Lions and Tigers and NO BEARS!

We had so much fun talking about my re-introduction to camping on the air – I thought I would share a couple pictures and some stories and questions from our adventure.

I was in Scouts – both Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts – as a kid. Camping trips were a regular occurrence. I looked forward to them. I enjoyed them. The end.

Once I got a driver’s license, that all went out the door. I graduated high school, went to college, got in to my career – and did not camp. I was too busy.

When Julie and I were first married in 1997, we went camping some. I had an old 1979 Jeep CJ7 that we would take knocking around the mountains. But that lasted only a few years. After that, what little gear we had was stored in the basement and forgotten and/or permanently loaned out over time.

Fast-forward to now. Jack – our 13-year old son – has a real love for the outdoors. I haven’t a clue where he got that. He loves to fish, shoot, and ride his quad – which is a new addition thanks to my friends at Harsh Outdoors.

I’ve been promising Jack all summer that I would take him camping. This weekend, I finally pulled the trigger. After buying about $450 in gear, we were ready to go. We went just for one night. We left the house about 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and headed for Roosevelt National Forest – the area above Seven Mile Creek outside of Rustic. We found a campsite, had camp set up, and were on the trails by 10:00.

We had a great time, although I don’t remember the mountains being so crowded. Cooked over the fire and over the shiny new Coleman stove I purchased. Rode our quads – a bunch! But now I have questions that maybe you can answer – and I’ll ask a lot of those questions in the captions of the photos I have uploaded below.

Here’s what I am wondering…

- When it is “dispersed camping” in a national forest, it’s first come, first served, right?

- While there are no campsites you can reserve, there are a ton of places throughout this area that are obvious formal sites. Fire rings. Some even had crude log benches. Do campers just build these and leave for the next camper? Or does the Forest Service build these improvements?

- Sleep is so important to me and nothing about this experience is very damn comfortable – especially sleep. What do you do to make yourself more comfortable when camping? I bought a pretty nice cot – that is hard as a rock and I didn’t much care for. We used to have a pump-up air mattress – that we would slide off of during the night. How do you sleep better?

- Should I just buy one of those toy hauler/pop-up campers? I like THIS ONE and THIS ONE – but damn, that’s a lot of money.

I’ll ask some more questions in the captions of the pics. Jack wants to go two or three more times before it gets too cold. Suggestions on how an old guy can be more comfortable.

Okay, on with the pics…

Scott and Sadie

Scott and Sadie

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