Winter Camping by Rob III

Posted on November 8, 2007. Filed under: General Posts, Product Reviews | Tags: , , , , , |

Greeting Campers,

I started this blog almost 30 days ago with the intent of telling the history of Winter Camp. For those of you patient enough or with an abundance of unused time on your hands, who actually went back and read “Whose a Winter Camper?”, I say Thank you. For the rest of you, here is a summary. A buddy of mine Doug and myself, were always getting in trouble. Our usual reason for getting in trouble was for going out drinking adult beverages. His wife and my future wife were the ones we were in hot water with. So we thought we had devised a clever scheme to go out without getting in trouble. Our solution Winter Camp. We went the First weekend in February. No one died. A tradition was born.

The first camp we went to our gear was sub-par. I had a old boy scout back pack that was older than I was at the time. (Sure things older than me not as impressive back then as today) Some nasty hard leather boots that had a bad habit of digging a groove in the back of my heal. They did this no matter how many pairs of socks I wore. We shared a tent that Doug purchased at K-Mart. This was a two man summer tent. We were young and broke so the rest of the camp gear was ad-hock. My solution for staying warm was lots and lots of layers. I think I had around 40 pounds of clothes in my back pack the first year. Once the back packs were loaded with clothing. We went foraging for food. This was done at the first discount food store we could find. First item of sustenance on the list BEER. Again young and broke but with some pride. We passed up our normal choice which was Falstaff. We could purchase a case of Falstaff long necks for $4.99 at the time. We upgraded to Milwalkees Best. Since we felt we could not carry enough beer for the entire weekend, we supplemented the beer with some hard liquor. Doug’s choice has always been Jack Danials. I on the other hand went for peppermint schnapps. Whichever brand was cheapest at the time. Other food consisted of some todays camp staples. Branschwagger and socialables. Peanuts in the shell. Meat eggs vegetables all in vast quantities.

By the time we were done our backpacks weighed well over 90 pounds. At the time we were suffering from a couple of afflictions we were unaware of; 1. Young and dumb. 2. Strong back, weak mind. Packs loaded we headed out.

We were not sure where to go so we picked a direction. We ended up in Pokagon State Park. We had our choice of camp sites. But none seemed to fit our needs. So we parked the vehicle and started backpacking. After we had suffered long enough we found a suitable campsite. It was cold just past the freezing point. Snow was drizzling and blowing. We were cold. So we did what humans have been doing from the beginning of time. Set out to build a bigger fire. We searched further and further from camp looking for better wood. Wilderness Doug, or Doug as he was called in those days, found this huge pile of railroad ties down a big hill and about half a mile from camp. As we were suffering from the above mentioned afflictions we thought we had hit gold. Soooo, a couple of hours later after lugging a heavy railroad tie almost half a mile and half way up a steep hill we gave up. Good thing we did. We later found out that railroad ties are filled with a poisonous chemical that is released when burned. This poison causes brain damage. Some people (our wives) are still arguing a couple of points. 1. We actually did get the railroad tie into camp and burned. This explains most of our behavior. 2. It really didn’t matter. This also explains our behavior.

We ate well, Drank well, and nobody died. A tradition was born.

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    There is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, and we are stomping all over it.

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