Some Bad-Ass, New School, New Fangled, Camping Rules

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How long has it been since you’ve been camping? Well, things have changed over the years, baby! So if it’s been a while, you should really read up on the latest rules and etiquette. Ya know, so you don’t get yourself in trouble.

What?? You didn’t know there were rules and etiquette to follow? Then this post should be right up your alley!!

After reading, if you have any rules to add, please feel free to add them in the “Comments” section.

Please enjoy this guest post, written by Jason C. Smeed. Thank you, Jason, for writing one hilarious guide to camping!

iCamp’s 20 Rules for Camping     by Jason C. Smeed

1.Children playing, speed limit is 5 mph so please try to stay under 50mph (75 max), unless you are in a hurry then drive as fast as you please.

2. If it burns, it goes in the fire pit. Everything else goes in the dumpster at a cost of $5.00 per bag, however you should first attempt to burn it, use gasoline as needed. You’ll find most everything will burn if thoroughly saturated with gasoline.

3. Fire pits can be vented directly into your neighbor’s camper as long as you warn them to turn on their exhaust fans before lighting a fire or remember to warn them when they begin to cough and before you hear bodies falling to the floor.

4. ALWAYS clean up after your pets, unless you are (a.) afraid to touch poop, (b.) too good to touch poop (c.) just don’t feel like bending over. Then it is okay to leave it for a child to step in.

5.No more than 2 folding chairs per site, multiplied by the number of sites at the Campground, because you never know when you might get company.

6. Kill any wildlife that wanders onto your site.

7. Bait wildlife onto your site with food, left out at all times, so you always have something to shoot at.

8. All outdoor appliances should match or at the bare minimum be complimentary colors (i.e. golden harvest & avocado green)

9. Quiet time is from 10PM to 8AM unless (a.) you are drunk and in the mood to hear some Bocephus (b.) need to chop firewood for the following day (c) you need to kill wildlife that you baited onto your site.

10. Junk cars should be parked on your own site, unless they are in your way, then feel free to park them on your neighbor’s site.

11. No nails or hooks allowed in trees, unless your “Redneck Heaven” sign or Christmas in July lights require nails or hooks then by all means go ahead. American flag mounts may also be screwed into trees as patriotism trumps botany.

12. All campers should leave at least one walking path thru the trash located on their site, unless they (a) can walk on their neighbors site to get into their camper (b) are skilled climbers.

13. Please keep large pets i.e. lions, tigers and bears on leashes at all times (unless they want to play with the other camper’s children)

14. No fences allowed on camp sites, unless (a.) you don’t want to look at your neighbor’s sewer hose (b.) you don’t want to follow this rule.

15. No campfires under trees unless there happen to be trees above your fire pit.

16. Campfires should never be left unattended unless (a.) your neighbors irritate you (b.) you need to make a beer run (c.) you’re going somewhere but might want to burn more trash when you return in 3 hours.

17. Please do not store propane in propane cylinders, it may inhibit your neighbor’s ability to build large, unattended bonfires.

18. Use of tarps as furniture covers is not permitted unless you wad it up under your camper while you are camping and you want to use tarps as a furniture covers.

19. No storage sheds allowed on campsites. However you may store enough belongings to survive no more than two zombie apocalypses under tarps anywhere on your site, just so it doesn’t (a.) extend more than two feet onto your neighbor’s site (b.) interfere with their ability to burn their trash or (c.) inhibit their ability to kill wildlife feeding off of food from your outdoor refrigerator.

20. No open display of alcoholic beverages, unless you (a.) are over 21 and want to walk around drinking (b.) are under 21 and want to do the same (c.) plan to use the empty bottles to make “redneck wind chimes”.

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Stressed-Out, Uptight & Outta-Sight! Anatomy Of An RV Suck-Fest!

Dang, I was one wound-up tight gal yesterday. Not so bad today though, thank goodness.

Mark and I took the day yesterday to take care of some business with Fiona. It was time to dump the holding tanks, exercise the generator (run it for about an hour each month, with the a/c on), and add DEF (diesel exhaust fluid) fluid. We combined this maintenance day, with a two-hour trip up to Lytle, CA to talk to a man about a horse.

OK, so we didn’t actually talk to a man about a horse. But we did go to Area 63 Productions to talk to Uwe Salwender about doing a solar upgrade on Fiona. Now that was the fun part of the day. In Airstream circles, Uwe is considered to be somewhat of an Airstream guru. We showed up for our appointment with a couple bags of little cookies from Jack In The Box, you know, to butter up him and his crew. I think it worked, as they were all very nice to us!

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Area 63 Productions, Lytle, CA

A quick word about  AREA 63 PRODUCTIONS….. This is a cool place! A ginormous barn/workshop, and loads of really cool old Airstream trailers around the property and inside the workshop. Fun to see all these old classics, some of which will be magically transformed into shiny, restored beauties.

Back to my story…. We spent a couple hours at Area 63 Productions, talking about doing our solar upgrade. Uwe was very thorough, and did a basic vehicle inspection to check out the wiring, the existing equipment, and the existing house batteries, to see what he had to work with.

Uwe discovered that our house batteries were bulging, and that we have somewhat low battery charge readings. This is a bad thing. And I think this is when I felt my stress headache coming on. The day was still pretty young, and still to follow was accomplishing all of the other tasks we had planned.

As the day progressed, little by little, I was starting to crack. Each little task had it’s own stressfullness about it. And once the stress started festering inside me, it just escalated.. It wasn’t anything in particular. It was just everything in particular. Even the dogs were stressing me out. Before you know it, I was Debbie Downer, in a deep funk, and angry as all get out!

I won’t go into all the “issues” we encountered, but at the end of this post, I will tell you about our plan of action to remedy everything that was not quite right on this day. Suffice to say, there was a lot of annoying shit going on!!

Poor Mark had to put up with me. I’m quite sure that if there was a passenger eject button, like in comic books, he wouldn’t have hesitated to launch me into oblivion.

At about 7:00pm, we stopped at a campground on Lake Elsinore. Figured we’d cook dinner (and by “we,” I mean Mark), and run our generator with the a/c at the same time. Nothing like hanging out inside your rv on a chilly evening, running the a/c. Lovely. I was pissed off at the world. And my headache…oh, my headache!!!

Chef Mark, at work with the Fold 'N Go stove.

Chef Mark, at work with his Coleman “Fold ‘N Go” stove

By time we made it home, it was 11:00pm. I thought my head might actually explode. On top of this, I was starting to doubt our ability to do a long trip in Fiona. We were just not adequately prepared.

When I woke up in the morning, I was, once again, a totally happy camper (pun intended). I had had a great epiphany about the day before. I realized how lucky we were to have encountered some of those obstacles at this time. It was truly a day of learning! Now we have plenty of time to work some things out so that everything will just run more smoothly when we really hit the road.

Here are the things we will be working on in the weeks to come:

  1. Get all of our travel apps and bookmarked sites, onto our new iPad, and figure out how they work. This will make it much easier to navigate and find things we need to find, like auto supply stores, and places to dump our holding tanks.
  2. We need to buy the proper USB adapters to hook up our new iPad and our new generation iPhones.
  3. Rearrange the rear storage area so that we have easy access to hoses and cords that we need to use on a regular basis.
  4. Remove the TV that’s in front, as previously planned. It blocks full access to the two overhead storage areas.
  5. Remove at least one of the second row seats, as previously planned. Possibly remove both, and have custom made cabinets installed, or some other less expensive solution.
  6. Buy a special tire pressure gauge adapter for our rear dually tires.
  7. Figure out a way to install a dog gate at the sliding door, to keep dogs confined in rig.
  8. Look into buying an x-pen for the dogs so they can hang out outside, without being tied up.
  9. Print out a copy of our pre-flight check list.

We’re doing a short 4-5 day trip to Utah in a few weeks, so, if I left anything off of this list, I’ll probably get a sharp, abrupt reminder!! Only thing is, that now I will recognize any and all future suck-fests, for what they really are…big, big learning experiences…and I’ll embrace them.

Lessons learned!!!

When Are You Too Old To Call “Dibs?”

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I recently had to call “dibs” on our car for June 7th. Mark and I share one car, and one scooter. This works out perfectly, except when he needs the car at the same time that I need to go surfing or carting my guitar around! Then, I’m kind of screwed.

 

And on June 7th, I need to cart my guitar on up to Poway for the Sam Hinton Folk Festival. And so I did a little preemptive strike, and called dibs on the car for June 7th. Took Mark a little by surprise, as it’s more than a month in the future. Still not sure if he knows what hit him.

 

In case you’re wondering, the word “dibs” is actually in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It’s a noun, and it’s a plural. Definition: “Claim, Rights.” So yea, I had to call dibs (lay claim, rights) to use the car on June 7th.

 

So, I’m all set to jam with my buddies up in Poway, and I’m feelin’ good about that. Although this did get me thinking that, Great Jimminy Christmas, I’m 54 years old and I’m still having to call dibs on stuff.

 

This has got me all conflicted. Do I need to grow up a bit? Or do I just need more stuff of my own? Do other folks my age have to call dibs on stuff, or do they all have all the stuff they need all to themselves?

 

I want to know….when was the last time YOU called dibs on something, and how old were you? This should be interesting!