Subject: What they DON'T teach you at Scouts

(from the Sept. `96 issue of Backpacker Magazine)

 

When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant.

Get even with a bear who raided your food bag by kicking his favorite stump apart and eating all the ants.

Old socks can be made into high fiber beef jerky by smoking them over an open fire.

When smoking a fish, never inhale.

A hot rock placed in your sleeping bag will keep your feet warm. A hot enchilada works almost as well, but the cheese ticks between your toes.

You'll never be awakened by the call of a loon if you have an unlisted number.

The best backpacks are named for national parks or mountain ranges. Steer clear of those named for landfills.

Acupuncture was invented by a camper who found a porcupine in his sleeping bag.

While the Swiss Army Knife has been popular for years, the Swiss Navy Knife has remained largely unheralded. Its single blade functions as a tiny canoe paddle.

Modern rain suits made of fabrics that "breathe" enable campers to stay dry in a downpour. Rain suits that sneeze, cough, and belch, however, have been proven to add absolutely nothing to the wilderness experience.

Lint from your navel makes a handy fire starter. Warning: Remove lint from navel before applying the match.

You'll never be lost if you remember that moss always grows on the north side of your compass.

You can duplicate the warmth of a down-filled bedroll by climbing into a plastic garbage bag with several geese.

The canoe paddle, a simple device used to propel a boat, should never be confused with a gnu paddle, a similar device used by Tibetan veterinarians.

 

When camping, always wear a long-sleeved shirt. It gives you something to wipe your nose on.

You can compress the diameter of your rolled up sleeping bag by running over it with your car.

Take this simple test to see if you qualify for solo camping. Shine a flashlight into one ear. If the beam shines out the other ear, do not go into the woods alone.

A two-man pup tent does not include two men or a pup.

A potato baked in the coals for one hour makes an excellent side dish. A potato baked in the coals for three hours makes an excellent hockey puck.

You can start a fire without matches by eating Mexican food, then breathing on a pile of dry sticks.

In emergency situations, you can survive in the wilderness by shooting small game with a slingshot made from the elastic waistband of your underwear.

The guitar of the noisy teenager at the next campsite makes excellent kindling.

A large carp can be used for a pillow.

Check the washing instructions before purchasing any apparel to be worn camping. Buy only those that read "Beat on a rock in stream."

The sight of a bald eagle has thrilled campers for generations. The sight of a bald man, however, does absolutely nothing for the eagle.

It's entirely possible to spend your whole vacation on a winding mountain road behind a large motor home.

Effective January 1, 1997, you will actually have to enlist in the Swiss Army to get a Swiss Army Knife.

Bear bells provide an element of safety for hikers in grizzly country. The tricky part is getting them on the bears.

A great deal of hostility can be released by using newspaper photos of politicians for toilet paper.

In an emergency, a drawstring from a parka hood can be used to strangle a snoring tent mate.