Another bright and sunny day. Windy but there is nothing that can be done about that other than to wait it out.
Still working on figuring out how this blogging process works. Not sure I have a firm grip on it yet so for the person that actually gets out here and finds this site, please leave me a message and let me know what I am lacking or what I may have missed. I spent some time updating the “About” section today. That will give you some history of who I am and how I ended up not only as a tent camper but also out here telling you about the journey.
There are so many topics to cover about tent camping and campground tent camping that I am not sure where to begin without boring a person to tears. It really helps if you have some survival skills to begin with before you undertake a journey of this nature. It also helps if you have some good equipment to begin with and have half an idea how to use that equipment. Too many times we have seen people show up with a brand new tent, still in the box, just as the sun is setting, and we watch as they struggle to figure it out as it gets darker and darker. Of course we normally offer to help, but often people are too proud to admit that they have no clue about what they are doing and they refuse any help that is offered. Its fairly easy to spot a newbie as soon as they step out of their vehicle. They stretch, look around their site like their measuring it out for its limited space, they kick a few rocks around, they look back at their vehicle, and then they wander away for a soda or a beer before they even attempt to unload any equipment. When they return they look up at the sky like its some kind of enemy attack and then they start rapidly hauling boxes of new equipment out and dumping things on the ground looking for instructions. We tend to wait until they have that glazed look in their eyes before we intrude with an offer of assistance. Maybe we wait too long, I don’t know, but it seems the newer a person is to tent camping, the quicker they are to refuse help. A seasoned tent camper will chime in with “sure, grab that pole over there will you” and within ten minutes were all kicking back enjoying the evening. The newbies crawl into their tents about an hour later looking like they’ve just come home from a war. So a word of advise, accept the help when its offered and you’ll get to enjoy more of your evening.
Food is another big issue that has many tent campers confused. Bread molds, bananas get brown and mushy, can openers always break at the worst of times, and those little propane cylinders always run out half way through cooking your dinner. It never fails that someone shows up with a great big cooler and no way to get ice to keep their chicken cold over night. Canned food is okay but its bulky and not very nutritional. Sure people buy the new coolers that plug into their cigarette lighters. Next morning they get up to a dead battery in their vehicle. Camping requires that you plan ahead, way ahead. Rice lasts a long time and is a great filler, but unless you have a pressure cooker and a way to utilize electricity with a camp stove, your going to burn through your propane way too quickly. Of course every person has their own dietary needs. We have found that we can shop by the month for our canned items or dry goods but have to shop every three days or so for anything fresh like produce, dairy, deli, or meats. Because we moved to a warm area, nothing stays cold long. Luckily for us, electricity is available at our site and someone recently gave us an ice maker so we could stop spending $2.25 a day for a ten pound bag of frozen water cubes. Not everyone can get that lucky though. Prior to that we had to be very selective in what we tried to keep cold in a tiny Styrofoam cooler.
We also had to learn that food of any kind can not be left setting around. Our first month here we made a big mistake of leaving a pan that we had cooked a tuna casserole in filled with water (but not washed out) out side our tent by our water source. In the middle of the night I heard strange sounds outside. I unzipped the tent window and looked out to find a large wild cat from the puma family staring back at me as he lapped away at the water. Luckily he drank his fill and wandered away. It could have been much worse. We learned and have never done that again. Not only did we endanger ourselves with our carelessness, we also endangered others staying at the campground, especially dog owners that might have chosen that time to walk their furry little children. Tent campers have to be respectful of not only their own environment, but also of the environment of those around them.
Well, enough for today. The wind has died down now and its time to get back to some of my other work. Have a great day everyone.