With less than two weeks to go until that first work weekend on the Land, I wanted to share with you some information from a book called Roughing It Easy. The book was originally published back in 1975 and was authored by Dian Thomas. At the time, the Washington Post called it, “A camper’s bible!” Maybe that’s because it was written by an outdoor woman from Utah. All I know is it was and still is a valuable book to have around if you’ve never been camping or haven’t been in quite a while.
One of the valuable pieces of information she shares is how to make a bed roll, in case you don’t have a sleeping bag, have no one to borrow one from, and/or can’t afford to buy one. It goes like this:
*Tape a tarp on the ground and spread one blanket over it.
*Lay the outside edge of a second blanket down the center of the first so that it is halfway off the first.
*Lay a third blanket over the first and a fourth blanket over the second.
(If you desire more blankets, continue in the same manner.)
*If you desire a sheet, lay it down as the last blanket.
*To close the bedroll, take the outside edge of the top blanket and bring it to its other edge. Continue overlapping blankets until the bedroll is completely folded. To close the bottom, fold it under 3” and pin it in several places. (See figure below.)
My only addition to this is that, since a ground cloth is essential to keeping yourself and your bedding free of ground moisture, you should wrap the bedroll in that tarp. It will keep it clean and dry while you transport it. Sleeping on the ground is tough so you may want to bring an air mattress, cot, or at least a foam pad to put underneath you to make things a little more comfortable. Don’t forget your pillow!
To go along with this she recommends a warm pair of pajamas (or sweats) rather than sleeping in the clothes you have worn all day. Remember to wear something warm on your feet while you sleep as well.
The author has offered different lists for a camper, whether first time or seasoned, to consider – most are pretty practical, but things that could be forgotten. For example, under “Personal Equipment List”, she lists clothing, sleeping equipment, but also personal items like a comb, a mirror, towel, washcloth, toothbrush and paste. She also has a “miscellaneous” list that includes camera, chapstick, first-aid kit, flashlight (so important down on the Land), any meds you may take, pocket knife, sun glasses and a musical instrument (you never know what may happen around a bon-fire!)
She then moves on to her “General Camping Equipment” list. She makes two suggestions here: 1) take as little as possible; 2) take equipment that can be used in different ways and later discarded such as cans and foil. For basic equipment, she suggests:
*A hatchet or axe
*A blade saw or a string saw
*Tarps and/or ground cloths
For fire equipment:
*A shovel and water bucket (in case of fire)
*Leather, heavy cotton or asbestos gloves (for handling hot objects such as logs, pans, or foil-wrapped food placed in the fire for cooking)
Basic cooking equipment:
*A good skillet or Dutch oven
*A grill or grating (to place over the fire to cook)
*Can opener (don’t know how often this is forgotten!)
Other suggestions include:
*A dish pan
* Paper towels
* Paper plates, cups, and utensils (especially if you don’t like dishwashing)
The lists go on, but you get the idea and I’ve listed some very bare necessities that are often forgotten. She goes on in the book to tell you how to make an equipment box, which I actually had for a number of years. It was quite handy for keeping camping things all in one place and ready for transport. There’s also some really ingenious methods of cooking shown and a large number of recipes at the end of the book. One recipe that I used to always enjoy that was easy with no clean-up was the “Foil Dinner.”
Method: Aluminum foil
Time: 12 minutes per side
Yield: 1 dinner per recipe
*Place 1 ½ feet of heavy duty aluminum foil on a table.
*Peel and slice 1 carrot, ½ to 1 potato and ¼ -½ small onion
*Form a patty from ¼ to 1/3 lb. hamburger
*Arrange food in the following order: carrots, potatoes, onions, meat, potatoes, carrots.
*Close foil securely using a technique called “drugstore wrap” (YouTube video on this at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRWyz675OUI )
This is a quick, easy meal to make ahead of time and then just place in the fire after a hard day of work and/or play.
We ask that anything you pack in, you pack out when you leave. Keep watch on all fires you build – make sure they do not flame so high as to burn the trees and make sure they are out when you leave. We very much appreciate your time, efforts and cooperation in restoring Raven-Wolf!
When you come to the Land, be sure to stop at the registration area – just inside the gate on the left-hand side, to sign in. There will be a “Guest book” for you to sign your name and when you arrived. The gates will be closed and locked at night to keep curiosity-seekers out, usually around 8 p.m.
For those who have never been to the Land before, you may request directions by sending a SASE to: Raven-Wolf Nature Sanctuary, P.O. Box 61, New Straitsville, OH 43766.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send an email to RavenWolfNature@aol.com We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Anticipation builds….I can’t wait to see you there!