Thursday, September 23, 2010

Roughing It

A post on my son's blog, , made me think of the times that I have "roughed it" out camping.

The first thought finds me and a couple of friends out elk hunting North of Buena Vista, CO. It was the first gun season which usually opens up around the first of October. At this time in the Rockies the weather can be anything from temps in the 80s to many feet of snow. This instance is about the later.

We had watched the weather report and knew that we could possible get a couple of feet of snow in the high country. We were sleeping in my wall tent that was several years old but in very good shape. Our worry was that it was all canvass and would not shed snow very well. We decided to make a rain/snow fly out of a tarp. Those of you who tent now days know what a rain fly is. While this ended up to be a great idea it still did not shed the snow very well. I woke up early in the morning, or late evening, and noticed that the roof was sagging in about a foot or so. I went outside to about a foot of snow everywhere. All this weight on the roof was minutes away from collapsing the tent. Using a pine bow I scraped as much snow from the roof as I could. The problem was that it was snowing so hard that by the time I was done there was about 3 more inches that had built up. For the remainder of the night, we took turns going outside and scraping the snow off the roof. At least the tarp protected the canvass and we stayed dry. At least we all had good sleeping bags. Mine was good to 10 below 0. By day light we had a little over 2 feet of snow. Getting down the mountain is another blog.

The other time I think about was deer hunting in western ND. As you ND people know, this takes place in November where you again can expect any kind of weather Mother Nature wants to throw at you. This particular trip finds us camping out in a tent trailer equipped with a furnace. WOW, you might say, this isn't roughing it! Well let me finish. After a day of hunting and eating our dinner it was time to turn in. The temperature was somewhere South of the 0 mark and the wind was blowing as it can in ND. My hunting partner and I proceeded to get ready for bed. Both of us had sleeping bags that were good to about freezing and that was it. So,,,, with this in mind, we undressed, added another layer of underwear, a pair of jeans, T-shirt, long sleeve T-shirt, 2 sweatshirts, snowmobile suit, 2 pair of socks, stocking cap, and finally our hunting jackets. I now had on about twice as many clothes as I had hunted in that day. (In fact I didn't have many clothes left to put on.) Now some of you may think that it couldn't have been that bad with a furnace. Let me explain. On top of the furnace was a counter. On top of the counter we placed our dirty dishes in a pot with a bottle of dish soap and water. Keep in mind that this is the warmest place in the camper. The next morning the water was frozen along with the bottle of soap. We were so cold that we didn't even bother to cook breakfast. We just jumped in the truck, thanks to the Lord it started, and we proceeded to warm up. Needless to say, we did a little road hunting that day. Thinking about this one still makes me shiver.

Soooooo, say what you want about my RV now that comes with insulation, furnace, and TV. I paid my dues. Been there done that!

"Life Is Good If You Let It."

1 comment:

randymeiss said...

It was great to read something on this blog again. I'm so glad, by the time I was old enough to go deer hunting, we had "upgraded" to rooms at the "Tilt'n Hilton". It wasn't much to look at, but the rooms were warm, and the breakfast was hot. I've still got pictures of the first deer I shot lying on my desk. Thanks for shaking the dust off these wonderful memories!