This could be a great campfire topic of conversation.

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NW Adventure & Overland

Rank III
Member

Enthusiast II

760
Poulsbo, Washington, United States
First Name
Eric
Last Name
Hart
Member #

9888

Service Branch
Army
This could be a great round the fire topic of conversation. How many people have a story about a mistake you made while prepping, on you way to, or on an Overland trip, that at the time you didn’t think was funny, but can now look back and smile.

I recently had one of these times. I went out on a day trip to some local trails. I pulled into a campground across the road from the trail head to set up my GoPro and a few yards away was a restroom, I thought I would use before heading out. So… I turn the wheel to pull up next to the restroom to get out of the road. Just out of my eyesight to my right was a tree stump that I did not notice when I pulled up. As I hit the gas to pull up, I ride up the stump with my skid plate and high center myself in the flipping parking lot! As you might guess, I did this the right way, yes with my experience and skills I stop just past the skid plate in between the skid plate and cross member. I could not go forward, or it would lock me in tighter and backward, my wheels just spun. So, I locked her up to see if I could back myself off and all it did was drift me to one side right next to the only tree still standing within 75 yards. Unfortunately and luckily no one was around, they all left as I pulled in. After taking a moment to stop and actually look at the situation, I got my HI lift jack down off the roof rack. I looked around and found some 2x4’s someone was using as fire wood, jacked up the front and blocked it up above the stump and was able to back off.

I have seen other people do stuff like this and at the time thought, what an idiot. That will never be me… I now think back, I am the guy that got stuck in a parking lot, LOL.

Have you had a blunder or humbling experience, please share.
 

BlackJeep

Rank 0

Contributor I

Lol reminds me of the time I got my wife's prius stuck in a mall parking lot on a very small snow drift (several weeks after the storm). A lady in a wrangler helped push us out and said, "you're not driving one of these!" D'oh! Gives a new meaning to the phrase mall crawl.

Another reminder to check your vehicle surroundings, even when it seems safe...
 

Member III

2,741
PDX, OR, USA
Member #

1987

I hope this isn't too off-topic, since this didn't occur during an overland trip. However, I was way up in the mountains on a lookout tower, so it's close. Plus, I was just reliving this experience last night for some reason, so it seems appropriate.

I spent my 18th summer operating a lookout for the Douglas Forest Protective Association, outside of Roseburg, Oregon. Baughman Lookout had just been recommissioned, and I was fortunate to be picked to work the 10 day on/4 day off schedule. At 18, I was decades younger than the rest of the lookouts, all of whom were retired. They'd drive their RV's up to their respective towers and spend the summer relaxing and smoke hunting, a months-long retirement camp out. They all thought I was nuts- why would a teenager want such a job? For me, it was awesome- I had a box of books to go with my peace and quiet, and I was set.

The summer was pretty quiet for the most part, a few minor lighting storms here and there, until one night in August. A buddy was visiting, and this guy could snore, chainsaw-style. In a 14' x 14' tower cabin, there's no escaping that noise, so I did the reasonable thing, I put in earplugs and went to sleep. No big deal, my official work-day didn't start until noon, so it's not like I'd oversleep. Plus, with 365 degrees of windows, there was no avoiding the sun, which was up pretty early. Of course, sometimes there is no sun, like during a major thunderstorm.

Now, there was almost certainly a weather report telling me to prepare for said thunderstorm. Hell, I took weather readings daily so I should have known it was coming. But, for whatever reason, I didn't know... Or I forgot.... Or I'm just dumb. The third option seems most likely, since I also apparently turned my radio volume down . I also don't remember doing that, and before you ask, I was, in fact, sober.

The epic storm rolled in sometime in the wee hours, and it was probably shaking my tower something fierce, but I slept on. Not sure when the radio calls started coming in, telling me and the other lookouts to wake our asses up and get ready, but that was probably in the wee hours too. Didn't bother me, though, I just kept sleeping. It wasn't until, oh, maybe 9am, after what must have been hours of increasingly frantic failed radio checks, they finally sent my boss on the long drive to check on me. I'm sure they thought I'd been lighting-struck by that point, cuz there was NO WAY anyone could sleep thru a storm like that.

I was a tiny bit embarrassed to be awakened, at long last, by his furious pounding on the hatch. They were too busy to yell at me much then, so my boss left as soon as he had proof of life (I think he would have yelled at me more if he wasn't genuinely relieved that I wasn't dead), and I spent the next few hours furiously calling coordinates. Lighting was smashing 50 yards from my tower, shotgun blasts so loud I thought the windows would shatter. My friend huddled in terror on the tiny glass legged lighting stool, but somehow, the tower was unscathed. A few hours later, the storm was blown out, and all the fires had been contained. All in all, it was a wonderful lightning bust and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

In the end, I think the circumstances were just so absurd that I didn't really get into trouble. I finished out the summer uneventfully, though it would be fair to say I was subjected to some ridicule. Years later, I ran into some of my former bosses at an event I was working, and they of course stopped me and told the story in front of a room full of old forestry/firefighter types. What a treat it was to relive my shame publicly again!

If you swing by DFPA even today, someone may know the story of the lookout who slept thru the lightning storm...
 

cougargnw

Rank III

Advocate I

760
We set up our camper in a new campground to us and the lot markers were 4x4 posts about 2 feet tall. I back the camper in, unhook and pull forward and to the right to get the truck out of the road, and side swiped the crap outta that dumb post. The only good thing is that is was my work truck and not my nice Tahoe. Always check your surroundings
 

tbcota25

Rank II
Member

Traveler I

484
Minoa, NY
Member #

10278

This could be a great round the fire topic of conversation. How many people have a story about a mistake you made while prepping, on you way to, or on an Overland trip, that at the time you didn’t think was funny, but can now look back and smile.

I recently had one of these times. I went out on a day trip to some local trails. I pulled into a campground across the road from the trail head to set up my GoPro and a few yards away was a restroom, I thought I would use before heading out. So… I turn the wheel to pull up next to the restroom to get out of the road. Just out of my eyesight to my right was a tree stump that I did not notice when I pulled up. As I hit the gas to pull up, I ride up the stump with my skid plate and high center myself in the flipping parking lot! As you might guess, I did this the right way, yes with my experience and skills I stop just past the skid plate in between the skid plate and cross member. I could not go forward, or it would lock me in tighter and backward, my wheels just spun. So, I locked her up to see if I could back myself off and all it did was drift me to one side right next to the only tree still standing within 75 yards. Unfortunately and luckily no one was around, they all left as I pulled in. After taking a moment to stop and actually look at the situation, I got my HI lift jack down off the roof rack. I looked around and found some 2x4’s someone was using as fire wood, jacked up the front and blocked it up above the stump and was able to back off.

I have seen other people do stuff like this and at the time thought, what an idiot. That will never be me… I now think back, I am the guy that got stuck in a parking lot, LOL.

Have you had a blunder or humbling experience, please share.
Dang, thank goodness no one saw that! lol... On a serious note, at least you and the rig didn't get hurt.
 

Caligirlnic

Rank IV

Enthusiast II

1,113
Bend, OR, USA
First Name
Nicci
Last Name
miller
The man and/or we forgot our sleeping bags. Were unpacking for the site, looking for the sleeping bags and was like oh s+*t!!! It was October in Utah (Lower Calf Creek Falls) and thought we would be ok with the fleece blanket and other blanket we had. 3 season tent and high end backpacking mattress's. Well not the case. In the middle of the night I woke up freezing, and headed for the car thinking yea it will be warm enough. Took my regular blanket, (left the fleece for him in the tent) and good warm jacket. All I can say is that was the worst night camping I ever had. Maybe...... MAYBE... 2 hours sleep. No matter what I did no warmth at all. It sucked!!!! About 2 hours later the man woke up and jumped in the car too, freezing. At the time it was so miserable and we found a hotel the next night. But the next day we had a great hike and found humor in just another adventure of Mark and NicciLower calf Creek.jpg
 

Gary Stevens

Rank V
Member

Pathfinder I

1,798
Reseda California
Member #

2930

Years ago, camping over a three day weekend up in the Sierra's, we had a group of about 6. Got in early and found a camp site. Friday everything was full. The guys camped next to us started drinking early and became nasty quickly. That night loud nasty music from them. We and other campers tried talking to them, which was useless. Around 11 they finally went to bed. Now Quiet. Everyone else was still up, and finally enjoying the night. Camped on the other side of us, was a single person. We invited him over to join us once things got quiet. I will call him Bubba. He was a good olde boy. We started talking about what happened with our nasty neighbors. Other people from adjoining campsites joined us. So Bubba says this is why I always carry a can of spaghettios. Do tell, we ask. Bubba takes the can and puts it in the coals of the nasty campsite fire ring. He starts a count down. A few mintues latter BAM BOOM. The spaghettios go flying and hit their tent with a really good splat. Nasty campers are now up and a bit shaken. We keep from laughing. It gets better, cause all night long critters went after the spaghettios and keep them up all night. They left early the next morning. I always carry a can of spaghettios.
 

Caligirlnic

Rank IV

Enthusiast II

1,113
Bend, OR, USA
First Name
Nicci
Last Name
miller
Years ago, camping over a three day weekend up in the Sierra's, we had a group of about 6. Got in early and found a camp site. Friday everything was full. The guys camped next to us started drinking early and became nasty quickly. That night loud nasty music from them. We and other campers tried talking to them, which was useless. Around 11 they finally went to bed. Now Quiet. Everyone else was still up, and finally enjoying the night. Camped on the other side of us, was a single person. We invited him over to join us once things got quiet. I will call him Bubba. He was a good olde boy. We started talking about what happened with our nasty neighbors. Other people from adjoining campsites joined us. So Bubba says this is why I always carry a can of spaghettios. Do tell, we ask. Bubba takes the can and puts it in the coals of the nasty campsite fire ring. He starts a count down. A few mintues latter BAM BOOM. The spaghettios go flying and hit their tent with a really good splat. Nasty campers are now up and a bit shaken. We keep from laughing. It gets better, cause all night long critters went after the spaghettios and keep them up all night. They left early the next morning. I always carry a can of spaghettios.
Classic!
 

Hans Sommer

Rank I
Member

Contributor II

271
Arroyo Grande CA
First Name
Hans
Last Name
Sommer
Member #

8595

NICE! That's great. we usually use a big can of BBQ beans for the same effect of raining beans. But usually it's in our own fire as a practical (slightly dangerous) practical joke when everyone is hammered and not paying attention until it's raining beans. It's a bit of a dick move, but fun if no kids or wives are around to disapprove.
 
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