Thinking Thursdays

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Camping Thoughts

I want to do something a little different here, so I’m creating Thinking Thursdays to see what streams of consciousness¬†(or pure random drivel) come about. It may be about long term camping, or living in a tent, or Holiday camping, or hiking, or anything else. It will be a surprise to us all.

For example, the bitter cold that has swept through my area (and others) this week has brought cold and aching hands and joints, leading to memories of trying to get water unfrozen.


Heating Water When Frozen

Whether you’re freezing or the water, or both – heating anything up can cause those pins and needles feelings while you’re nerves and circulation wake and catch up.

If you’re also heating something else at the same time, you need to be careful to not burn yourself accidentally. Not being able to feel the heat correctly means that you may have trouble knowing you are causing harm to yourself. Never a good thing.

If you have options, use a large pot to heat the water. You’re less likely to be caught by the steam, and the pot is less likely to quickly burn your hands.


How Close to the Fire?

I’ve mentioned how far away from a firepit to pitch a tent, but you need to be careful while placing yourself near one as well.

As you stand there, parts of your body become accustomed to the heat while others continue to desire it. Make sure you aren’t slowly shifting closer than you should by your body convincing you to get warmer. Your warm parts won’t feel too hot, since they’re already used to the higher temperature. The cold parts will feel better as you move in.


Swaying in the Breeze

Pondering being too hot is making me jealous of the heat a roaring campfire brings (my heat’s been off most of the day and now it’s freezing but edging towards a flirt with warmth).

So, focus cuts to the danger of freezing and snapping tree limbs.

Having your tent set up under trees protects you from the elements, and makes tarping easier, but it also puts you at risk for falling branches.

Particularly after any precipitation freezes, branches can become unstable. They can snap or a notch can crumble. When a branch snaps, it can be sound like a thunderbolt directly next to your ear.

Once it starts to move gravity takes over. If it’s above you, it’s going to land on you. Any taut tarping and a strong tent frame can deflect some of it, but only a tiny amount. Once it lands, take a few seconds to make sure you don’t hear any more coming down, and fix any human physical damage first. Triage any damage to materials, and look around outside to see if it’s an isolated incident.


Planted Forests

If you’re camping in an area that has been deforested, look to see if all the trees are the same type and roughly the same age. If all the trees look basically the same, remember it.

Tree health is a kind of community. If the trees are roughly the same age and type, the behavior of a few can hint at more.

For example: if a few trees have had branches come down, don’t set up under any of those types and size of tree. They are probably aged and more trees will be losing limbs.

This is especially important if you plan to spend a significant amount of time at one site. The law of averages is against you once a dozen or so trees have lost bits while you’ve been there.


Learning the Hard Way

Camping is, by design, experiential learning. You figure out what works in each situation, and vary the solutions as needed for further adventures and mishaps.

New things arise every time you’re out there.

Some are awesome and awe-inspiring.

Some are awesome and terrifying.

Hopefully, you will always experience the awe-inspiring, and rarely the terrifying.



Well, this was different.

Kind of a jumble of various things that have passed through my head, but never really formed into thoughts.

What do you think?

Share your experiences in the comments!

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I'm (now) an Affiliate, who blogs about the materials, gear and supplies needed for living in a tent and long term camping: http://longtermcamping.siterubix.com I also enjoy reading and sci-fi in all its many forms.

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