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Deskbound says: Camping! Hiking! Other stuff that's not indoors! Regale us with your tales of the great outdoors, whether it involves being rogerred by the Scout Master or skinning your first rabbit.

(, Thu 29 Mar 2012, 14:49)
Pages: Popular, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

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The furthest I've been away from civilisation ever. With Jesus spiders.
When I was 20 my girlfriend and I travelled around America for 5 weeks and one of our required stop-offs was St Paul, Minnesota to see her auntie. For some reason I can't recall said auntie decided it'd do us both good if we were left alone for 2 or 3 hours canoeing around a huge lake in the middle of nowhere.

The weather was fine so we didn't mind too much and this canoe was one of the open topped ones like the ones you see the Native Americans rowing around in the movies. It turned out to be quite fun for a while.

But then the girlfriend let out a shriek and scooted to the back of the boat where I was stationed. All she could do was point at a rather large and unusual looking spider whilst gibbering. Normally I don't mind spiders and certainly don't like killing them but in a foreign country and no idea whether it was bitey or poisonous I didn't want to take the risk. With some careful manouvering and deft use of the oar I managed to coax the beast onto the paddle and as I don't like actively killing spiders I punted it across the lake.

I was a hero. Sexual favours were guaranteed.

Right up until the point when we realised the spider hadn't broken the surface tension of the water and was legging it as fast as it could back to the boat.

"Shiiiiiiiiiiii....." we yelled as we paddled as fast as we could with this 8 legged bastard pursuing us across the water like Jesus himself. He caught up climbed back on the boat and sat on the prow like Kate Winslet. We left this stubborn beast alone but scooted back to shore as quick as we could.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 11:03, 4 replies)

That'll slow it down.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 10:56, 1 reply)
Winter tent/sex pearoast: 30-odd years ago, I was persuaded to attend a motorbike rally held in January.
The time of year was apparently chosen to discourage all but the most serious bikers. Well, I should have stayed at home then.

I scrounged an old canvas tent and some prehistoric sleeping bags, the down-filled sort.

The only way to cope with the intense cold was to get as drunk as possible and then attempt to get into the sleeping bag before passing out.

The boyfriend at the time was a restless sleeper and being well over 6' tall, he found his lower legs protruding from the tent several times on the first night.

After being woken up a few times by his complaints about the cold and damp, I got up, went outside and put a binbag over the protruding sleeping bag.

This worked OK until some bastard nicked it.

So the next night, we had two ancient, rotten sleeping bags, one of which was soaking wet at the bottom, a leaky sagging tent and two ferocious hangovers.

That night, we got even drunker and the boyf at some point decided to get warm by attempting coitus inside my sleeping bag, despite the fact that I was wearing all the clothes I had brought plus leathers.

The bag split from top to bottom and the tent filled with feathers. We staggered out, choking.

Next morning, we took the tent down, stuffed the remains of the two ruined sleeping bags into our remaining binbag, shook the groundsheet and watched in wonder as a million fluffy white feathers floated across the frosty field. Not a sight you see every day.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 10:46, 2 replies)
Outdoor/Poo-Related Pearoast: Years ago, my brother would take his family on camping holidays in a converted minibus/ambulance vehicle.
Early one morning, all the family were asleep inside on a full Welsh campsite when he woke up with bad guts.

He sneaked out, wearing just boxers and trainers, to find the bog, but realised that he wasn't going to make it.

So he glanced around, saw nobody else up, and decided to relieve himself right there.

He quickly dropped his shorts and laid a huge squirty pancake immediately behind the van. Then he ingeniously backed the van a few feet to conceal it.

However, he found when he went to check his parking that he'd failed to notice an elderly woman sitting nearby in one of those caravan awnings.

Her knitting lying forgotten on her lap, mouth hanging open in shock, she'd obviously seen everything.

He crept back to bed and didn't come out again until everyone was up and they could slink off to another site.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 8:47, 2 replies)
I saw an amazing cow.
It was outstanding in its field.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 7:02, 20 replies)
In a canoe with my mate
four days into the Canadian Shield (3000 some miles by 3000 some miles of equal parts of water, rock, forest and swamp) paddled against the current in three rivers, portaged across so many divides and around so many rapids we lost count, packing all our food, hoards of mosquitoes at night, you may get the picture; we come around a headland on a lake to find 2 Yualls (you might know them as Merkins) in a motorboat. "You all from round heya?" said the fatter one. "We just at the fly-in camp," said the less fat one.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 4:20, Reply)
Swiinging in the breeze.
As for outdoor camping or whatever theres nothing like a breeze on your nutsack when your taking a dump.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 1:12, 1 reply)

Mitt Romney seems to be doing ok at the moment but Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich probably need new camping managers.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 21:37, 2 replies)
I took my Dad for a hike around the Polish mountains last summer.
That part of the Carpathians are called the Tatry, and they're not particularly high; they top out just over 2000m, and there's a cable car up to 1850m, so I envisaged a pleasant, lightly strenuous hike in and out of the valleys before going home. Hell, teenagers do these sorts of walks during summer camp; my fat old father could surely manage it.

On a charming May morning, we took the cable car up to the most famous peak for a quick look at neighbouring Slovakia, before trudging back down the other side of the valley to get to the next peak. The summer sun beat down, we admired the burbling streams and outcrops of gorse, and generally marvelled at the wonder of nature and the complete lack of other hikers on the trail.

But as we walked along the valley floor my old man's questions became more and more insistent; "Can you see the trail up the other? I don't see the trail back up. Is there a trail back up? Can you see it? I can't see any point on the peak where you'd cross. Where do we cross? Have you seen anyone else? Does anyone else know we're out here?"

We walked closer and closer to the approaching mountain, which bore a strong resemblance to a cliff, and as we rounded the final curve in the trail my Dad finally got his answers about the path ahead. Where once had been a prepared trail of granite steps up and out of the ravine, there was now little more than rubble, as a winter avalanche had turned the only way forward into a treacherous slope of fragmented stone.

The old man turned to me, and as the perfect swear word forming on his lips, the gods spoke for him. An enormous boom of thunder blasted across the valley, and the sky darkened in seconds. We were up against a cliff wall, we had a three hour hike back to the nearest shelter, and a storm was brewing just the other side of the mountain.

We huddled under my emergency poncho, spreading the plastic sheet over our heads as the clouds burst and the rain pounded down. We were crouched in the lee of a boulder that had been brought down by the avalanche, and with every peal of the storm we could here the loose rock around us quiver and rattle. We counted the minutes.

Fortunately for us, the summer storm soon abated, and the rain and lightning finally petered out. And we looked up at the cliff, and decided it was the only option open to us. So we climbed.

And climbed. And climbed. Bellies to the ground, we hauled ourselves up, feeling the loose rocks slither and settle under every gingerly-placed hand. In some places the only way forward was to grab fistfuls of the wet straw-like grass poking through the stones, at other times we had to plunge our arms elbow-deep in snow still frozen into the shadow of boulders. It was painful, agonising, and all too slow.

But when we got to the top, it was all worth it:

(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 20:59, 7 replies)
pearoast from wanking disasters
I was at work trawling though the internet, as we needed to buy a medical oxygen tent and a leaf blower (dont ask).

Finding medical oxygen tents online is harder than you think. Mainly as you cannot do a decent search without having to trawl though loads of pissant camping supplies. I thought I could save time by google image search to filter out the wrong kinds of tent more readily.

safe search was off, this didn't bother me as surely no one would find camping that stimulating....

In the middle of my office I sat as my screen filled up with people who are jizzing on tents, having tent orgies and generally having a better time camping than I have ever had.

I thought I was unshockable, but tent fetishes caught me off guard. I continued my enquires by phone and didn't make eye contact for the rest of the day.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 20:19, 2 replies)
First weekend of april last year...
Me and the missus went camping.

Now this is the first time I've had a missus whose in to camping, and it's brilliant!

We stayed at the campsite in Malham, just down from the cove. Went up straight from work on Friday, popped to the pub for a pie and a cheeky pint, and ended up getting wazzocked and playing pool all night, then back to the campsite for some rumpy pumpy. Best night sleep in years. Sunbathe, nice long walk, pub, food, drink, rumpy pumpy, came home.

Was the best weekend away in a long time, so simple, fresh air, babbly brook, food, ale, missus.

No apologies for lack of lolz, but it's just brilliant being outdoors, so this weekend, if the sun comes out, get out for a walk/cycle/night in a tent and have yourself some outdoors!

Remember, before doors were invented outside was what we called home...

p.s. the sight of her pissing out the tent flap while pissed is one of my better memories:)
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 19:47, 2 replies)
The Best Christmas I ever had was in the lakes
It was 2003 and I teamed up with a good friend who is a Mountain Instructor and spent the days climbing up frozen buttresses, scraping the paint off of my brand new crampons. However as a real treat on Christmas Day we went and found a bothy and got there at sun set. The ground was covered in snow and the toilet was a shovel and pit affair, which is quite hard when the ground is frozen. We cooked our food on our little gas stoves and snuggled down in front of a peat block fire. I have never had a more peaceful and relaxing time than that night in a bothy in the Lake District. I love being in the mountains.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 19:32, Reply)

Keswick 2010.

Myself and Mrs Mustard head off to a stunning campsite in Castlerigg for a few days walking and breathing some fine country air.

It wasn’t the best summer so far but it was warm enough to spend a few days in a tent.

We arrived early to get a good spec, but it appeared that all the good specs had been vacated during the last torrential downpour and they had left very wet and muddy patches of ground. Which would have been a nightmare if it had rained any more (which it would)
It was up to me and my homing instincts to chose a suitable plot on a slight gradient for draining, but with ample privacy and enough space from any new arrivals. I had chosen well.

With the tent erected and the car unpacked, I opened the deck chairs , cracked open a cold one tilted my can to the missus and relaxed with a view overlooking Derwent water. It was a cracking evening and quite warm – one of the best nights that week… you could hear the birds and the noise of charcoal crackling from neighbouring BBQ’s… I was a very happy man.

Until I got a text on my phone. It was from my brother (who spends far too much time analysing the weather). He sent me a pic of the current radar image for Cumbria – where is was showed no cloud cover, but coming in from the Irish sea was a coloured blob, a red coloured blob. For those of you in the know, red on a radar image is the stuff you see from those clowns on the discovery channel chasing Tornados around the southern states of Yanksville. ‘It’s a mistake’ I mused – I was sat outside with not a cloud in the sky watching a stunning sunset.. ‘it won’t get to us, its too nice here…’

How wrong I was…

I thanked my brother for the update and said I’d ‘keep an eye out’ but can’t see the weather getting any worse. Families where playing badmington and other site games, laughter was in the air. I smiled at a German family in the tent opposite, sizing up their canvas house. It was like in terminator 2 when Sarah Connor is at the fence of the childrens playground before the bomb goes off with all the kids playing – the calm before the storm

With that, I take the liberty of storm lashing my guide ropes, and making sure they are properly anchored, I moved my car ever so slightly nearer the tent. I erected to wind blockers around the side of my tent too – just in case of course – not wanted to alarm my wife.

We went to the pub, then we hit the sack….

Midnight – the rain started – nothing I hadn’t dealt with before, but the wind was also picking up. The tent started shaking a bit… ‘looks like we’re in for a bumpy ride’ I thought.

1am. It really started – and got worse. My tent is a dome/tunnel tent with 3 poles/ribs and is about 5ft high and 12 ft long. The wind was pushing on the tent so much that the tent was now 2.5 ft high coupled with the rain and making a horrible howling sound. A man must protect this castle and thie require forward thinking. Opting for a flimsy fleece and trainers – I ventured out in my boxer shorts to chaos – all my guide ropes were out of the ground – my windbreakers were broken, and the site was just filled with dads trying to prevent their property from collapsing. I tried to peg the ropes back in but the rain had made the ground so sodden, the just popped back out again. I resorted to tying my tent to the alloys of my car.

I went back to bed (climbing over my fast asleep wife) where I lay, wide awake listening to every pole creak, and waiting for the tent to rip in half. I had to keep getting out every 30 mins to tighten the ropes and anchor the groundsheet, which had it not been sewn on to the flysheet would have disappeared with the first gust of wind.

I emerged at 5 am – with the storm still in full flow – and had noticed that the happy German family I had spotted earlier where nowhere to be seen, they had packed away a weeks worth of gear and a massive frame tent and got the kids sorted in less than 30 mins and bailed out of sight. I still wasn’t deterred and wanted to keep my castle safe.

7am and I stumble out of bed after about 7 mins sleep all night and analyse the damage. It was like an early autumn. The trees that were left standing had hardly any leaves on them and there was debris all over the place. I looked back at my nylon abode and smiled. It had been man vs nature and I had won (just) I felt like a gladiator…. It had been one hell of a storm – possibly the worst I’ve camped in and I’d seen it out.

My wife stumbles out of the tent with a look of surprise… ‘what happened here?’

Yes folks – she’d slept through the whole bloody storm.

Yet she can hear a mouse fart at home…
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 17:52, 1 reply)
OK, random events when camping.
Trying to pretend to be civilised, but sneaking out for a piss in the bush behind the tent and finding that someone had dumped an empty paint can there which went off like a burglar alarm when I hit it.

Being chucked off a campsite for towing a double Lilo with 4 people on it across the damp grass at 40 mph.

Doing a handbrake turn into a 30' gap between two of our tents, discovering the grass was a lot slippier than I thought, and 2 tons of car stopping about an inch and a half from the side of the tent where my mate was shagging his girlfriend.

Getting thrown off of a campsite for causing an explosion when we put a load of petrol on a 'self lighting' barbecue that didn't light.

3 cans of Stella and a doughnut for breakfast.

Being the only one of 8 tents to survive a storm in Dorset that blew most of the beach huts into the water. The campsite looked like an air disaster scene, with a single dome tent standing in the middle of it.

Getting 13 people into a Range Rover to go to the pub, driven by my mate John who agreed not to drink, but had no driving licence.

Most of this and other things are 'you had to be there's', but we had a lot of fun.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 17:22, 9 replies)
Dossers creek
About a dozen of us around the age of 18 set up camp in some brush near gransha lake in Norn Ironed.
Now tents and such don't generally go up too well when you're on a strict diet of cheap sparkly white wine (lambrino), cider and massive drugs but we managed to get everything set up reasonably well considering our current state even though the entire time most of us were wondering which of the others had shat in their pants. An absolutely abominable smell lingered around camp waster and I even thought I had pooed myself when I kept smelling it while I was on my own.
Turns out we'd all pitched tent right next to the most insect-ridden dead dog anyone has ever seen.
Not being the most active bunch of stoners, we decided rather than take everything down and move we'd pour some flammables on and give poochie a trip to doggy-valhalla.
Turns out barbecued labrador is not a good smell when drunk.

No apologies for length.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 16:22, 1 reply)
kent custom bike show. romney marsh. 1996.
the people camped next to us were rudely awakened in the middle of the night by a large drunken biker falling headlong onto their tent and trapping them under the canvas as if shrink-wrapped.

it probably wouldn't have been so bad if he'd hauled himself up and gone on his way. instead, beer and drugs and sunburn conspired against him and he lay sobbing and apologising for a full ten minutes as they thrashed feebly underneath him.

i won't go into my honeymoon at kent custom the following year when a) my brand-new husband shagged a fat goth girl and b) photographs of a naked lady with a vodka bottle jammed up her hooha somehow found their way onto our camera.

second husbands are MUCH better, ladies.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 15:37, 20 replies)
I went up to the Peak District once, it was the biggest thing I'd ever seen.

(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 14:17, 4 replies)
How to shit in the woods
A few years back at the height of the drought we did Christmas camping in the back blocks of our old farm. It was a stinker of a hot summer and as dry as I'd ever seen the place. Even the 'roos just slouched about bug eyed in the heat. This hot summer was complete with the biggest swarms of flies I'd ever seen.

Taking a dump became a matter of careful timing. Bog roll in hand, walk along in a cloud of flies, picking up the pace when you saw a good spot. Then jog along briskly, then run and overtake your personal cloud of flies as you head to the chosen spot, loosening your pants as you go.

Drop pants and squat, pump a nugget while getting the paper ready. Then wipe and get your pants on as a buzzing cloud of flies swarms in. Run safe in the knowledge that the turd will keep the bugger happy for a few seconds while you get to a safe distance. Then wonder which flies trying to crawl into your nose, eyes and mouth were just eating your turd.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 13:50, 13 replies)
went camping in the middle of winter with a tent I bought from a sale at Tesco.

That was my winter of discount tent.

Two days later I held a dance party in the tent, again, in the middle of the freezing season. We had flashing lights and everything.

That, too, was my winter of disco-tent.


(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 13:24, 5 replies)
The first time me and the first Miss Thunderwulf consummated our relationship we were in a corn field at about 10pm, on a lovely clear night, with a band playing shit metal beautiful music about a quarter of a mile away.
Her band had just performed, and I'd completely fallen in love with her voice, powerful yet angelic.
We walked off, hand in hand, until eventually the grubby stoners petered out and we found ourselves alone.
Natural urges inevitably took over (close up on camera two please, soft focus).
2 or 3 minutes later, after we'd both "ooh"ed, "aah"ed and "nng"ed to a sweaty, breathless conclusion, we rolled onto our backs and laid arm-in-arm, looking at the starlit sky.
Incredibly, there was some kind of meteor shower, and we spent the next half an hour watching shooting stars fly before our eyes, wonderfully happy, realising and declaring our love for one another.
Then we stood up and discovered we were covered in slugs and spiders.
Al fresco rutting: good if you like bugs, horrifying if you don't.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 12:09, 17 replies)
Last year
I had promised my 8yr old son we would do some camping. That kinda fell through, so i opted to at least camp in the back garden of my mums house.

We put the tent up, filled it with an inflatable matress, two sleeping bags, some sweets and comics.. (for him)

we watch a film and at about 9am retire with a torch and a set of backdoor Keys in my pocket.

I downloaded a few ghost stories on my phone to read to him, but as he is rather smart, and can smell bullSh!t we giggled, rather than got scared.

About 30 mins after i told him to go to sleep, I notice the inflatable matress is no longer very inflatable, and can start to feel the hard ground beneath my back, all the while, my son to the right of me sleeps soundly sitting on the side thats still inflated.

an hour later Im still not asleep. Ive realised my long legs dont fit in the sleeping bag, and my legs are bowed like a frog. I had never noticed my mums garden was so noisy, Ill have to take care of that wobbly piece of fence thats clanging about, i think to my self, as it bellows backwards and forwards in the wind... and WIND chimes, fncking wind chimes, why did my mum get them? they arent relaxing in the slitest, theyre now clanging about in a very unmelodic way.

about an hour later, im still awake... then i notice the distinct sound of rain, quiet at first, the spitting gets louder, until we are in a full on downpour...ok i thought - maybe this white noise might send me off to sleep...I pull everything away from the edge of the tent to stay dry, i close my eyes. the rain dies down...


did I just see a flash? was this my eyes playing tricks on me? I wait a few seconds, and close my eyes again.


it was like a shotgun over the top of us. another flash, another flash, BOOM BOOM!!!

Torrential rain back - harder than before, FLASH FLASH

I sat there knowing the next day would be a write off. I wasnt going to get any sleep. It was 2am when i last looked at my watch... god knows what my son was going through, I couldnt hear him now - the rain was so loud.

then it was daylight again. I reckon i had slept about 3 hrs. I rolled over to my son who was still asleep. he woke up shortly after with no memory of any storm. unbelieveable.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 10:59, Reply)
Since I returned from my camping experiences alive and in one piece, I've considered them a success.
The Keewaydin summer camp was an excellent experience, despite the belief M&D sent me there in an attempt to eliminate me. In the pre-cellphone, no-GPS days, even the mildness of Canada's lake-strewn wilderness could kill you if you weren't prepared for foul weather, but those incredible high latitude sunsets, crystal clear ice cold water and sunbathing on bare rock more than offsets the occasional cloud of mosquitoes or black flies and the rare encounter with leeches or a portage through muskeg in the rain. And please ignore those people who say northern pike aren't good to eat; they've never had one fresh caught and fileted for breakfast.

The camp didn't lose anyone during my 2nd summer there, but the prior year one of the guides died while hauling a canoe over portage too close to the tracks; the CP Rail freight rushed past and the vortex picked him up and spun him around, snapping his neck in the process.

The closest I came to death during my time there was on a trip down the Sturgeon River; rounding a bend our group intruded on a moose standing in the water. We stopped paddling, remained quiet and did not disturb the giant; even submerged to his chest in the water, his head towered above us.

Canoe camping is unique among wilderness explorations; you don't use traditional pack frames and that lightweight, freeze dried crap is nowhere to be found. The wonnegans are just large boxes tied together with oiled leather straps and filled with canned goods, high density grains and other preserved foods. During portage you support the box across your shoulders with the leather strap over your head.

It's been nearly 30 years since I last carried a wonnegan or a canoe that way and my skull still sports a lateral groove where the strap compressed the layers of bone. The one wonnegan which doesn't lose weight as its contents are consumed is "the jewelry"; it's filled with all the aluminum and cast iron cookware - and I was lucky enough to be assigned to the team which carries the jewelry both years.

I was fortunate to spend my teen years a short drive from Haleakala; there are only a few trails through the crater, but there are enough permutations to keep things entertaining. On the rare occasion when a park cabin reservation was available, M&D's friends would immediately schedule vacation time or special work breaks and fly over for a large group hike on the available days.

The crater is young; please don't bring your favorite hiking boots as the volcanic cinders will rapidly saw the binding materials apart. If you choose to exit the crater via Kaupo Gap, that is where your footwear will fail; 8 miles of 15% grade puts a lot of stress on your feet. I hope you have a friend waiting at the bottom with a truck to drive you back around to the populated side of the island.

My favorite trail is the southern path from Kapalaoa cabin to the Paliku camp site; there's a couple of miles of black cinder trail I call "the moon walk" and I usually take it at a fast walk to light jogging pace over the undulating terrain, with occasional stops to listen to the silence marred only by the sound of my beating heart. Yes, it can be that quiet along that section.

My most recent camping trips have been to various weekend machine gun shoots in AZ with friends who have welcome connections within that community. After a full day of shooting at sticks of sweaty dynamite on stakes and trying to bring down the surprisingly durable homebuilt R/C deltawing aircraft, I'm always exhausted and quickly pass out. Apparently once I'm asleep, a brief chinook can collapse my shelter yet fail to wake me.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 10:48, Reply)
1. Waking up next to a wide-eyed girlfriend with the tent pretty much collapsed around me after a night on the Pernod and blackcurrants.
"How the hell could you sleep through that?"
"Through what?"
She opened the tent flap to reveal an empty campsite where the evening before it had been full and pointed to the site bins where the remnants of several tents had been stuffed.

Apparently it'd been rather windy.

2. Same tent, same girlfriend, different site. After some afternoon delight the girlfriend opened the tent flap to reveal an empty space where my car, a suicidal old Mini had been parked.
"The car has gone!"
"Fuck off."
"No really, look. The car has gone!"
Wondering how the hell someone had managed to nick my car from outside our tent I stuffed my head outside and noticed the car had slipped off its handbrake and had careered down the campsite in a big arc, narrowly avoiding several tents.

We quit that site ASAP. The thought of what could have happened if it had gone a few feet to the left still gives me the chills.

3. Catching the sight of my mates mum in the nud through the thin canvas walls of the compartment me and my mate were sleeping in.

Camping wasn't all bad.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 10:36, 4 replies)
They call it camping
but it's actually very butch.
(, Wed 4 Apr 2012, 8:45, 4 replies)

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