Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Peace and Tranquility

Man, who can beat the bliss of sitting next to a campfire on a chilly night, cooking and eating food cooked over it...sleeping outside. As Ken has reminded me, and it has held very true, the ground seems to get harder every year. At 42, the ground is pretty hard for me! But there is nothing like it really. I can still sleep well on a Thermarest Pad, so, I'm going to keep doing it for as long as I can.

I have a neighbor and we were talking about camping a little bit and he said, "Man, I had enough of that shit in the Marine Corps, practicing to be homeless..."

Another acquaintance remarked, "'Roughing it' to me is a hotel with no room service..."

My Dad hunted the week after Thanksgiving, camped in a tent, every year until he was about 50 years old. I think he finally bought a camper in 1975 and said he had enough of the tent in the late Autumn / early Winter.

I remember back to 1990 through about 1994, I had a pickup truck and I would just take off wherever I wanted to on my days off. A nasty USGI sleeping mat and a USGI mummy bag and a poncho liner, too, and I was off! I had a tent but sometimes I would just stretch a tarp across the bed of the pickup truck, rig it up so that if it rained I would not get wet then I would peel back half of it and sleep under the stars. A nice fire and a can of Dinty Moore Beef Stew is generally all that is required for a young man to have a good time under those conditions.

I like surplus military gear, "USGI" (United States Government Issue for those that don't know...) gear is good gear, from the lowly and brilliant P-38 can opener to the mummy bags and mess kits...and that mess kit spoon which you could almost use as a shovel...there is a lot of good stuff to be had from The Quartermaster!

The USGI Poncho Liner of old, along with the even older military wool blankets, is still a favorite piece of gear. It is so lightweight. You can roll it up until it is nothing and it's a really great, warm piece of gear. My Eureka(!) USMC "Combat" Tent is the best tent I have ever owned but it would be a bit heavy to carry on some type of extended hiking trip. Although you could split it up between two or three people and everything is just fine.

Here are some more pictures of the last trip for you to look at. Hot fire, tent, scenery...peace and quiet. I need more of this. I think I am going to make The Halloween Camping Trip a Tradition now. SAMHAIN!

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