More Rain

Posted on November 26, 2007. Filed under: Camp Fire Chats | Tags: , , , , , |

Greetings Campers,

Its cold, its wet, its almost winter. I am sitting back in the trusty Coleman camp chair. Under a worn green tarp with a pitifully small fire. The Maxwell House coffee has long since gone cold. Thinking I might need something a little stronger to keep in the warmth! I like the Bombay Saphire Gin. Wilderness Doug is more if the Jack Daniels kind of guy, but I like the gin. A little gin poured over ice chipped off of the mini iceberg. Wave the bottle of tonic over the top and add lime. Oh Yea… feel the warmth!

Well campers a dreary day like this reminds me of Winter Camp IV. Wilderness Doug and yours truly had become made campers two years before by earning our unauthorized patches. What’s an unauthorized patch? Well that will be a story for another day. Any way because of the unauthorized patches, we had decided that we could only camp on private ground or wilderness areas. We did not know anyone with sufficient private ground to satisfy a couple intrepid fledgling campers, so we opted for the Hoosier National Forest Charles C. Dean Wilderness area. We had decided on the wilderness area because the only things we could find that was illegal in the wilderness area was, poaching, littering, and driving motorized vehicles. Nothing in the bylaws about young and stupid. We were stoked! Doug’s brother Flint had joined the group the prior year. He had the prerequisite blank look on his face and didn’t talk back to much when we told him to do the menial camp duties.

HIKE TO CAMPSITE IV…….Rain, Wind, Not Quite Freezing Coldsnow2007.jpg

Wilderness Doug had purchase a couple maps of the wilderness area. We randomly picked a trail that we thought would lead towards a Ranger tower. (It seemed like a cool thing to do at the time.) We started down the trail with our 90 pound cheap back packs. (We still had not started reducing the payload yet, remember strong backs weak minds!) We had started upgrading some of our cooking equipment, but not much. The trail started nice wide and easy to travel. Soon we came across trees that had been cut down across the trail. Kind of a nuisance, but not bad to step over. The rain continued. As we slogged down the trail the trees became increasingly more common draped across the trail. We had to go over some around others and under a few. The rain came down harder, the wind started to blow. Came out of the woods and saw the tower. Young and dumb. We had to climb it! We climbed tower. Looked around. Told each other how cool we were for doing so. We walked back down. Now we were cold, wet, and tired. Wilderness Doug still had a map and we had a place picked out to go to. So we started back into the woods. Now the trees cut across the path were about every couple of feet. It was getting colder.

CAMPSITE IV camp_during_white_out.jpg

We finally made to camp. Nothing really special about camp location except it was deep in the woods. We cleared a spot and set up the tents. Looking for dry wood was problematic, but not impossible for seasoned campers. We finally managed to get a fire going and realized that it was going to be very wet camp unless we came up with something. Our solution was to rig a rain fly over the fire and use a tree to create a high pitch so the rain would run off. Problem solved. NOT

We then came to the unavoidable conclusion that when it was cold and it rained, and it wasn’t cold enough to make the ground freeze you got a little thing we liked to call mud. Being creative we searched around and found lots of cut trees. Fortunately there were a bunch that the rangers had cut down and placed in the trail to keep motorized vehicles off the trail. We borrowed them. Soon we had a makeshift patio to walk on. We were mostly dry, fire was warm, time to crack open a cold one or two. After a couple we started looking for the ever present camp schnapps. Brother Flint was in charge. No schnapps! Big problem!! This year we cut back on some of the beer and opted to supplement with harder and lighter schnapps. So we had a quick camp council and a fair vote. Flint won the nomination to “volunteer” to hike back to the car and get our schnapps. He was gone for a couple hours. Wilderness Doug and I kept vigil by the fire drinking keeping Flints beer company in his absence. Flint made it back safely.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful except for the occasional dumping of the rain fly water on someone who was not keeping a close eye on fellow campers. Dumping cold water on a unwary camper when its 35 degrees outside. That one always cracks us up!

Another successful camp. No one died. Winter Camp IV


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4 Responses to “More Rain”

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Yesterday I was thinking about this camp as it rained all morning. Excellent timing. I think of a couple of innovations that came from this one.

1. Rain fly or tarp is always on the pack list, even if it is below zero. Even if it does not rain the tarp can still be used to wrap frozen corpes for the drag out at the end of camp.

2. Rubber boots are far superior than leather under these conditions.

3. If you are a rookie or low man, you should always make sure that senior camper booze is available.

About 10 days to pre-camp. Remember this is a self forage camp. Any status on Rookie Jason? Any patch ideas? Right now I just have the 2 made camper patches from 07′.


Wilderness Doug,

I have sad news to report. Camp Dork/ Former first year man Jayson may be turning to the “BUCKSIDE”

I know what your thinking…. I thought we had eradicated this menace to campers years ago in a land far far away. But it has returned.

Camp Dork/Former first year man Jayson has started the waffle. He is bringing up some lame excuse about “the girlfriends” company Christmas party. Isn’t this how we lost Buck? First it was Buck giving up on the long rambling tirades about “The Greatest Company Ever” Cummings! Then he missed one pre-camp. Soon he missed a Winter Camp Actual. Busted in rank and eventually lost entirely.

It’s too difficult for the Captn to recount the tragedy of Buck. If you have it in you Wilderness Doug… Would you recount for Camp Dork/Former first year man Jayson the sad tale of Buck when he followed “the girlfriend” out of state?


The Buckwheat saga is a sad one and should be a lesson to all campers. The tale begins with Buck at the ripe old age of 30 finally getting a girlfriend. The fact it took this long is not surprising if you know Buck. The gal was at least 15 years older than Buck and he felt that true love had finally found a way into his backpack.

After a few years his dreamboat decided she was going to move to Texas. Buck, who had a good job with “The worlds greatest company” decided he would go with her. He quits the job and moves to Texas and buys a house. Once down there she decides she wants to go to school to get a teaching degree. Buck cashs out his 401K and retirement and funds the education. (You see where this is going). Once the degree is in hand she decides that maybe Buck isn’t the one for her. She dumps Buck and disappears. Buck grovels to her parents to try and get her back but to no avail. Broken and beaten, Buck returns home and is destin to live a miserable lonely life.

So, young camper Jayson, let this be a lesson. Life will throw many twists and turns at you. Camp is the one steady, consistant bedrock you can count on. Unless your said girlfriend comes with a chain of family liquior stores, a good string of bird dogs, telescoping legs, a nice boat, is mute, looks good in buckskin, and a couple of good ponds then take heed. If she does come with all the above……does she have a sister?




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