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Old 01-24-2018, 04:12 PM   #21
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I went camping with my Moms grandfather and grandmother and one cousin. They would take the two of us on trips. For us it was great, lots of extra grandparents, cookies and treats galore. We could borrow bicycles that they had for their own grandkids and ride around. Use canoes and and outside games. it was great.
One thing I remember from it was they were staying in some large long term RV park and another very elderly couple came over and were asking Grandpa if he knew anything about camper toilets. So he went over and was looking in it while I stood outside. I heard him exclaim J***S C****t!! there's sh*t all the way up to the bowl. I ended up handing him items as he needed them when he came back, sticks, a water hose and such as he broke the crap down and worked it out the tank. I remember him filling the tank and then using the stick for awhile then telling me to go outside and pull the handle. He later explained they had left the valve to the toilet tank ( black water) open so the poop just built up. So even as a kid I knew not to do that.
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Old 01-24-2018, 05:42 PM   #22
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big no no

as you know Kenton that is a big no no even a kid knew it!

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Old 01-24-2018, 07:21 PM   #23
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These stories are the best! Thank you all for sharing.

Several years ago we were in our little Coleman tent at Yosemite National Park, camped right next to the Merced River. Every night the Rangers would be on patrol with air horns running the bears out of the campground back across the river. The first night they actually treed one right in our campsite and spent a lot of time working to get the bear out of the tree. On our third night we forgot to zip the door to the tent closed all the way and were awakened by a large creature snuffling around INSIDE of our tent! We assumed it was a bear due to all of the bear activity that had been happening previous nights. My husband jumped out of his sleeping bag blind without his glasses on, making himself as big as possible screaming and shouting "Go away bear go away!" The creature hopped back out of the door and ran off into the night. We never discovered whether it was actually a bear or something else like a raccoon or a fox, but we never forgot to zip the door closed again!
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:34 PM   #24
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Possum in the jungle

While we were doing field work for 4 months at a time in the "jungle" tropical forests of Belize we based at an archeological camp some 90 miles from paved roads and civilization. We had numerous interesting wildlife encounters. Most we sought out as conservation biologists. Others not so much.

Our bush stick hut where we were based had a palm thatch roof, dirt floor, and gaps between the stick and small log walls and only an open doorway. It was mostly rain proof, but that was all. As we were not part of the university group we were located about 300 meters outside the main archeologists camp where the two professors and their students camped and the kitchen was located.

We slept on single cots close to the ground, with mosquito netting over the top to both keep away mosquitoes, spiders, scorpions and the odd vampire bat.

I was away from the camp for a 3-day meeting so Carolyn was in the hut alone for 2 nights. She awoke hearing dried leaves crunching and "snuffling" while some critter circled around the outside walls. She knew it was bigger than the Big Eared Climbing rat that often came down from the roof for popcorn handouts every few nights. Besides BECR was cute and small.



She related that after about 15 minutes the rustling stopped and she relaxed and began drifting back to sleep. She awoke to a weight on her feet that was on top of the mosquito net and moving. She grabbed her Maglight from under her pillow and by then it had almost crept up to her knees and she saw to huge reflective eyes. She said she screamed like mad and the critter jumped to the floor and as it was itself frightened and hurrying around the hut to find the door her inner biologist returned and she saw it was only a tropical Opossum. Harmless but having some 10 lb. critter clamber up on your cot was unnerving in the dark.


At breakfast at the camp, she apologized for screaming during the night as it was only an opossum. Apparently, no one had heard her scream! Now that was what really worried her.
++++


We had out houses in that jungle camp. And when living there for 4 months at a time one gets used to these. They were simple wooden structures, 3 walls and a door, no roof with pits that had lime dumped in every day so not bad. There were wooden lids to cover the set holes that were to always be in place when not in use.


Apparently, not all covers had been so previously replaced. I went to use one of these and shortly after I had settled in the required seated position what seemed like a thousand velvety hands began slapping my bottom. As I jumped up the hole was then open and about 6-7 small fruit bats flew out.


We are looking forward to some serious boon docking now that we are back in the U.S.
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Old 01-24-2018, 07:54 PM   #25
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Before buying our first Scamp, we had an aft cabin powerboat that we kept docked at a coastal marina. One weekend in late October I’d gone down to check on the boat and noticed the sailboaters were having an end of season party. There appeared to be a fair amount of alcohol flowing but things quieted down early in the evening as most of the crowd drifted out.

Shortly after turning in, I heard a profanity laced tirade with what sounded like an occasional ‘help’. I got up, dressed and went on deck but heard nothing further so went back to bed. A little later, the cussing started over,, continued until I went back outside and again nothing. Every now and then, I’d catch another ‘help’. This continued until around midnight when I finally pinpointed the sound as coming from the floating dock several slips down from mine.

I grabbed my four D cell Maglite figuring there was a fairly good chance of having to try to reason with a belligerent drunk and headed down the pier. At first I didn’t see anything and then I heard A faint splashing near one of the sailboats. The beam of my light showed one of the fattest guys I’ve ever seen clinging to a mooring line.

I tried to help him out but he was either too drunk or too cold or both to move on his own and too big for me pull out alone. I got a line under his arms and around his chest and tied him off to a nearby piling while I found a pay phone and dialed 911. The first responder was a city cop who took one look, said he was too near retirement to risk his back on a drunk and called for backup from the county. Two deputies arrived and even the four of us couldn’t get the guy up on the dock.

We finally got him into a life jacket and were able to drag him over to the boat ramp, out of the water and loaded into an ambulance. He was still cussing when he left.

I saw him several times after that but never did get a ‘Thanks’.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:07 PM   #26
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Last year while I was on my annual bike trip I had stopped in Libby, Montana for the night. I pulled up to the hosts site, nobody home so I pitched my tent in an available site which there were quite a few. Went for a meal, came and still no host. Sitting at my table reading, watching people walk by, police drive by, a short time later I notice a car had come in and was sitting there shut off. I think he noticed me looking at him so he pulled into an empty site. He got out and walked around his car, looked at his phone for about fifteen minutes until two other cars had come in. They must not have liked what they seen since the driver of the first car waved to the second car and they continued on out. A short time later the guy in the very first car decided to leave to. I only have presumptions what was going on that night and didn't really sleep well until a camper showed up shortly after dark. The campground host wasn't there in the morning when I left. Strange night to say the least.
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:31 PM   #27
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He later explained they had left the valve to the toilet tank ( black water) open so the poop just built up. So even as a kid I knew not to do that.
I was at an event last year, the SolarFest at the fairgrounds in Madras Oregon, for the great eclipsed, we were camping at an RV park, where several of my friends who were RV-less had rented pre-parked trailers. oddly, the folks who setup the trailers had told them to leave the drain valves open. and yes, by the end of the week, several of these folks were having toilet problems, gee whiz!
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:57 AM   #28
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Tattooed Women

We were camped on a small island off the coast for a few nights. The island was a bird sanctuary and quite noisy until the sun went down. There had been other folks on the island earlier in the day but they'd all left before dark. We were sitting by our camp at dusk when I swore I heard a dog barking on the far side of the island. When we both heard it we went off to investigate.

Walking down the path towards the rocky beach I saw a woman walking on the path at a distance from us. And she was stark naked. The interesting part was that every inch of her body, seen from behind, appeared to be covered in tattoos. Then we saw another woman up on a hill where the birds were nesting with a large dog. So we let her know about the no dogs rule on the island and why.

We continued on towards the beach as there was a small power boat going around in circles in the bay with one man on board. When we were closer to the beach we discovered a kayak with the occupant lying on the beach beside another stark naked woman. When she sat up when she heard us talking about the dog, I noticed she too had tattoos all over her back. A bit closer to all of them onshore and we discovered that they were not tattoos, but small rocks stuck to their backs!

They swam over from another island 5 miles away with the power boat and the kayak as support vessels. Because of the cold water they had liberally greased themselves with lard. Coming ashore they were both so tired they collapsed on the rocky beach, hence the rock collection on their backs. They sure did look like tattoos in the fading light.

The fellow in the power boat was trying to come ashore to pick them up, but because there was an onshore breeze he couldn't find a place to land safely. We guided the women, and the dog, across to our side of the island where there was a sheltered bay. The power boat came around to that side and picked them all up after they had a quick snack. We never did tell them that we thought they were covered in tattoos!
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:16 AM   #29
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Missing Silicone

Camping on a coastal island for a couple of days we were out sitting on the rocks enjoying the morning sunshine when my friend asked me to have a look at the bridge of her nose. Something was bothering her there and when I inspected it appeared that there were two areas of irritated skin on either side. Then I realized that these were the places were her glasses sat on the bridge of her nose so I asked to have a look at her glasses. The frames she had were the type with nose pads that were movable and attached to a small arm. When I had a close look I noticed that where the nose pads were supposed to be there were only small pieces of silicone left with extremely irregular, rough edges.


We started problem-solving to try and figure out how this might have happened. At first we thought perhaps the new type of sunscreen that she was using had caused the deterioration. But that didn’t fit with the ragged edges of the nose pads that appeared as if they had been nibbled on. Sure enough - she soon realized that after reading her book before retiring at night, she would place her glasses on the book on the floor of her tent. Not being able to see the damage done without her glasses on it took a couple of nights before they began irritating her nose.


It looked like the mice had come by each evening for a late night snack of silicone. Maybe it was the salty sweat on them that was the attraction. Fortunately I had an eyeglass repair kit with me that contained a couple of temporary replacement foam nose pads which I attached to what was left of hers. That still left her with problem of the late night diners – maybe they liked foam as well?


Not one to be stymied by an invasion of hungry mice in her tent, she dug into her collection of herbs and spices (she was the cook) and came up with some hot red pepper powder. This she liberally sprinkled around the edges of a piece of paper and placed her glasses inside this circle. The next morning she was happy to discover that no late night diners had crossed the line for a foam snack.


The lesson here was: bring a hard-shell case for your glasses or lots of hot red pepper powder. Or make sure your tent is critter proof!
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:21 AM   #30
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Fantastic stories! I can't top them, but I did have a very unusual camping trip at Yosemite National Park in the 90s. I volunteered for a church ministry that was going to take a bunch of kids with cerebral palsy camping. The men who went and set up camp ahead of time put us in primitive camping. These kids were in electric wheelchairs! By the middle of the second day all of the wheelchairs were dead, very heavy, and we had to push them in the mud is it had rained the night before. That second night in the middle of the night I was awakened to the sudden feeling of my entire sleeping bag being wet. The campers were on cots so they were all dry and fast asleep. One by one the counselor's ended up meeting around the fire. We sat up all night and the next day had a come to Jesus meeting with our handicapped campers. We were beginning our third day of rain and decided to take a vote on going home. Every one of the campers wanted to stay. With her compromised strained voice, one of them pointed out "we're miserable at home! We might as well be miserable here. So we stayed and decided to take raft rides down the river, strapped the campers on to the rafts like mastheads, and rrafted in the rain. They had an absolute blast, it did clear up eventually and we got to do some fun sightseeing. But it was really hard work that week pushing those electric wheelchairs manually. On top of everything, I got home and found out I'd had a broken foot that whole time. Didn't even have any pain and the bone was not displaced. God provides! Fpr years the campers talked about that it was the best trip of their lives. Everything is relative.
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:17 AM   #31
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We use to go camping one night a week 52 weeks a year. This meant some cold winter nights here in the National Forest of NH. We would get a roaring fire and Play 500 rummy and eat a supper around 9PM.
On real nasty weather we would go into our friends 27ft tag along for our supper of usually pot pies and bread and cheese.
One winter night the wind was just wiping and we had to tie down the EZ-up so the wind wouldn't take it away.
We went in to have our supper and I kept looking out every now and then to see if the fire and everything else was still there.
I got up once and I said "I think we'd better get out there ... the Lounge chair is in the fire."
At first the others just stared at me, unbelieving I guess, but then we went out and I don't have to tell you that one of those nylon webbed chairs can make quite a Fire.
Not to mention that because of the cold weather we had the fire within feet of being under the EZ-up but thank goodness I got out there in time to grab the chair and take it out of the fire so as not to catch that on fire.
It being February no other campers were in campground but for us it was an experience we still talk about 8 years later.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:31 AM   #32
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wow!!! what a night that must have been!!!






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Old 01-25-2018, 06:35 PM   #33
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Now back on thread, I was working as a campground host in the White Mountain National Forest, in NH, and one holiday weekend I saw that there was one site that was booked with a group way over-size ,only 2 tents per site, but seeing the campground was full and it was raining I was going to let them stay. The group came in and they had all brand new tents, sleeping bags, Habachis and lanterns and there was like 5 tents with 16 people.
They didn't have a clue on how to set up the tents, Thankfully they were all the same so I gave a lesson with one tent while some of the group set up the others.
The rain kept up for 2 days and nights and on the 3rd day they were gone.
Site was clean... While cleaning comfort station I had to throw trash in dumpster and low and behold... you guessed it...about $1000 worth of camping gear sitting there in the dumpster.
Nobody wants to put a wet tent in there cars I guess.
I donated the camping gear to my local Boy Scout group.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:37 PM   #34
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Now that's funny, Gerry- just dumped it in the trash! And no, I didn't guess... So glad you were around to rescue that valuable equipment and give it to a group that would appreciate it.

It was 1974 and I was bicycling the C&O canal towpath with the Boy Scouts. We pitched our tents in the yard of another Boy Scout troop. Thunderstorm that night, and the whole yard was under water. A couple of phone calls later and the public works manager of that small town opened the maintenance yard, where all the heavy equipment was stored under cover in sheds. Spent the rest of the night warm and dry in the bucket of a front end loader. What a thing for a 12 year old boy!

My family also had to abandon camp once in the middle of the night during a tropical storm in Louisiana. Heavy canvas tent under 4" of water and all our sleeping bags soaked. Dad wrestled it all on top of the family wagon in a sodden lump, tied a rope over it (probably not necessary, gravity would have been sufficient), and drove to a motel. I don't remember how we dried it all out, but we had the tent and bags for many years afterward. I can still smell the pepper from Avery Island...
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:08 AM   #35
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....
I donated the camping gear to my local Boy Scout group.
+++ for doing that!!

biggest mistake novice tenters commonly make is putting their tent on a ground tarp larger than the tent. this collects rain. always use a 'footprint' thats just barely big enough to go UNDER the tent but not stick out, so the tent's fly extends beyond the footprint, so the rain runoff lands on the ground, not on your ground cloth.

ah, another one from the memory vaults...

I remember a cubscout campout at the state park campground thats right near where we all live... geez, this must have been 20 years ago (my 'scout' is now 27). I had a nice snug '4 man' mountain tent, staked it out like I normally did. wasn't any expectation of unusual weather other than a chance of light rain showers. most of the other dads had these ridiculously huge Costco tents, and/or a couple had those really tall REI tents I remember from about 20 years ago, you could stand up straight inside but they were probably only a 6-man or so sized tent. anyways, in the middle of the night, absolutely out of nowhere, some hellacious turbulent winds roared through. my tent did just fine, but half of the big costco/coleman house sized things were shreaded, and those big tall REI tents were flattened. oh, and the 1/2" or so of rain showers we got, the guys with big tarps under their tents? yup, they all had soaking wet floors. I'd seam-sealed my tent's floor a few years earlier, as well as the fly's seams... stayed nice and dry, ayup.
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Old 01-26-2018, 01:41 AM   #36
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I've never forgiven Sir Edmund Hillary for endorsing the six-man tent I bought from Sears.
At three AM I was outside in the pouring rain, in my whitey-tighties, attempting to empty the Olympic-size swimming pool that had formed by the poles in the tent fly. I took a long, cold shower because the alternative was to drown when the tent collapsed.

The Hillary Tent brand is named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb to the summit of Mt Everest, the world's tallest peak. Until his death, Sir Hillary had been Sears' camping equipment advisor for 40 years and it has been claimed he has gone on dozens of camping trips to test the gear which carries his name.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:27 AM   #37
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I've never forgiven Sir Edmund Hillary for endorsing the six-man tent I bought from Sears.
Sir Hillary had been Sears' camping equipment advisor for 40 years and it has been claimed he has gone on dozens of camping trips to test the gear which carries his name.
Maybe he never got around to the rain tests Glenn .
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:32 AM   #38
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Back in the early 80's, I was a seasonal ranger for the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon. For my fourth summer season, I decided for a change of pace and applied for a 5-month stint at Lake Clark National Park in Alaska. On one of the patrol assignments, I flown into a remote lake via float plane and dropped off with a fellow ranger. Lucky for me, he was a 55-year old Athabascan, named Andrew, who had been born and raised there and knew every trick of survival. We had a few days worth of food and were expecting to be picked up before it ran out. Our mission was to discourage poachers from hunting Dall sheep in the new park. It was beautiful for two days, then started to rain. And rain and rain. Then the cloud ceiling got lower and lower until all aircraft access was cut off. We were living in a North Face expedition tent that was top of line. But water soon started running under it and soaking through the seams. Andrew knew to move to higher ground and set up on soft tundra where the water wouldn't pool up. We started stretching the food, but were running out by day 8. We got out the backpack fishing rods and started fishing for grayling. We were catching them on nearly every cast but how to cook them? Andrew reached under his coat and pulled out a dry bird's nest he had found. He said he found it when we set up camp and thought it might be handy later. He then grabbed some willow and started carving off the bark, showing me that the wood was dry underneath. He soon had a roaring fire going in spite of the rain. In his duffel was a roll of tin foil. The fish were wrapped in foil and baked on hot coals and were delicious. With the abundant drift wood we were able to keep the fire going for a couple of days until the sun broke through. We ate a lot of fish. I had made my own contribution. I had brought several books with me. To while away the hours, I read out loud to Andrew while the rain and wind pounded the tent. Andrew had not been to school or learned to read, but he was the smartest man I ever knew. Our pilot, Larry, showed up with the Cessna on about day ten. I kind of hated to leave, but we sure did crave some food other than fish.
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