Many of you will be headed off to the woods of southwest Michigan to enjoy some quality time in the great outdoors this weekend.  Spending time with family and friends  under the sun & stars creating fun memories that will surely last a life time.

Okay, enough of the Hallmark Channel BS.

I'm here to keep you from creating horrible camping memories like mine that STILL get brought up at my family gatherings to this day.  Stick with me kid - learn from my mistakes and everything will be Hallmark in nature when Facebook pops up with those almost forgotten memories year, after year, after year, after year.

Camping Tip 1 - Don't Urinate on the Campfire

I'm not sure what point in the night that I decided it was a good idea to relieve myself on our campfire but almost instantly I knew it was a bad idea.  I mean after a dozen beers or so, one would think that any liquid substance when streamed over a fire, would equal to an easy extinguish correct? Well, that answer is wrong.

Now I'm not sure if there is much of a smelly difference between regular pee and beer pee but just take my word for it, beer pee when in comes contact with burning tinder, has an almost unbearable stench.  The more I went, the stinkier it got. So bad in fact that it actually began to permeate into my skin and clothing.  I'll use this time frame for dramatic purposes, but it seemed like a nasty pee aura surrounded me (much like dirt did to Pigpen) for 6 months.  Imagine smelling like you peed your pants for six months.  To this day I hate how sensitive to the pee smell I am. It's probably why I always gag when using urinals.

Camping Tip 2 - Don't Mess With Those Who pass Out

My nephew, at the time of some our best family camping trips, was a young adolescent and wanted to stay up late with big dogs sitting around the campfire. Problem was, he had a habit of falling asleep in the long nylon folding chair my sister used to lay out in the sun with.  One night we...okay, I...thought it would be funny to lift his sleeping butt up and carry him (folding chair and all) and place him under the canopy of a camper 6 sites away.

Great prank right? Well, it can be, until you drink more and forget what you had done. Needless to say my nephew woke up in the morning to strangers inquiring (well, more like yelling) as to why he was trespassing their campsite.  As you would expect, my sister was furious and still to this day hasn't forgiven us...er...me.

Camping Tip 3 - Beer + Fireworks = Disaster

Always a good thing to remember you need some distance between the camp site and the placement of your fireworks when lighting them off.  Sure, it's all fun and games, until someone loses a tent...and a canopy...oh, and some damage to a vehicle parked close by.  I'll spare you the cost associated with  my stupidity but lets just say I think my brother exaggerated the cost of his Taj Mahal-like tent set up and was sorely inflating some of the pricing. That one hurt the ol' wallet.

There ya go. Some things to avoid on your next camping trip. Now, if you'd allow me to get all hallmark on you for a moment.  I hope you have a safe and happy camping trip with your family and friends this weekend!

You Rock!!

JT

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