Monday, May 26, 2008


I am equipped to go camping. I am not as equipped as, say, asha and M. Lee, to trek about the unknown world with one spork and a napsack slung over one shoulder. Not like that. I am a campground camper. Not a trekker. I bring my stuff, a minimalistic version, decorate the redwoods as though that were possible or necessary, and sit there until I want to go home. I like sitting here. I like sitting there. Either is fine. I have my tent and my throw rugs so I don't drag dirt inside the tent. I have my shower bag and my bag of games with travel scrabble and dice and a cribbage board and cards; I finally caved and purchased blue speckle-ware plates. I found a full set of pots and pans at a yard sale for two bucks last year, so felt pretty good about buying 30$ worth of new stuff. I like having the camping gear all tucked away, year after year, so when we pull it out it is like christmas. Having a poor memory is delightful. And with perma-gear, there is less to put away when we get home.

This year, with my utter dependence on Silver Hills Squirrely Bread, I found a camp toaster for 1.93 at Walmart. I hate the W stores. But, as the impact of peak oil begins to affect me personally (ah, acceptance; ah, materialism gone awry; ah, shit) and the marauding zombie hoards begin to branch out from Winco and Walmart and Walgreens onto your front porch and mine, it makes a freakin' good case for camping gear and good locks for those gas caps. They (the zombies) were in rare form at Walmart yesterday. I really expected the biting to begin in earnest.

So I looked online for one of those fold-up kitchens, and, as with anything, you can take out a loan and get the top-o'-the-line, but I found the one I wanted for only 60 bucks. It's just a small aluminum set of folding shelves and a top rack for hanging utensils. Nothing burly like Coleman makes which is so cumbersome you may as well install an actual kitchen sink in the forest. I'm happy with my rubbermaid wash tub and tin pan. Some things are just right the way they are. Heaven knows I can haul water. I happen to know the exact weight of five gallons going uphill pregnant. But that, my friends, is another story for another day.

I have been reading this survivalist guide to packing your gear. This is a guy who is into the weight and volume of things. He's thinkin' about carrying his shit around. Not me. But there is a way to pack meat for the duration. He says you freeze it really good for a couple of days in the deepest part of the freezer, and then use in order: chicken first, then pork, then beef. That is the recommended order. I love to cook in the woods, so we will eat very well. I like to eat ribs and other barbaric things straight outta the fire. The first night, we will have blackened chicken breasts with whole green chilis and jack cheese ala clay's smokehouse. Yum.

We will prepare with rain gear and plenty of rope and tarps, and huddle beneath the redwoods for an early summer nap.

I hesitate to say I have enough, but I think I'm just about ready to go.

This post is
In memory of my brother Marc Dixon Kinney
Who returned from Viet Nam but never came home.


L. said...

let's hear it for Marc, and barbaric meats straight from the fire.

msb said...

Glad to see your in the redwoods.