A Few Lessons Learned The Hard Way

I’ll admit, I can be a dumbass at times.  It usually costs me too.  The first two times my wife and I went camping I really got to show off my stupidity.  What made it even worse was that my wife was the one to bail me out of trouble both times.  So much for being that tough-looking bush man.  Here are those stories.

The Ice Cream Fund

Before my wife and I were married, we decided to take a camping trip together for our summer vacation.  I wanted to take her to Haliburton Forest so I made the reservations for a nice site on Wolf Lake and packed all the gear in my truck.  On the way up, my wife told me that she brought along a bunch of cash for her “ice cream fund” as she was dead set on getting some ice cream everyday to make the trip enjoyable.  I gave her a hard time about it and teased her a bit, “who the hell brings $100 for ice cream” I said.

We registered at base camp and headed to our site.  It was a beautiful site with a stunning view of Wolf Lake.  We began to unpack and setup camp.  I unfolded the tent and went to grab the poles.  Where the hell had the poles gone?  I looked everywhere in the truck for the missing poles before getting pissed at myself for realizing that I had forgotten them.  The dam poles were at home over 4 hours away.  I had to admit to my wife that I had forgotten them, she was not impressed.

We got back in the truck and drove to the nearest town, Haliburton, to find some sort of shelter.  We ended up at a sports store that had two tents in stock, both for $100.  I sure was glad at that point that Maghan had brought that money for ice cream, however, she was not impressed in the least that she would be giving it up to buy a tent because I am a dumbass.  Back at the campsite we setup the brand new tent, with poles, and enjoyed the evening.  I have never lived down the tent pole situation in the decade that we have been together.



Our new tent on Wolf Lake


Bears and Beds

When Maghan and I got married we decided to keep everything affordable.  We did a backyard wedding with only about 30 people.  Keeping with the affordable theme, we decided to go camping for our honeymoon.  We had been to Wolf Lake in Haliburton Forest the year before (during the Ice Cream Fund incident) and decided to give it another go.  I packed the truck the day before leaving and made dam sure I brought the tent poles this time.

The camping trip was going well until the 3rd night.  I was packing everything away for the night and getting ready to go to sleep.  It was a long day and I was dead tired.  I had just gotten comfy in my sleeping bag when Maghan asked “did you put the corn in the truck?”.  I realized that I had forgotten our bag of corn in the kitchen tent.  Being comfy and lazy I decided to play it off that it was no big deal.  Stupid me.

“Bears don’t eat corn”  I said.

“Are you sure?” Maghan asked.

“Have you ever seen a bear in a corn field?” I replied.  She just smiled and went back to reading her book.  I snuggled my head into my pillow.

I was half asleep when Maghan asked “whats that sound?”.  I heard air hissing and knew that our air mattress was leaking.  I found the tiny hole but needed something to plug it.  In my glaring stupidity (or half awake state) I decided that the best course of action was to try and stuff my dirty sock in the hole.  BIG MISTAKE!  The airbed ripped open and deflated in an instant.  Maghan looked at me, with that look of disappointment that only a wife can do, while saying “You f*cking idiot”.  We put down as much soft stuff as we could to lay on but it was going to be a long night.

It was around 2:00am that we awoke from our light (and uncomfortable) sleep to hear some rustling on our campsite.  Maghan asked me what could be out there.

“Its just a raccoon” I told her.  That lie held up until she heard the breathing outside our tent.  I opened the tent door and illuminated the campsite with my flashlight.  Sure enough, it was a bear who had come for our corn (of all things).  My heart sank because I knew what Maghan was going to say.  I tried to shoo it away with the panic alarm on my truck but it stuck around until it was able to free the corn from the kitchen tent and took it on his way.  Maghan and I tried to get some sleep but stayed up the rest of the night.  She didn’t say a word.

Come morning I finally got the earful that I deserved, finished off with “You are packing us up and taking me home… and getting me Swiss Chalet for dinner”.

“Yes dear” I mumbled.  I was such an idiot.  We packed up and did just what she had said.  Honeymoon over.

After all that I’m surprised that my wife still camps with me at all.  I chalk some of it up to me being young and stupid while camping in bear country, or packing hastily for a big trip.  I never expect to hear the end of it and I can readily admit that, yes, The Camping Sasquatch can be an idiot.  Who the hell forgets tent poles anyways?  I’ve learned a few lessons the hard way…


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