Monday, September 10, 2012

P-Money Goes Camping

In everyone's life, there comes a time when one must prove him/herself to mother nature and endure the great outdoors.  Some people do this religiously and enjoy every chance they get to experience the wonders of this earth.  This past weekend was just that time for the Mrs. and myself, and we decided to take a trip and spend the weekend camping in a state park within 2 hours of our home.

Both myself and my wife had country backgrounds, and so camping was never really something our families did.  The common expression was usually "If you want to go camping, pitch a tent in the backyard".  Since there was literally nobody else around, this pretty much simulated camping.  Now we live in the city and were yearning to retry our country wit and experience the great outdoors.  Living on the cheap, we decided to go car camping with a tent and some basic supplies.  Renting the tent lot at the campgrounds was pretty cheap at $19/day and we figured 2 days was enough to wet our appetites and still be realistic on our experience.  We even managed to borrow a tent and some additional supplies just in case we decided that camping was not up our sleeves.  Total cost for the weekend when you include gas for the car, and food stuff came out to about $60 (with about $16 in wood).  So we set off Friday afternoon for adventure.

Right off the bat, we knew things were going to be difficult.  It had rained a little on the drive down, and I knew that some rain was in the forecast, but I figured that it would be some scattered thunderstorms (as the weather people said), and would pass after a couple hours.  We arrive, pitch tent, and start unpacking.  Everything was going well, and so we decided to take our bikes, ride to the nearest hiking trail, and do a 2 mile trail.  The trail was great, well maintained, and we even saw 3 deer.  Not too bad, except that it started to pour right at the end.  Luckily, there was a cabin nearby for us to wait it out.  It rained extensively for about an hour and when it cleared up we biked back to camp.

We were starting to get hungry and decided that we needed to try and make a campfire.  With everything so wet, we knew this would not be easy.  Luckily, our wood was dry in the car.  Always the ever cheapskate, I decided to forgo on the kindling and make my own via a hatchet and one of our logs which went pretty well.  For the first night of dinner, we had little foil packets of fish, veggies, and Italian dressing which we put in a pot and placed in the fire.  Since we didn't have a metal rack to place the pot on, we rigged up a makeshift stone stove top as you see below:
Our ghetto style camping stove
Boy we thought we were some pretty hot stuff.  The stove above was working pretty well, and food was an its way...that is until.....the stone blew up!!!  I have experienced this before, but I totally forgot that stones can hold moisture deep inside.  Well, apparently this top stone was just waiting to release its moisture and the whole thing blew up right in our faces.  By some miracle, nobody got hurt and our food packets, and pot were fine.  Not being too fazed, we through the foil packets into the fire, and continued along our merry way.  

After about another 45 minutes of cooking, the food was ready and all was good.  We decided to go to bed, and that's when the rain came.  Some severe thunderstorms hit our campsite for the next 15 hours.  You heard me right, 15 hours of straight rain!  Sleeping was difficult, but we managed to stay dry.  Finally, at about 10am the next day, I spoke to one of our camping neighbors who had a radio and he said it was supposed to be like this all day.  We didn't really want to just sit in a tent the whole time, and so called it a day, packed up and went home.  

Why am I bothering to tell you all this information?  Well, this is an important lesson on knowing when to cut your losses.  Just like in the stock market, if all the forecasts say things are going to be bad, why would you want to tough it out.  Sure, you could get lucky, but more than likely, you'll get soaked.  My wife and I saw the writing on the wall, and decided to make the most out of the rest of our day and went home.  I know it's tough, but sometimes, you just have to pull out of the market, take your losses, and readjust your portfolio.  This is easier said than done and people have spent their whole lives trying to understand when to call it quits.   It's more of an art form than a science, but once you learn this very important skill, you will be able to live a more maximized life.

Wonderful Moment of the Day: Even though we got rained on, this weekend was a really important bonding experience for my wife and myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment