WTI Basic Training: Day Two

Day One's lack of roughness was rectified last night, Day/Night Two, with a wee hour rain storm that had me waking every hour to see if I was lying in a pile of water. Without stakes to pull my fly away from the tent walls, it was somewhat of a waiting game, but all was successful by morning, and I awoke once more with that fresh feeling one can only get after sleeping outdoors.

After one successful night of "bush" camping, I decided to turn it up a smidgeon and incorporate some more factors to toughen up my travelin' image. And since food is essential to life, travel, and survival in the wilderness, I took on a segment called "Bush" Camp Cuisine. Here are important things to remember when eating outdoors:

  • Never put food in your tent. I once had a monkey approach my tent with crazy eyes as he watched me eat a banana. I threw it at him and zipped up fast.

  • Avoid high maintenance foods that require lots of preparation. Remember those hobo meals of hamburger meat and veggies in aluminum foil from summer camp? That's just a little slice, dice, and season. Delish.

  • Meals that require lots of condiments to be good are a pain. No one wants to be the guy who carries the Costco sized ketchup and dijon mustard up the mountain...and risk their tents to ant armies.

  • It's easiest to avoid foods that need refrigeration. Sadly, Italian gelato just doesn't pack well for an afternoon hike.

  • Help yourself by using light-weight camping flatware and utensils; a clean pocket knife works wonders instead of bringing your best steak knives.

  • Try not to drink lots of liquids or libations as midnight bathroom breaks could be lethal. I once pitched a tent fifteen feet off the ground in an open camp. At night hippos and elephants would walk under the tent's platform and graze, and I decided against imbibing at the bar that night in order to avoid the awful situation of a bathroom break amongst territorial African mammoths.

Day Three may be exponentially more challenging with the constant rainfall and thunderstorms in Indianapolis today. Chances are my move to open the solid flaps in my tent to get fresh air in there has brought in the floods. The babbling brook (a.k.a. the storm drain in the backyard) will be a torrent tonight and may carry me away from my spot near the tulips.

Wouldn't that be sad...if these rains kept you all from learning how I pack for a bush camp experience or even an unspeakable lesson in "bush" squatting? Let's keep our tough and callused fingers crossed. Day Three...TBD.