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  #1  
Old 03-09-2008, 12:00 PM
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Default Share Your Favorite Camping Stories Here

Share your favorite camping story with us. You could also win great prizes just for sharing it with us. See here for details.

Share your most memorable camping stories here. Whether it be a camping trip with mom and dad, or a camping trip with your own kids, we want to hear it!
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Last edited by ctfortner; 12-10-2008 at 08:44 PM..
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2008, 12:55 PM
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Default Great White Campers!

So me and my cousin take our four rug rats camping for a weekend last May.

We rented one of those modern cabins out at the state park 10 minutes from my house for one night. I know, I know... not all that adventurous, however it was two women and a four, five, six and seven year old... we had to start small.

So after a long day of campfire building, stick gathering, stone throwing, walking into gale force winds, fishing, hiking, falling, and general insanity... We get the kids settled into their four bunk beds with the trusty little glow sticks we gave them to keep track of them after the sun went down.

The cousin and I settle in on the couch for some quiet time. Not realizing just how quiet it was about to become. The lights blink out... and let me tell you... that old saying "When a tree falls in the woods, and there is no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?"... well... if it falls at night... you certainly won't see it. It was PITCH black.

There was a sliver moon and it was reflecting through the trees and off the choppy water. It was really beautiful. The lights came back on for a short while at about half power. We should have used this time while we still had light to start packing things up, but silly girls that we are, we just sat around and told giggly stories until even that little bit of light abruptly ended.

Being that we rented a modern cabin that had electric baseboard heat, we didn't bring a heater of any kind, even though the cousin does own one. Since the cabin had a fridge, we didn't bring any ice for the coolers to keep the food cold. So there we sat in the warm glow of the propane lantern that I almost didn't bring, since we wouldn't need it in a modern cabin and all...while the kids got colder and the food got warmer.

Me and the cousin decide to call it a night because we will have to get up early in the morning to do the packing, since we didn't get to it after the kids were in bed. So, as I turn the knob on the lantern to off and the light dimmed out, we are suddenly realizing just how dark and how quiet this cabin is.

I laid there for a while, really unable to tell whether my eyes were open or closed because there was no difference between what I was looking at when they were closed to what I was looking at when they were open.

My son would roll over and clunk into the wall between the kids' room and our room, and I would open my eyes just to reassure myself that the noise wasn't coming from our room, and low and behold... it was pitch black.

I casually mention, without trying to sound like a total wuss, "Gee, it sure is dark. We could use one of those glow sticks huh?" Well the eagerness with which my cuz responded IMMEDIATELY that she would really feel better if we had one, let me know what I had to do.

So, I stealthily sneak into the room with the kids. My cousin's son was sleeping on top of his glow stick. My cousin's daughter was clutching hers. My daughter had hung her glow stick from the top bunk so it would hang where she could see it if she woke up. And there was my son, becoming one with the wall, as his light stick had fallen between the mattress and the bedrail on the other side of the bed. So I snagged it and scurry back over to the bedroom where my cuz was patiently waiting for me to return.

We realize the irony of two adults stealing a glow stick from a six year old... and commence high school girl caliber giggling. We giggled so hard we thought we might wake the kids, but we really couldn't stop.

The power came back on in the middle of the night, but we will forever remember our time in the dark, clutching that stolen glow stick like it was made of PURE gold!

Last edited by kiteri; 03-09-2008 at 01:00 PM..
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  #3  
Old 03-09-2008, 05:50 PM
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Great first story Kiteri, thanks for sharing! I may never camp again without a glow stick for emergency's
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2008, 09:35 AM
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Default Family Camping

As a kid, we used to camp alot. We started out in a tent, and moved up to a camper. They would often take us to a campground to have a cookout, even if we werent camping. We would have weiner roasts, make smores, etc..

Some of the best times we had campfire story time. My dad would always come up with good story to tell us around the campfire, and we would just sit in a daze and listen. Sometimes he would sneak in something a little scary, and you would hear something russle in the woods, to find out later is was someone with us, usually mom .

Through the years I sure learned a lot. From cooking, setting up camp, fishing, you name it. We used to get on our bikes and cruise the campground like we owned the place. Of course we were always scouting for women too.

I owe it all to my parents for my love of the great outdoors and camping. There are so many memories from these days that I will cherrish forever, and we spend as much time possible doing making the same memories for our family today.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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One of my most memorable camping experiences happened in Banff Provincial Park in Alberta. We were getting ready to start the BBQ for our dinner...everything was ready except for the steaks....salad, devilled eggs and potatoe salad..we discovered we were out of BBQ sauce..so we put everything in the cooler and ran into town....minutes away....Well we were gone about 6 minutes and when we returned this huge black bear was sitting on our picinic table with our cooler on the ground beside it. It was having a gay old time eating all our goodies we had ready. We just looked at each other and started laughing... We honked the horn and chased it away but everything was covered in bear slobber. We ended up having a pizza for supper that night. We brought the cooler home, complete with huge teeth all the way through the lid just so we had proof.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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I've been camping since I was just a baby (in fact, was with my parents in a boat on the Rogue River when I was about 3 months old while they were salmon fishing). We have always spent from 1 - 3 weeks every summer in the Eastern Sierras. This past August we were enjoying the peace and quiet after all our visitors/guests (had around 22) had left. We had been there 2 1/2 weeks already and it had been pretty crowded but school was starting so the campground emptied out quite a bit. Like always over the past 50 years we made sure the food was well contained and totally covered with blankets inside our PT Cruiser before we hit the tent. Well......... about 11pm I heard a bear roaming around our tent. Just wouldn't leave, so peaked outside and couldn't see him. Woke my husband and we both got dressed and looked outside again. Finally found the bear - on TOP of our PT! Was able to scare him away using the remote alarm but that didn't last long. About an hour later he returned but this time, instead of just hearing snorting and huffing we heard moaning. Yep - he had ripped down the driver's side door and climbed inside and was happily gorging himself on everything he could find in our ice chest (except for the trout!). We never even heard him do this even though I was still awake listening for him to come back. Took quite a while to scare him outside this time but he only hid behind the car. My husband threw a water bottle and hit him so he finally ran - as did we! Down the mountain to another campground as fast as we could, slept inside the car with all the glass/food and stink all night, then went back up the next morning to pack it in and get home. Thank goodness for insurance! The cost to repair the "bear vandalism" was over $6,000 (our deductible was $250 - well worth it for a lifetime of stories!)

Last edited by sandyza; 03-10-2008 at 01:54 PM..
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2008, 12:03 PM
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Camping - lifetime of memories! Some of the more memorable:

Boy Scouts - hiking the 17 mile Kennesaw trail in one day. We'd run for miles, then sit down for a rest. Wouldn't be more than about a minute we'd hear our tough old bird of a scoutmaster whistling on the trail, swinging his cane and telling us to get up and get walking!

Still Boy Scouts - our troop was working on a trail in the Francis Marion Forest, when we discovered the skeletons of 3 cows. One of them still had a rope tied around the horns.

Still Boy Scouts - someone took the aluminum poles out of my tent and set them up over the fire to hold pans while cooking. Burned my hands trying to bend them back straight before they cooled down.

Family - week long trip in the mountains where it rained constantly, and the tarps I had put over the tent for shelter kept falling every 10 minutes.

Me and my two sons - tubing down an empty river when the 5 year old turned over. While I'm trying to get him up, the 3 year old got loose from me and his inner tube took off down the river. After running through the river and on the banks for awhile, half pulling and half carrying the 5 year old, finally caught up with him clutching a rock in the middle of the stream (some memories are more fondly remembered than others).

Whole family and a friend and his son, all in one big tent. My friend wakes me up around midnight, saying something is wandering around outside. Listening closely, I tell him it's just a small animal. "How do you know it's not a bear?" I tell him the sound of the foot steps. Not satisfied, I have to accompany him outside, where we find a badger digging where we had grilled that night. Turning the flash light around, I see a skunk - who must like light, cause he started walking right toward us. I'm not moving, cause I'm thinking this is neat, and am fascinated that the skunk keeps moving toward us. My friend finally says let's go back in the tent. He ended up being my son's cub scout leader down the road.

Whole family, first trip in travel trailer - filling up the gray water tank the first day.

Whole family - staying at a beach CG when a storm came up. Whole trailer is rocking around. Wife looks out window and notices that everybody else had pulled their awning in. Tried to roll mine up in the storm - bolts at bottom of poles are pulled out of the camper.

Whole family - removing the weight distributing bars at check in, but forgetting to raise the jack before driving off.

Me, one son, and three of his friends. Just as I'm falling asleep in the back of the camper, one of the boys is yelling that Noah broke his glow stick. I open my eyes and there's Noah standing in front of me - half his face is glowing green as well as half of the sofa. Fortunately, that stuff is non-toxic.

Many, many more.
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2008, 08:48 PM
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These are really great stories everyone, keep them coming. I have enjoyed reading them all.... It just goes to show you that camping truly creates memories of a lifetime. Nothing like it!
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2008, 08:59 AM
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Great reading everyone, keep them coming. I love reading about everyones past camping experiences.



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  #10  
Old 03-11-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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I remember a summer "long, long, long" ago, when my family first started camping. We didn't even have a tent and had to borrow one. I don't remember all the details, but I do remember one detail really well. Tent stakes and how to improvise when you don't have them. We drove several hours before we got to the campground. Everyone was so excited and also very tired. My Dad gets the tent out and begins putting it together. Now this was his first attempt, so he was about as clueless as this very small young boy as to how a tent went up. He asked one of us kids to go grab the bag with the tent stakes in it, but after many different looks, we couldn't make those tent stakes appear, as he had forgotten to get them when he borrowed the tent. Guess he should have asked for the stakes also. With a few feet of rope and tree branches we finally had something that looked like a tent. That did not deter my Dad, as it wasn't long before we had our first canvas popup trailer. Kind of hard to forget the stakes when they are built in. We camped a lot in the summer when my 2 sisters and I were growing up. Most of the camping trips were in the Branson area, when the only music halls at that time were the Baldknobbers, and Presleys. Guess I'm giving away my age now. , such great memories. Camping is GREAT !!!

Last edited by bill0830; 03-11-2008 at 12:11 PM..
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2008, 02:15 PM
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Not a favorite moment, but one that I remember the most.

I was camping with some buddies a couple of years ago, and they have a camper, which I dont have. I am a usual tent camper, so I didnt know alot about campers.

He unhooked the truck and unlocked the door, so I thought, well I will do what I can to help, so I proceeded on in the camper to get things in order.

Well, I didnt know that a camper could just tilt all the way back when you didnt have the jacks down . Well you know what, it can, and it was on a hill, so it slammed to the ground and I durn near had to change my drawers.

I just knew I had tore the thing up and would be buying this one. What made it worse was when I walked out, all the neighbors were having a blast laughing at us. I lauged it off once I realized nothing was damaged, but needless to say, I wont do that again. My tent dont do that
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2008, 11:39 PM
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I don't know if this counts as a camping experience but it was with our travel trailer and it was very memorable :

We tent camped for years and then towed a pop-up. So whenever we were able to afford a travel trailer we were more than thrilled. We shopped for months to find the perfect " used " tt, we wanted either a jayco eagle tt or a cedar creek tt, we really loved these two brands .

Well one Saturday while looking through the paper we seen a tt for sale in our price range, so we went out and looked at it , and fell in love .

We were so excited to bring it home, so two Saturdays later we went to get the tt and invited 9 family members ( all tent camper lovers ) to come met us at our house to see our new prize .

As they waited in our front yard for us to pull up, my dh being the cool man that he is was talking to his dad on the cell phone bragging about our " new to us " camper, how lucky we were .

As we pulled up everyone was in a fun spirt, fun was being had by everyone. Our neighbors keep passing in cars so we knew we had to get out of the road .

So my dh, hops in the truck and backs the camper into the driveway , being the new " know it all driver " he didn't need extra mirrors and in the process he guns the gas " to show everyone yea, I know what I'm doing.

He end up crashing into the back of our fence, taking the fence out completely and ended up crashed into our tree, which fell and took out the back glass bay window and part of the roof of our camper.

Well there is a moral here somewhere, there just has to be .

Well thank God we had sense enough to insurance it before going to get it and thank the good Lord that Tom Johnson Camping Center took it off our hands and let us finance ( wasn't that good of them ) another cedar creek tt.

That was three years ago and he is now very very careful when backing and uses mirrors.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2008, 06:31 AM
 
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I always looked forward to every family camping trip we had. I never could sleep the night before we left, I was so excited.

My dad always had a great appreciation for the outdoors and shared a wealth of information with me about camping, fishing, hunting, etc... I can rememeber all the things he had to put up with when I was a youngster learning how to do things. Oh the memories...

Camping brought our family closer spending evenings around the camp fire cooking smores, telling stories etc. We were always busy, them working, the kids playing sports and involved with this and that, so when we went camping, it seemed like everything stopped and we just had good quality family time together with nothing else on the mind.

I am very grateful to my parents for the lessons learned and my present ability to set up a camp, build a fire, fish, hunt and do all the things we enjoyed together so much when I was growing up.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2008, 01:04 PM
 
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My favorite camping trip of all time was in 2006.

Our destination was Marquette, MI in the upper peninsula. My wife, three teenagers, and myself in a cab and a half chevy silverado pulling a 33 foot travel trailer. Now remember that Marquette is approximately eight hours away from our home in Vermontville (near Lansing, MI). I enjoyed the drive, we stopped several times on the way up for gas, food and for my wife (cindy) to stretch her back a little. We were stopped for a dinner break at a small rest stop in "middle of nowhere" MI, when one of my daughters asked me why the trash cans were locked up and made of steel? I chuckled and replied that it was because, "They have to keep the bears out of them". She looked around at the rummaged trash that was left behind by less considerate people, and with a look of terror on her face, retreated to the safety of the trailer.

The whole week we stayed on Horeshoe Lake near Marquette was nothing less than awesome. Day trips to see the waterfalls, dad trout fishing at every falls we hiked to (trout fishing was phenomenal), the whole family fishing in the lake and eating bluegills and sunfish every day, evening marshmallow roasts, karaoke (yes, karaoke) with the locals who were camping next door and had the equipment.

It was the following year that I realized the real reason why this trip was so precious to me. It was probably the last time we will all camp together as a family for more than a weekend. Teenagers are busy and quality time with the parents is less and less important to them. My girls are fifteen and involved in Theatre and dance. My son is sixteen, soon to get a drivers license and plans to get a job this summer. My one daughter did not make the summer vacation during 2007 due to practices for a summer drama performance.

Treasure every moment you get outdoors with your kids. As a parent we are proud of the accomplishments of our children, but saddened by their struggle to slowly pull away.
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  #15  
Old 03-21-2008, 12:33 AM
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tbass07, I know exactly where your coming from, there was a time whenever my dd turned 17 she would not go with us camping or anywhere for that matter. Now she's 25 and married and has circled back, she goes with us, her and her husband everywhere we go, if we just say the word camping they come running.


billyj- your story tugged at my heart, I thank the Lord for parents that insteeled in us a sense of family as well.

All the other posters the stories were so good, fact is stranger than fiction, and this made for some good reading on such a nasty night. If I ever came across a bear while camping I would probably just lose it.

Everyones story is so great and mine was a little lame but hey I had to give it my best shot, ...hehe
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