<div align="center">Camper Comments
These are actual comments left on U. S. Forest Service registration
sheets and comment cards by backpackers completing wilderness camping trips:
A Simple Answer
- "A small deer came into my camp and stole my bag of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call."
- "Escalators would help on steep uphill sections."
- "Instead of a permit system or regulations, the Forest Service needs to reduce worldwide population growth to limit the number of visitors to wilderness."
- "Trails need to be wider so people can walk while holding hands."
- "Ban walking sticks in wilderness. Hikers that use walking sticks are more likely to chase animals."
- "All the mile markers are missing this year."
- "Found a smoldering cigarette left by a horse."
- "Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill."
- "Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests."
- "Please pave the trails so they can be plowed of snow in the winter."
- "Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can get to wonderful views without having to hike to them."
- "The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals."
- "Reflectors need to be placed on trees every 50 feet so people can hike at night with flashlights."
- "Need more signs to keep area pristine."
- "A McDonald's would be nice at the trail head."
- "The places where trails do not exist are not well marked."
- "Too many rocks in the mountains."
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal, they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. Holmes said: "Watson, look up and tell me what you see".
Watson said: "I see a fantastic panorama of countless stars".
Holmes: "And what does that tell you?"
Watson pondered for a moment: "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow."
"Why? - What does it tell you, Holmes?"
Holmes was silent for a moment then spoke: "Someone has stolen our tent."
<div align="center">Some Camping Tips
- When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant.
- Get even with a bear who raided 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 un heard 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.
- 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.
- Take this simple test to see if you qualify for solo camping. Shine a flashlight into one ear. If the beam shines out the other ear, do not go into the woods alone.
- A two-man pup tent does not include two men or 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.
- Bear bells provide an element of safety for hikers in grizzly country. The tricky part is getting them on the bears.
- A great deal of hostility can be released by using newspaper photos of politicians for toilet paper.
- In an emergency, a drawstring from a parka hood can be used to strangle a snoring tent mate.
<div align="center">Life Lessons
Setting Up Camp
- Any stone in a hiking boot migrates to the point of maximum pressure.
- The distance to a given camp site remains constant as twilight approaches.
- The number of mosquitoes at any given location is inversely proportional to the amount of repellent that remains.
- The probability of diarrhea increases with the square of the thistle content of the local vegetation.
- The area of level ground in the neighborhood tends to vanish as the need to make camp becomes finite.
- In a mummy bag the urgency of ones need to urinate is inversely proportional to the amount of clothing worn. It is also inversely proportional to the temperature and the degree to which the mummy bag is completely zipped up.
- Waterproof clothing isn't. (However, it is 100% effective at containing sweat).
- The width of backpack straps decreases with the distance hiked. To compensate, the weight of the backpack increases.
- Average temperature increases with the amount of clothing brought.
- Tent stakes come only in the quantity "N-1" where N is the number of stakes necessary to stake down a tent.
- Propane/butane tanks that are full when they are packed, will unexplainably empty themselves before you can reach the campsite.
- Given a chance, matches will find a way to get wet.
- Your side of the tent is the side that leaks.
- All foods assume a uniform taste, texture, and color when freeze-dried.
- Divide the number of servings by two when reading the directions for reconstituting anything freeze-dried.
- When reading the instructions of a pump-activated water filter, "hour" should be substituted for "minute" when reading the average quarts filtered per minute.
- The weight in a backpack can never remain uniformly distributed.
- All tree branches in a forest grow outward from their respective trunks at exactly the height of your nose. If you are male, tree branches will also grow at groin height.
- You will lose the little toothpick in your Swiss Army knife as soon as you open the box.
- Enough dirt will get tracked into the tent on the first day out, that you can grow the food you need for the rest of the trip in rows between sleeping bags.
- When camping in late fall or winter, your underwear will stay at approximately 35.702 degrees Kelvin no matter how long you keep it in your sleeping bag with you.
- The sun sets three-and-a-half times faster than normal when you're trying to set up camp.
- Tents never come apart as easily when you're leaving a site as when you're trying to get them set up in the first place.
- When planning to take time off of work/school for your camping trip, always add an extra week, because when you get home from your "vacation" you'll be too tired to go back for a week after.
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 goes to the bathroom until the camp is set up."
The story is told of a lady who was rather old-fashioned, always quite delicate and elegant, especially in her language. She and her husband were planning a week's vacation in Florida, so she wrote to a particular campground asking for a reservation. She wanted to make sure the campground was fully equipped, but didn't quite know how to ask about the toilet facilities. She just couldn't bring herself to write the word "toilet" in her letter. After much deliberation, she finally came up with the old-fashioned term BATHROOM COMMODE. But when she wrote that down, she still thought she was being too forward. So she started all over again, rewrote the entire letter referring to the bathroom commode merely as the BC: "Does the campground have it's own BC?" is what she actually wrote. Well, the campground owner wasn't old-fashioned at all and when he got the letter, he just couldn't figure out what the woman was talking about. That BC business really stumped him. After worrying about it for awhile, he showed the letter to several campers, but they couldn't imagine what the lady meant either. So the campground owner, finally coming to the conclusion that the lady must be asking about the local Baptist Church, sat down and wrote the following reply: <div align="left">Dear Madam:
I regret very much the delay in answering your letter, but I now take pleasure in informing you that a BC is located nine miles north of the campground and is capable of seating 250 people at one time. I admit it is quite a distance away, if you are in the habit of going regularly, but no doubt you will be pleased to know that a great number of people take their lunches along and make a day of it. They usually arrive early and stay late. It is such a beautiful facility and the acoustics are marvelous...even the normal delivery sounds can be heard. The last time my wife and I went was six years ago, and it was so crowded we had to stand up the whole time we were there. It may interest you to know that right now a supper is planned to raise money to buy more seats. They are going to hold it in the basement of the BC. I would like to say it pains me very much not to be able to go more regularly, but it surely is no lack of desire on my part. As we grow old, it seems to be more of an effort, particularly in cold weather. If you do decide to come down to our campground, perhaps I could go with you the first time you go, sit with you, and introduce you to all the other folks. Remember, this is a friendly community.
Sincerely, (Campground Owner) </div>
In case anyone is considering doing some camping this spring or summer, please note the following public service announcement: In Alaska, tourists are warned to wear tiny bells on their clothing when hiking in bear country. The bells warn away MOST bears. Tourists are also cautioned to watch the ground on the trail, paying particular attention to bear droppings to be alert for the presence of Grizzly Bears. One can tell a Grizzly dropping because it has tiny bells in it.