Why I Don’t Camp

Some Folks Aren’t Meant For The Great Outdoors

When you hear the word Camping, what does it bring to mind? Enjoying long weekends with your family and friends? Relaxing, recharging and communing with nature? For many campers, that’s exactly what it means. For me and my friends, camping will always be associated with a trip we took in the early 80s to The Pinery, in Ontario, Canada. It was a trip where us novice campers found out how little we really knew about roughing it in the woods. I think we had all seen too many beer commercials. Namely, where an attractive group of young ladies run out of beer, then join us at our campfire to share some of ours. Nature takes its course, and we all head home with sly grins on our faces.  Yeah, not so much.

Roy worked at a local butcher shop. So steaks, burgers, and hotdogs were packed in his cooler, ready for the grill. However, things started to go off the rails right away. Since Google Maps was over 30 years in the future, we severely miscalculated how long it would take us to get to the campsite and set up our tents. It also didn’t help that Roy’s MG (that only ran on high-octane airplane fuel for some reason) decided to conk out on the Bluewater Bridge. “Anything to declare? Yeah, my car is dead! Push it over there hoser!” After getting James Bond back on the road, we somehow managed to find the campsite and put up our tents in the fading light. Earlier that day, Joe and I had practiced putting up our tent, but the task proved difficult in the fast approaching darkness. However, with the assistance of some car headlights, we managed to get them all up. A celebration was in order, so we headed into town for some food and Canadian beer.

Joe and I had borrowed our tent from his brother Spike and we didn’t think that the busted zipper would be an issue. How wrong we were. After getting back to the campsite and crashing for the night, I woke up around 3 am to a strange feeling. I groggily asked, “Joe, what are you doing?” However, Joe was on the other side of the tent. I opened my eyes to find a full-grown raccoon standing on my chest! I screamed, the raccoon screamed, everybody was screaming! I tossed an empty beer bottled at the intruder as he waddled his way across the campsite. I thought that would be the end of our battle with nature, but I was wrong. The next day, he staged a counterattack with some friends and raided our food stash. Our steaks, burgers and hotdogs were all devoured, or grossly tainted with ‘coon slobber. So campers, enjoy your nice little weekend in the woods. I’ll stay at home, behind a double-locked door, safe and sound. As for you raccoons out there, keep it moving, ya filthy animals!

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4 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Camp”

  1. Reminds me of a couple camping trips we took in the late 80s/early 90s. One was at a campground in Door County, WI. We had bungeed our cooler shut, because we knew about raccoons. What we didn’t know was that the local trash pandas had figured out bungees, and removed them without damaging them. We came back from our relaxing bike ride to find raccoons throwing a rager with all our bratwurst as appetizers. Everything was either gone, damaged, or (like in your story) covered in raccoon slobber. A couple of the guys wanted to keep the slobbery ones. Being the only sane (and female) camper, I insisted we go to town and replace the food.

    The other one was just me being terrified because I saw bear cubs trying to get into our cooler in the middle of the night. Flashlight proved them to be the biggest raccoons I’ve ever seen in my life. We got up and put the food in the car, and that was our strategy from then on… cooler stays in the trunk!

    Thanks for bringing back some great memories and sharing yours!

    1. Cat,
      Thanks for your great reply! Nice to know we weren’t the only ones targeted by the masked bandits! Have to admit, your solution was what we should have done. We replaced the meat and hoped for the best. Thankfully, they left us alone after their feast! Thanks again for your feedback!

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