Campsite Rituals

Tent camping is not all fun and games as you might be thinking. There’s unpacking the car, setting up the tent, getting the bedding all ready to go, setting up the “kitchen” and… as Ali is oft heard expressing, “There’s no rest for the wicked.”

Wicked as we may be, a little bit of fun must find its way into the itinerary, so on this trip we recently purchased a water soaker to add to the rituals list. Let me explain.

In general there are chipmunks, squirrels, and the occasional raccoon scouting about the campsite doing what they do best. A majority of the darting through chair legs and picnic tables involves the never ending hunt for food.

Most of these critters are pleased to come across a crumb or two left by a child who simply can’t eat with their mouth closed. OK, you got me, those kids leave almost whole meals, but the point is, the resident wildlife benefit. We just don’t want them doing it in our campsite, thank you very much!

Anyway, we wait these poor unsuspecting critters out and play Soak the Rodent. The small creatures get warning shots. The raccoons, they get the full treatment. One coon was so bold at the site next door that it grabbed the bag of marshmallows left by the fire and took off with the entire bag!

No harm comes from our little game and the little beggars learn to hit up the campsite next door instead of ours. Oh, we know, BTW that raccoons are not rodents. In fact they are distantly related to bears as I wrote a few years ago on Henbogle

Dan

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