Saturday, January 5, 2019

guest article ( article 2 of 2 today )

GUEST ARTICLE-article 2 of 2 today

Rain and Spiders oh my! Part Ten

Let's wind this sucker up.

Up until now I've just relayed the notes I took. I hope they are of some help to someone.

Now the course was an over nighter. I'm no bushy that's for sure. The last time I went camping was an absolute disaster. Let's all have a good laugh at Dingo

So I bought a 4WD and tent and took my missus camping. We had a great drive and explored the countryside visiting rural towns. Then as the day was ending we bought firewood and camped at a commercial camp ground.

First problem. I hadn't set the tent up at home so I was doing it for the first time in fading light. OF course I didn't have any means of driving the stakes into the ground fortunately I borrowed an axe from a nearby camp. I messed up and didn't have the gap between the outer and inner parts of the tent. No problems, it's not going to rain I said

Second problem. Have you ever tried to light a fire with fire wood a lighter and no kindling. And I mean, NO kindling. Yeah, that's not going to work. My missus was tired and getting a little irritated. I was quite annoyed at myself so we just turned in for the night.

Third problem. Missus wanted to go to the loo during the night. Got a torch Dingo? Of course I f*(&^ don't. So we use the torch function on the phone.

Fourth Problem. Revisit the last two sentences of the First Problem and see if you can guess.

At the break of day, we're wet and a little annoyed. I kick the tent down, throw it in the back of the 4WD in a heap and we drive back to the big smoke. As we're driving the car doors lock, then unlock, then lock and unlock. Irritated I told my missus to stop playing with the lock. She denies doing so. Turns out the remote on the car got damaged from the rain. So we're driving on the highway with our doors locking and unlocking and had to wait until the remote died. Great, just great.

And that was the last time we went camping about 12 years ago.

Fast forward to my course.

I can't remember nor can be bothered to look back to Rain and Spiders oh My! part one. But severe storms were forecast for the course. I got the course at a discount but a discount on expensive is still expensive. So I'm going.

The shelter for the course were debris shelters you made yourself / or with a group. I'm not good with making friends. It's not like I'm a prick or anti social, it's more I'm just shy (for want of a more masculine description). So I was by myself.

We were shown various shelters that were already constructed. Our instructions were we could make our own, canabilise existing shelters or renovate them. Everyone wandered off to look at the other shelters so I nabbed the last one we had been shown and it was the best. Woo hoo

Of course I couldn't get a fire going because everything was wet. So much for my expensive fire lighting kit. The night went well in that there was light rain and of course water got through but the shelter was big enough that I could just move. I slept well as it was humid but I had a breeze and I had a sleeping bag.

Come morning I checked my watch and there were hours until the course restarted. Cool, I'll just sleep more. Then the heavens opened up. And the shelter just didn't hold up to the torrential down pour. Meh, I packed up and quickly made my way to where the course was held.

Other people's experience. The Thai's on the course had a tarp so they were fine.

Now for the "And spiders" part = The ex-Army guys fared the worse. Why? Because they'd disturbed a nest of Huntsman spiders so they spent the night being inundated with 8 legged freaks. In the end they bailed on their shelter and slept on the dirt where the course was being held.

What did I learn from that over nighter?

1. You're not going to die if you haven't eaten for a few days. This actually was a good experience because it allowed me to know what to expect so if I'm caught out, it's one less stressor. I suggest giving it a go

2. Building a debris shelter sucks. It's a lot of work and whilst it's better than being open to the weather it's not that awesome.

3. Making a fire is a skill. Having a bic lighter is no guarantee of a fire.

I sincerely hope that I haven't bored everyone and that someone manages to have a take away that they can incorporate into their preps


Oooo - nearly forgot

A large V is the international "I'm in distress" symbol and can be bought from boating and fishing shops. Or just create one with rocks / pain it on your car

3 sounds in succession = local distress signal

3 blasts of your whistle, car horn, slam car door, Gunshots.

Camp toilet - everyone goes in the same area. The caravan of South Americans moving up to the US - Mexico border weren't good at that skill


  1. "Making a fire is a skill. Having a bic lighter is no guarantee of a fire."

    Actually, yes, if you have several Bics on hand you will most definitely have a fire. What you do with that tiny fire on that Bic is where the experience part comes in that I always mention.

    If you have the other things I've mentioned, a few paper towels, and a small squeeze bottle of rubbing alcohol AND some experience you can stay warm and heat food in just about any climate anywhere on the planet, cept underwater of course.

    As your camping incident shows, experience trumps gear everyday.
    Without experience gear is junk.

    1. Rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer - many of them are accellerants for fire as well. Convenient pocket size that fits in a pouch very easily. Dual purpose, fire and hygiene and you are keeping an eye on how much is left for both tasks.

    2. Never understood sanitizer, when there is soap, but that is probably just a failure of my imagination. I like the fire starter idea though.

    3. And priced to move too, they sell large bottles of sanitizer for a buck ! If you want the smaller more easily carried container, 3 for a buck. A squirt of that on your fire tinder - likely over 50 fires per small bottle (that would be a good test !). Those stupid fire tinders - $5 for 12 or so. And not much other uses - sanitizer is used to help you avoiding the Hershey Squirts.

  2. Very good post. I will be facing some of these issues as well..

    1. At the end of the day I'm just a middle aged law abiding man trying to look out for my family. I'm not ex-mil (unless naval cadets counts), lived my whole life in the big smoke & work (hard) in a low prestige low pay low stress job (that I like which means I'm polar opposite to my brother high pay high prestige high stress).

      This is almost a confessional lol. But yeah, just an average working poor trying to get by, thinks things will get nasty in my life time but who knows? I dont fancy my chances but you never know. I'd hate to be right & run out of food & have to go to the pound (dingo get it? I'm funny) looking for food.

    2. Yes, you ARE funny. Just don't try to steal my thunder :)

  3. re:
    vehicle remote control

    Today, my chum and I went to the Recreation Vehicle show at the fairgrounds. Multiple times, we were startled by vehicles starting autonomously, nobody in the operator seat.

    A spokesmodel explained that peculiarity == anytime a paying customer approached a rig, the staff was instructed to activate the genset so the heating system could dry out the interior of the rig after we traipsed and trampled and tested the recliners and mattresses.

    I shoulda started this by saying we are in Oregon. An Oregon day without rain is headline material for the local fishwrap. Bold print. Exclamation points aka exclamation marks. Interviews with astonished citizens. A noticeable shedding of rust from Oregon natives.

    Hardly any spiders. Unless they are puddle-jumpers.

    * * * * *

    Dear Guest Articles author,
    During your course, which students devised the best recipe for spider? I imagine a nice Burgundy sauce with savory poached plums might turn my head...

    1. Aren't those remote controls just asking for the wireless signal to get hacked? Don't trust them.

  4. I meant to write 'sweet and sour poached plums'. Everybody knows spiders don't pair well with savory.

    Unemployment, yes. Savory, not so much.