Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Damaged goods

So this is one of my many stories of breaking or damaging a piece of outdoor equipment.

I was about 17 and was on a camping 4x4 trip with my brother at a place called clockum pass, which is a dirt road that connects Wenatchee , WA and Ellensburg, WA. It was mid spring and we figured to be the first vehicles of the year to cross the pass besides snow mobiles.

We got about 3/4 of the way over and the snow was still in six foot drifts which makes it hard to drive through. We decided to turn around and camp in a place called bushy creek. We had a herd of 200 elk moving across the valley from us and coyotes howling all around. Since I love sleeping outside and not in tents, I leveled out the area where I was going to sleep and set up my sleeping area.I put a Canvas tarp on the ground then a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag and the wrap the canvas tarp around to keep me dry. My area was about 25 feet from the fire area. Now my brother and I don't exactly like to have small fires. We like the big hot ones. So I went to work gathers dead sage brush for the fire. I had a wall of dead brush (the only thing to burn where we were.) stacked 20 feet long and 6 feet tall.

We got the fire started and started throwing the pieces of brush from the pile onto the fire. When the fire started getting really the hot rocks beside the first started to explode. When I say explode I mean explode, like granades and bombs. Our best guess is the moisture from inside the rocks was expanding and making the rocks explode.

So as the rocks exploded sending hot fragments into the air, we just stood around hoping not to take shrapnel in the face. Anyway the rocks calmed down and a few hours later I went to bed. To my surprise I found holes burned into my sleeping role and little rocks at the bottom of the holes.

Although my tarp has holes in it I still use it every time I go camping. I hate tents. So there it is damaged goods.


  1. My camping tents is different. I have also folded tent which is comfortable you to use.

  2. I just don't like getting in and out of tents and imlike the breeze and being able tom look around. Tents also smell funny.

  3. "When I say explode I mean explode, like granades and bombs"

    I've had that happen with a campfire and rocks when it's been really cold out! So I know and can picture exactly what was happening on your trip. Is it bad that this gave me a chuckle and smile? Good to see you are still putting that tarp to good use though.