63. How I Live… Part I The Morning

My cooking area

A Friend of mine asked how a field correspondent such as myself protects my laptop and posts my articles, as well as maintains battery charges for the laptop, and how I stash my valuables during interviews etc. This will have to be a multi part article.

Well of course I have trusty friends such as Mr. Elk and The Jay Family currently in overwatch of my gear, but that is not always the case as they are a flighty group at best. My campsites are generally well off the beaten path. The best way to find a campsite is where you come upon an area of no litter. Where there is litter, you know it is an easy spot for hikers or other homeless. Sad to say we are nation of slobs.

So after finding my site, I sit and look at all of the approaches after making my camp to check to see if it is visible. I always make my campsites higher than roads and inside dense brush and rocks. See, people rarely look over their heads and rocks make good walls for a home, since they provide cover, wind blocking, support for roof tarp for water and sun protection. A lot of brush cover does the same thing. LOOK FOR OTHER FOOTPRINTS!

I burn my fire just as embers after the first fire. The Picture above is my newest cook stove. This is a hot fire without all the flames and smoke. Trust me you can boil a fast cup of coffee on this with no problems. As far as animals are concerned, I have seen Mountain Sheep, Elk, Rabbit, a lot of Blue Jay and they are the camp pests. I do not bring food back into camp other than coffee, and sometimes sunflower seeds (do not feed the birds) and bottled water. I keep the campsite litter free as trash has to be packed out daily and not buried. Trash is a major problem in any long term campsite. You will be invaded if you have trash by every mouse, chipmunk, and unseen creature in the canyon especially coyotes! You do not want coyotes in the campsite. They are the worst pests to have. They are also my personal hellish alarm clock, guaranteed like roosters for a 4AM wake up howl for some damnable reason. All over the canyon they start a hellish chorus and then simply stop. I then have to look at the stars until sunup an hour later. I am also currently lucky as it is in the 20’s in the evening that it has driven the rattlesnakes deep. This has kept them burrowed and from the top. It ranges in the 60’s during the day for the highs currently with the winds.

When I am away from camp, I have to pack up everything, I have a rocky mound covered in brush that has an indentation with perfect drainage. I wedge it there and sometimes triple check it before I am satisfied it is camouflaged correctly, that animals cannot move it and more importantly, that I can find it myself on my return. Personally, I have spent a good deal of time trying to find my gear after skillfully disguising it before using the “Grid Pattern” of search as seen on TV.

Sometimes I go to town at night or in the daytime. It depends if I have work that day or not. It depends how well I slept or if did not sleep at all. It has been on the average 20 degrees at night currently and sometimes the coyotes have been active. My campsite is well sheltered and the approaches are slate covered so I can hear any approach, but the howling does get on ones nerves at times. So sometimes I sleep during the day.

And so we all want to go camping right?


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4 Responses to “63. How I Live… Part I The Morning”

  1. November 8, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    There you go! Great Post. I forgot about rattlesnakes.


  2. November 8, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Sounds like your mornings are rougher than mine!

    Oh its like getting the kids off to school except my coffee maker does not work like it used too!

  3. 3 SlumJack
    August 5, 2008 at 12:52 am

    I’ve been curb camping. In Berkeley, they made it illegal to sleep most anywhere, including the notorious People’s Park, which I helped build originally so many years ago.

    So folks are sleeping on the other side of the sidewalk – on the curbstrip. I was intiatied last night, when a cop rousted me from my far more concealed and hay-comfy spot.

    This means rising as the urban day begins. I prefer to do so in time to get to my favorite wifi cafe’ which opens around 7am or so. But often an urgent relief routine rouses me before then, too.

    I wash in the cafe’. There’s also a modest breakfast a few blocks away at a church-based program.

  4. October 24, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    UPDATE: Since my entry on 8/5/2008, here’s further developments. Later that same night, after posting that, I went to curb camp at that same location. I was shot at by residents across the street with air rifles and handguns. While the police came and ‘investigated’ then arrested no one and didn’t even confiscate any of the weapons. I don’t believe that the incident even was entered into their publically available incident roster (may have been college students in this university town… which pay a lot of bills). Not long after that, the police rousted all of us one night, disallowing our sleeping there at all.


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