Archive for the ‘Campfire Stories’ Category

Tell Scary Ghost Stories On Your Next Camping Trip

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I am one of those people that loves a good Political jokes and a good story but cannot ever remember them so when I try to repeat that joke or story it never works out because I inevitably give away the punch line or forget an important part of the story. So if you love ghost stories and want to regale your family and friends with a delightfully scary tale at your next camping trip, I found a great website, with lots of ghost stories on it that you can print out and take with you. Or, if you are feeling extremely ambitious or if you have a photographic memory you can just memorize them. ghost picture But, here's my disclaimer. Some of these are really pretty scary so save them for "adult" time only or you'll probably have kids sleeping on top of you for the rest of your camping trip because they'll think every little noise they hear is something spooky (no, wait…that's me! I'm such a "scaredy cat"!). Oh, and don't blame me if you can't sleep after hearing these! Are you ready? Then, click here to go to the ghost stories website.

Backcountry Camping Can Be A Stressful Pursuit

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

When I was 24 years old I had a quarter-life crisis. I was working as a reporter for a small newspaper in Upstate New York at the time. It was a wonderful place to live, surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness. Camping and hiking opportunities were ubiquitous.

But one day it hit me like a punch to the gut: I was trapped. Aside from the occasional walk in the woods, or overnight camping trip, I had settled into a comfortable and routine life without much in the way of excitement. I was too young for that, I thought. Yikes. Suddenly, the quaint mountain town was suffocating. I had to move on.

So I quit my job, broke up with my girlfriend, sold a few things on Craigslist, and, in a drastic attempt to find adventure, loaded up my Subaru wagon and pointed it west. A week later I was in Montana, where I had signed up for a six-month long AmeriCorps position with the Montana Conservation Corps. Along with swinging an axe, wielding a chainsaw and digging in the dirt for eight hours a day, the job entailed 21 day stints in the backcountry.

I was nervous.

I had been backpacking a few times, but most of my experience was in the luxury of car camping. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Questions often raced through my head. Twenty one days without a shower? No toilet or outhouse? How am I going to poop in a hole for three weeks? No cell phone, TV or free Wi-fi? Guess I’ll have to go cold turkey on Internet consumption. What about bears, mountain lions, giant mosquitoes and Sasquatch? Am I going
to make it?

I made it.

Three weeks is a little extreme, but for a lot of people getting into backpacking and primitive camping can be stressful. There are certain adjustments in attitude that need to occur before getting the most out of a wilderness experience, and they don’t always come easy.

To curb self doubts and insecurities I would recommend reading up on camping and backpacking manuals and tips. Maybe check out an online forum or two. That will get you started if you’re not sure how to pack your pack, what gear you should bring, if you’re looking for suggestions on where to go, etc. But the best way to get into backpacking is to go out with someone who knows what they are doing. For my first true backcountry experience it was a staff member of the conservation corps who taught me the subtleties of cooking over an open flame, the allure of knowing animal tracks, and why the Spork is man’s greatest invention.

Stress about being in the backcountry can come in many forms. One summer I went camping at a primitive site in Maine and took along a friend who considers herself to be a ‘city girl.’ It was her first time camping and I was surprised to find that the thing she was most worried about was not having her coffee in the morning.

“We do have coffee,” I said. “We brought a French press.” (That’s not really an option while backpacking, but there are some instant coffees out there that are actually pretty good.)

She was also worried about bears, naturally, but was happy to find out that there aren’t any Grizzlies in Maine.

The list of concerns for first-timers in the backcountry is a long one, everything from . The trick is to be prepared. Do research, ask questions, plan ahead, but remember why you’re doing it. It’s fun! It can be life changing. Kneeling over a trickling mountain stream and pumping every ounce of water you use though a filter can really change your perception of turning on a faucet. In the same vein, nothing is more satisfying than creating a delicious and savory meal over a fire with minimal ingredients.

Being with a group in the wilderness is about camaraderie and adventure, feeling physically exhilarated and mentally at peace. Don’t take it too seriously. But certainly do your homework.

Here are just a few tips that address common apprehensions before taking the wonderful plunge into backcountry camping:

Bathroom etiquette in the backcountry

There’s at least one book out there, probably more, devoted entirely to this topic. It is uncomfortable to talk about at first, but nature is bound to call when in nature.

It’s not that big a deal.

I’d recommend buying a small camping trowel. Dig a hole six inches deep, do your business, and then bury the waste and toilet paper. Don’t forget to enjoy the solitude as you would in your own bathroom, and try to pick a safe place with a good view.

No shower, no problem

Baby wipes equal a shower in a box. They’re always a good purchase before spending time in the woods.

Rinsing off in streams or other bodies of water is also an option. Just make sure you are aware of any dangers that would be present. It is not usually considered “leave no trace” to put biodegradable soaps directly into a water source, but filling a water bottle and lathering up over the ground can be just as satisfying.

If you happen to be camping in the western United States, chances are there’s Sagebrush nearby (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_tridentata). The spicy, lemon scented plant makes for a great deodorant. Hang some in your tent to keep things smelling fresh, or better yet, vigorously rub some in your armpits. You just might get a few compliments around the campfire.

Sleeping easy

This isn’t a post about gear, and I am not going to recommend brands. But when it comes to getting comfortable in your tent getting a good sleeping pad is worth every penny, both for comfort and warmth. I’d say save up and spend a little extra.

Leave no trace

Leave No Trace ethics deserve a whole post, but the philosophy is simple: Take only pictures, leave only footprints. It’s important to learn about having a low-impact in the wilderness and backcountry so it can remain for all to enjoy.

About the author: Eric Voorhis is a journalist, photographer and blogger living on Long Island. As a reporter and freelance writer he’s covered everything from education and local politics to recreation and the environment. He has been camping in nearly every state of the contiguous U.S., from the backwoods of Maine to the beaches of California, and hates it when people burn marshmallows

Scary Campfire Story – The Hook

Friday, August 24th, 2007

I love to scare myself. I don’t know why because doing so sometimes causes me to have nightmares but I do it anyway.

One thing I love is scary campfire stories. Keep in mind though that scary campfire stories, like the one below, are not intended for kids. Save these stories for adult gatherings or when you are positive the kids are asleep and are not going to hear them.

Here’s one I first heard when I was teenager and still gives me goosebumps!

THE HOOK
The reports had been on the radio all day, though she hadn’t paid much attention to them. Some crazy man had escaped from the state asylum. They were calling him the Hook Man since he had lost his right arm and had it replaced with a hook. He was a killer, and everyone in the region was warned to keep watch and report anything suspicious. But this didn’t interest her. She was more worried about what to wear on her date.

After several consultation calls with friends, she chose a blue outfit in the very latest style and was ready and waiting on the porch when her boyfriend came to pick her up in his car. They went to a drive-in movie with another couple, then dropped them off and went parking in the local lover’s lane. The blue outfit was a hit, and she cuddled close to her boyfriend as they kissed to the sound of romantic music on the radio.

Then the announcer came on and repeated the warning she had heard that afternoon. An insane killer with a hook in place of his right hand was loose in the area. Suddenly, the dark, moonless night didn’t seem so romantic to her. The lover’s lane was secluded and off the beaten track. A perfect spot for a deranged mad-man to lurk, she thought, pushing her amorous boyfriend away.

“Maybe we should get out of here,” she said. “That Hook Man sounds dangerous.”

“Awe, c’mon babe, it’s nothing,” her boyfriend said, trying to get in another kiss. She pushed him away again.

“No, really. We’re all alone out here. I’m scared,” she said.

They argued for a moment. Then the car shook a bit, as if somethingā€¦or someoneā€¦had touched it. She gave a shriek and said: “Get us out of here now!”

“Jeeze,” her boyfriend said in disgust, but he turned the key and went roaring out of the lover’s lane with a screeching of his tires.

They drove home in stony silence, and when they pulled into her driveway, he refused to help her out of the car. He was being so unreasonable, she fumed to herself. She opened the door indignantly and stepped into her driveway with her chin up and her lips set. Whirling around, she slammed the door as hard as she could. And then she screamed.

Her boyfriend leapt out of the car and caught her in his arms. “What is it? What’s wrong?” he shouted. Then he saw it. A bloody hook hung from the handle of the passenger-side door.