Camp Fire Chats

Coors launches below freezing beer???

Posted on November 29, 2007. Filed under: Camp Fire Chats | Tags: , , , , , , , |

A beer that is served below freezing?????

Greetings Campers,

Thats right. A beer thats served below freezing. The good Captn has found some information tha Coors Brewing company UK has developed a beer that when served is colder than freezing. See linked info Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but keeping beer below freezing is not usually a problem for winter campers.

During Winter Camp III we had temperatures drop down to negative 10 degrees. During that camp we built a fire that was chest high and kept it blazing all night. We had to take our beers and form a ring around the fire and turn them occasionally to keep them from freezing solid. This technique worked out quite well. The only draw back was that in order to open said beers, one would need to remove ones gloves. If one was not careful one could find ones self attached to said beer can. The other problem that presented itself was the occasional need to return a beer to nature. This was Winter Camp III and we were still suffering from what is known as young and dumb. It never occurred to us that when nature called, leaving a beer by the fire would be ok. So all of us at one point wondered from the fire carrying an open beer, to answer the call of nature. This is where all of that science stuff we were supposed to learn in school would have been helpful. If you take a near freezing beer, stumble away from the fire into the negative ten degree woods, set down beer on cold stump, take care of business, stumble back towards fire and then take a drink of the beer, something happens. That something is not good. A below freezing beer can when touched to a warm lip has a tendency to freeze to that lip. After losing a couple layers of lip skin we all learned to warm the spot you planned on taking a drink from and testing before taking a long swig of beer.

So Coors your too late. Winter Campers were serving below freezing beer over twenty years ago.

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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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Who else is a winter camper?

Posted on November 13, 2007. Filed under: Camp Fire Chats | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Greetings Campers,

It’s a cool rainy damp miserable morning. But the good news is…, its not a Monday. Your charming and delightful blogger has been side tracked with his recent diatribe against the evil Tom Brandy and his beezelbub charmed N.E.P.’s Today though my goal is to get back to camping. So pull your Coleman camp chair in under the rain fly, grab a black tin cup with white specs, pour yourself a piping hot cup of Folgers coffee, and hear my tail.

As senior campers Wilderness Doug and I have always felt it s our duty to bring along and educate our next generation of campers. To this ends we have always had the camp rookie program. Camp rookies serve quite a few purposes. First and foremost they serve as a reminder that Wilderness Doug and Captn Rob are the SEINOR CAMPERS. As senior campers it is our duty to make sure the rookies become fully versed in the terms of camp law, learn the ways of winter camping, and do our bidding. Oh yea it is a tough job! We have been through quite a few rookies over the years. Lets see if I can name them all…

We had…
The original and best Rookie ever…camper Flint
Pretty Boy Betten
The disgraced Dennis, “Buck” Buckwell
John, The old guy
Sled Dog owen. (The only camper that ever came close to buying last round. He is the reason for the last round law.)
Discraced for a second time Dennis “Buck” Buckwell
Country Bob
*Camper Corney. (Note Camper Corney is now a made camper and subordinate only to senior campers in the camp council)
Missing in action TRod. (His woman won’t let him come out and play anymore. She always was the smarter of the two)
*Camp Dork/First Year Man Jayson
*”The Boy” (Also first year man)
*Denotes still active camper

Rookies come and go. Thats how Doug’s wife Angie coined our camp slogan. “What just you two idiots again?” But recently we have managed to keep a good crop of rookies. Some we miss and some we don’t. Camper Flint passed away in a non camping related auto accident. We miss him still. He was a good camper. The rest were questionable campers anyway. Sled dog owen was always good for a laugh. He had a tendency to become over served with adult beverages and forget some camp essentials. The year we thought he was going to buy last round he forgot his sleeping bag. He slept cuddled with a garbage bag and empty pint of Jack Daniels for warmth. We still get a chuckle retelling that story.

Till next time campers…. Hurummmmmph!

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WOW, Just like being at camp…

Posted on October 22, 2007. Filed under: Camp Fire Chats |

I guess writing a blog is just like being at winter camp. You get to talk all you want, but your never really sure if anyone is listening. If you assume no one is listening, in most cases you will be right.

One of the most popular events of winter camp is the campfire discussion. We use the term discussion loosely, in most cases it is more of a long rambling incoherent rant. If you stay around the campfire long enough incoherent even becomes a generous term. Having anywhere from two to five or more campers all with strongly held opinions attempting to talk at the same time, it becomes apparent why we camp in the winter. There are fewer people to annoy. My favorite tactic in the campfire discussions is to take the opposing viewpoint. I have been blessed with the temperament that I don’t have to believe in something to be able to argue about it. I just have to be able to make an intellectually accurate argument. As the amount of adult beverages consumed increase, my ability to determine what is intellectually accurate decreases. Fortunately the rest of the camp also looses their ability to determine this as well.

In the above paragraph I used the word “LOOSES”. This is where I go back to my old school belief that anything worth communicating is worth saying. The written word is fine for some things, but not everything. Take the word looses for example. It is spelled correctly, but is it really the word I think it is. The word I want to use if spelled phonetically would look like this LOOZES. There is also a word similar which is loose. Like in baggy clothing (loose). If your wondering where I’m going here, stay with me for a few more seconds. The program I am using has spell check, but not grammar or a thesauruses. I could cut and paste and check with another program, but that seems like a lot of work. I’m a camper after all! The reason I bring this all up is a few years back I played poker with a group of friends on a somewhat regular basis. One night I was first one out. Beth Wagner (no relation to Captn Rob) decide it would be cute to make a big name tag that said loozer (spelling it phonetically here) and make me where it until the game ended. What she did not know was what she spelled was not loozer, but rather looser, as in baggy or loose clothing. So instead of me being the butt of the joke the rest of the night, I was able to turn the tables and make fun of Beth for her inability to make fun of me with out screwing it up. That’s how campers roll.

So now I have to sit back and wait and worry that the words I wrote are what I thought I wrote. The only way to be sure is through the lack of grief heaped upon me by the other campers. PS. The word where is worrisome as well. That’ why if you are going to make fun of someone. Do it verbally not in writing!

So what did all of this have with Winter Camping? Not a Dang Thing!!! That’s what happens with a normal winter camp rant.

Till next time, GOOD CAMPING

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

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