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5 Disastrously Bad Camping Experiences

ken hayes on a good camping trip

With Memorial Day Weekend upon us a lot of people may be planning to camp.  Learn from my mistakes.  We all have a bad camping experience, at it seems that I have more than most.  Here’s the worst of them.

1. Bears!  Bears!  Bears! – 1993 Whiteface campground around 1992-1993.  I don’t exactly remember the year, but holy cow what an experience to remember.  I was camping with my dad and we were sleeping in a tent.  I was about 10 years old.  In the middle of the night, I woke up to something brushing the side of the tent.  I woke up my dad and he opened up the zipper to the tent and saw a big black bear staring at him.  What was my dad’s reaction:  A whispering scream to get back in the tent.

Shortly after other campers were walking through the camp site banging pots and pans to scare away bears.  They kept coming back all night.  I slept in the car.

2.  Broke Down RV – 1997 – another camping with Dad story.  My dad for some stupid reason bought a 30 year old Winnebago.  Our plan was to drive all the way to Six Flags  near Chicago, then back through the Wisconsin Dells, then back home to Duluth.  About an hour into the trip we realized there was no way in hell we were going to make it to Chicago.  The RV literally fell apart from start to finish.  Water leaks, antifreeze leaks, muffler problems, and a dragging sewage hose on I-35.  It was an experience.

3.  Tent Buddy Diarrhea – 2003. Back in 2003 a college friend and I went out to visit my uncle and go dirt biking in the desert.  I didn’t realize my friend had such a bad stomach which caused him a lot of icky problems.  Every morning he would throw up.  Every night, he would have diarrhea.  I think it was probably his very unhealthy diet, but I’m not one to judge.  The bad part was we had to share a tent.  In the middle of the night I woke up to an awful smell and the sound of a man groaning in pain trying to kick start a motorcycle.  I covered my nose, closed my eyes, and fell back asleep.  In the morning I woke up to soiled toilet paper blowing in the wind.  He couldn’t get the motorcycle started and drive to the outhouse, so he did his business behind a rock.   A ROCK 10 FEET FROM OUR TENT.

4.  Out Of Beer – 2005! This one isn’t quite a disaster story.  It was actually a pretty good trip overall.  However, we did have one problem.  We ran out of beer at 4 o’clock in the afternoon on a canoe trip.  My uncle and I bought cases of beer and loaded the truck with them.  My other uncle (the more responsible one) decided it was more important to pack a camping stove and other cooking gear, so took out a couple of cases of beer.  Halfway down the river on a very hot day, we ran out of beer.

5.  Lost My Tent 2004. Went to a bike rally in southern Minnesota.  On our way somewhere on the 200 mile journey my tent bag fell off the back of my bike.  I didn’t realize this until I got to the site and reached for my tent.  I ended up sleeping in a tire rut.  I’m not joking either.  Oh the memories.

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