3 Camping Calamities

squirrel photo 2I’m off solo camping in one of Utah’s National Parks. I reserved the campground ahead of time and miraculously got a 5-night reservation over July 4th weekend. The catch? I inadvertently reserved a campsite for 30 people. Oops. It is quite lovely I must say, certainly plenty of room to spread out.

A few days in now and there are a few unexpected surprises. Nothing traumatic, just a couple of unforeseen circumstances, like:

No Sun

I was expecting the temperatures to be in the 108° range. But there’re not—which is a relief. What’s not a relief are the thunderstorms that have replaced the sunshine. The rain and cloud cover is actually a blessing while hiking, but the temperatures are dropping to low 40s during the night. Yikes!

Besides being a little chilly, the main problem with no sun is that I brought a solar-powered charger (borrowed from my friend Vanessa), which I was planning to use to re-charge my camera and iPhone. No sun, no power.

As a work-around, I’ve been able to keep my phone in airplane mode (no signal anyway) and charge while driving using my trusty car adapter. I’m a bit out of contact with the rest of the world, but I’m talking to myself. p.s. I am *very* funny.

No Showers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo…um…I thought all campsites had showers. Apparently not. Since I’m out hiking a good 6+ hours a day, this is sort of an issue. I figured I had several options:

Baby Wipes – I actually did this twice now and it’s not a bad alternative. In fact, this is how I stayed clean during my Kilimanjaro hike for 7 days. Before bedtime, I simply wipe down, using as many cool moist towelettes as necessary. (Last night, 8 did the trick.) Problem is it doesn’t really help with the hair washing…

Rain Shower – As I mentioned above, there’s not been a whole lot of sun, so I figured I could just grab my shampoo during the next storm and lather up. The trick here is the timing. I would need a nice downpour but no lightening. Also, I would need the sun to dry my hair afterwards.

In essence, I would need the perfect storm—a heavy rain, followed by a sunlit afternoon. Haven’t seen it yet, but still hoping as this would be my preferred option. It would be the perfect time to bathe au naturel.

Hotel Pool – Many resorts allow non-guests to buy a pool pass for the day. But this is usually fancier hotels in major cities. I’m near Cedar City, Utah – not a metropolis. I drove past three Days Inn-types and didn’t see any pools, then I drove by a few more and saw a pool but no outside shower. So much for this brainstorm. And I was beginning to feel kinda creepy, like I was casing the joint.

Fun Park – I finally broke down and drove to the Visitor’s Center and confessed I was showerless. The nice gal behind the desk pointed me to the local aquatic park—Genius! For $4 I was able to swim laps and take full advantage of the locker room amenities (which were basic, but beggars can’t be choosers.)

No Stove

I borrowed a camp stove (also from Vanessa) but haven’t been able to get it to work. Granted I’m not super adept at fire and truth be told, I’m a little afraid since I once set myself on fire.

So the stove is a no-go, which means the morning coffee and oatmeal, and boil-in-a-bag rice and Indian marsala are also off the menu.

What I have instead are 3 bags of trail mix and lots of fresh fruit I pilfered from the resort I just left. I decided it would be too easy to eat out every meal, instead I would have 3 ounces of trial mix a day and two pieces of fruit, then I would go out to eat each night at 5:00 pm. I’m calling this my Squirrel Diet.

I’ve be doing this for 4 days now and I have to say, I’m getting a little hungry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInconvenience as Adventure

Maybe a few of you are wondering why I don’t just check into the nearest hotel. I could certainly do that —there’s lots of vacancy signs. But where’s the fun in that?

Also, I’m dedicated to using what I have on hand. I think in our daily life it’s too easy just to buy our way out of situations. I have plenty to eat, I should just eat it.

I came to the beautiful Utah wilderness to fully enjoy the outdoors and that’s what I’m doing.

In my view, I’m having the perfect outdoor adventure—even if I am getting kinda skinny and maybe just the tiny bit smelly.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 9th, 2015 and is filed under On the Road, Uncategorized.

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