move-in ready. And it’s starting to look more like a home and a lot less like a construction zone:







In fact, during this past work session, we’ve been out in the woods building a campsite:




See, I love to camp! Now, living in the woods is awesome, but sometimes I want to sleep in a tent and cook over a fire. So, the campsite. In fact, our third annual campout is in March—yes, sometimes it sleets—and we need to be ready.

The outhouse is in pieces in the barn yet, under construction, and the kitchen shelter itself is somewhat imaginary, although if you look closely at the picture, you can see the string outline. Those are both waiting for at least 55 degrees, and will be followed by a small shower house some time in late spring or early summer.

In the meantime, I’m searching for a smaller, more wintery tent . . .