Camping Tips

by Bruce Cochran, Backpacker, September 1996
When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will
keep the campsites on either side vacant.
Get even with a bear who raided your food bag by kicking his favorite
stump apart and eating all the ants.
Old socks can be made into high fiber beef jerky by smoking them over an
open fire.
When smoking a fish, never inhale.
A hot rock placed in your sleeping bag will keep your feet warm.  A hot
enchilada works almost as well, but the cheese sticks between your toes.
You'll never be awakened by the call of a loon if you have an unlisted
The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges.
Steer clear of parks named for landfills.
Acupuncture was invented by a camper who found a porcupine in his
sleeping bag.
While the Swiss Army Knife has been popular for years, the Swiss Navy
Knife has remained largely unheralded.  Its single blade functions as a
tiny canoe paddle.
Modern rain suits made of fabrics that "breathe" enable campers to stay
dry in a downpour.  Rain suits that sneeze, cough, and belch, however,
have been proven to add absolutely nothing to the wilderness experience.
Lint from your navel makes a handy fire starter.  Warning:  Remove lint
from navel before applying the match.
You'll never be lost if you remember that moss always grows on the north
side of your compass.
You can duplicate the warmth of a down-filled bedroll by climbing into a
plastic garbage bag with several geese.
When camping, always wear a long-sleeved shirt.  It gives you something
to wipe your nose on.
You can compress the diameter of your rolled up sleeping bag by running
over it with your car.
Take this simple test to see if you qualify for solo camping.  Shine a
flashlight into one ear.  If the beam shines out the other ear, do not
go into the woods alone.
A two-man pup tent does not include two men or a pup.
A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes an excellent side dish.
A potato baked in the coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey
You can start a fire without matches by eating Mexican food, then
breathing on a pile of dry sticks.
In emergency situations, you can survive in the wilderness by shooting
small game with a slingshot made from the elastic waistband of your
The guitar of the noisy teenager at the next campsite makes excellent
A large carp can be used for a pillow.
Check the washing instructions before purchasing any apparel to be warn
camping.  Buy only those that read "Beat on a rock in stream."
The sight of a bald eagle has thrilled campers for generations.  The
sight of a bald man, however, does absolutely nothing for the eagle.
It's entirely possible to spend your whole vacation on a winding
mountain road behind a large motor home.
Effective January 1, 1998, you will actually have to enlist in the Swiss
Army to get a Swiss Army Knife.
Bear bells provide an element of safety for hikers in grizzly country.
The tricky part is getting them on the bears.
In an emergency, a drawstring from a parka hood can be used to strangle
a snoring tent mate.
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