It is definitely vacation time. In spite of the fact that gasoline rivals the price of pure gold the RV’s, campers and tents are popping up everywhere. Seems like lots of folks like to camp out on their vacations, get away from the city life, go back to nature and fight the mosquitoes instead of the alarm clocks. Add sunburn instead of deadlines and chiggers rather than traffic jams and you’ve got the perfect vacation, right?
There are several rules for folks who camp out. I didn’t pass the first one so I don’t have to go on those kinds of vacations. Mr. B wouldn’t think of letting me get near an open fire with intentions of cooking or sleep in a tent. He'd have to mortgage our little piece of dirt, both tom cats, half the grandkids and all his woodworking equipment to pay the hospital bills for burns and/or botulism. So instead we go to
stay in a condo and live like beach bums in the winter time and call it a
But for those of you who are campers, here's a few helpful hints:
- This is not a hint. It is a rule. (This is the one I flunked). Shine a flashlight into one ear. If the beam shines out the other side, do not go near a campground alone and do not attempt to build a fire. If you pass the flashlight test and think you’d like to camp out for a week or a month then you should read the rest of the hints before you pitch your tent.
- Hints begin with this one: When using a public campground, a tuba placed on the center of your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side of you free from noisy occupants. This is a good rule to know if you want to get a good night’s sleep because some folks do not turn in at
- A hot
rock placed in your sleeping bag will keep your toes warm if you are
camping in the mountains where the nights can get colder than a well
digger’s belt buckle in
. If you can’t find a rock, a nice steamy enchilada will do almost as well, but the cheese will stick between your toes. Sometimes bears can smell cheese from a mile away. Alaska
- Lint from your navel makes a handy fire starter if kindling is hard to find. If even a tiny beam of light found its way from one ear to the other please read the following warning: Remove lint from navel and lay it on the wood pile before setting it on fire.
- You will never be lost if you always remember that moss grows on the north side of any object. Or if your nose is good enough to smell the nearest hamburger joint, then follow the smell of raw onions. You can bet the cell phone service will be good in a burger joint so call your mama and ask her to send help. Mamas can always be depended upon but you can expect a lecture when you get home no matter how old you are. The first words will be, "I told you so."
- Always wear a long sleeved shirt. It helps to keep mosquitoes from feasting upon the flesh on your forearms. It also keeps the green briars from shredding your arms into little strips and the sun from frying you into a piece of well-done arm roast. If you have allergies, it can be used to wipe your nose on.
- A two man up tent does not include two men or a pup. It really means that two people sleep inside the tent but only if neither of them is over five feet tall and weighs no more than one hundred and twenty five pounds. Or one man and one pup can sleep in the tent if the man is less than five feet tall and the pup is kin to the Taco Bell Chihuahua.
- A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes a nice side dish. A potato baked in the live coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck. A potato baked in the live coals for four hours will be classified as a dangerous weapon if found on your person by the park ranger and can draw you about two years of picking up trash every Saturday for two years.
- The guitar of a noisy teenager at the next campsite (this is when you do not follow Rule Two) makes excellent kindling and you don’t have to worry about digging out belly button lint to get the fire started.
- In emergency situations—like when the hamburger joint is closed and you can’t find any moss and your cell phone battery is stone cold dead—you can survive by shooting small game with a sling shot made from a forked stick and the elastic from your under britches.
- You can always get even with that pesky bear that raided your campground and ate all your potato chips and peanut butter cookies by kicking his favorite stump and eating all his ants. They aren’t so bad if you dip them in French Onion Dip.
Now you have the single rule and the hints. Have a wonderful campout and enjoy getting back to nature. At the end of the week, you can go home, sleep in a comfortable bed in air conditioned comfort, not even think about cell phone service, and start planning your next camping trip!