Passing gas. Kicking ass. Walking the roads less traveled. All for positive change.
Camping Out Is Hard To Do
August 17, 2011Posted by on
Trying with everything I’ve got to crack the multi day barrier.
See in my last post it looked like I was in danger of ending week 5 without duking out an expedition. Sadly due to lots of stuff going on at the same time I wasn’t able to do anything too major. However since I failed SI1 partly due to being psychologically unready to camp out I thought I’d do a little acclimatisation exercise. To get myself used to being in the dark and/or camping out I went to Marine Park. Lay down on an 8*10 foot tarp for like 20 minutes and started acclimatising. The stars and the moon were incredibly beautiful that night. There were a few people there but they were peacefully minding their business walking or biking around the track. I guess some people are nocturnal creatures like that. Maybe this helps explain some of my conundrums at Great Kills Park.
Now granted I don’t know if it satisfies rule 1 but I tried. Also while I take these 2 rules seriously I don’t take them too seriously as I’m a human being not a bureaucrat. I still had an amazing night and learned about a side of the city and park that I didn’t know.
Now obviously the next step is to last a night. I tried this twice and I failed.
Though Friday’s exercise got me a bit more acclimatized I was still nervous about doing the whole night on Saturday. Like I saw the park was relatively calm, but it still is rather disconcerting being out there. Also again since most nearby stores were closed and the bathroom was closed I wondered what I would do. That’s probably the biggest theoretical barrier. What the bards always edit out of the stories they sing about the coast to coast walker badasses is what they did when they had to go. The whole bathroom thing really is an interesting theoretical question. Like I’ve considered designing some sort of container to hold the stuff until I can properly dispose of it. Also I’ve considered the more low tech get out of sight and fertilize the soil solution. For now I’m opting for a roll of toilet paper and the later option. Though where to dispose of the toilet paper… It is biodegradable though I think… Across the road there is the Salt Marsh Nature Center which is quite the swamp… Found a covert place there on Friday for later use…
Anyway Saturday night was interesting because I heard there’d be some rain. Thought it’d be a good idea to test out how the tarp handles rain. All in all it went well at first though I couldn’t fall asleep. Tried various positions. When sleeping on a beach towel on the floor I favored my back. But outside on the tarp I started favouring my stomach as usual. You’re lying down. You see the ground from down low and you feel like a sniper in one of those action movies. Absolutely crazy wild.
Needed to take a leak and did so at the designated area. Very covert, left no trace, even if someone ever went there they’d have seen no signs of anything.
On my way back to the center of the track there was a bit of rain. I got my tarp out, folded the other half over me. I was safe. It was an interesting feeling watching the rain intensify. On one hand you’re thinking ah fuck I’m trapped I’ma be here a while. On the other hand it’s like haha the rain can’t get me I’m safe I’m watching the show of nature and this is too fucking awesome.
Rain fluctuated a bit sometimes stopped, sometimes started a bit. Other times moderate amounts. Only when it got heavy did I start worrying as a few drops were starting to come in. I was thinking about how to reposition things. My parents called because they wanted me home/vehemently opposed these expeditions/were worried sick about me. I decided OK fine. Good thing too. As I was packing up it got heavier. Managed to get my raincoat on while still being encased in the tarp and got going. It only got heavier from there and there was quite a severe storm that night. All in all not the best night to do these kinds of things. Later I would find out just how hardcore the storm was. Lots of rain. Very loud thunder. There was a quite a bit of rain. I knew of people whose basements flooded. Also the wall on the side of our building was under some sort of repair externally because that also got soaked through. Storm also apparently wreaked havoc with the phone lines as there were times that it the tv and internet didn’t work. My sister missed an episode of iCarly she wanted to watch. I missed parts of ANW3 but still managed to see most of it. Again main points to Ryan Stratis for being the only one to clear the course in the semi-finals.
Monday night I tried again. Sadly couldn’t fall asleep. Again there wasn’t anything too bad. Just was adapting I guess. Frankly it didn’t help that someone in the neighboring houses listened to obscenely loud music and that the woman in this couple sitting on the benches by the track was laughing like a hyena quite loud too. In spite of being hard of hearing I heard it.
Also had a scare later during the night. I’m trying to fall asleep. First I hear footsteps. I sit up, look around. Then I hear a dog panting. I stand up. It comes up to me, sniffs me a bit. Then sniffs my backpack while stepping on the beach towel I was trying to improvise as a pillow getting some sort of crap on both it and the tarp which I had to clean off before its owner could stop it. See this woman was walking her two dogs. It was kind of awkward. She seemed a bit surprised to see me there but then calmed down a bit.
Couldn’t fall asleep later that night. Was tired mosquito bitten and knew when to give up. Also to try it I had to leave this dumpster dive early before I could learn more salvaging skills. That sucked because I hadn’t gone to a freegan meet/dumpster dive in like 3 months. Need to learn more before I do it on my own. My experience is limited but still interesting. Perhaps I’ll write more about it one day.
I still must learn to camp out if I am to do this. Thus tonight I will try again. If I succeed, then tomorrow morning I come home, shower prepare and do an expedition I’ve wanted to for a while albeit with modifications. Tomorrow if all goes well I walk to SI via New Jersey. Reach the southern tip and then go back.
Hopefully I’ll actually have something to write about soon.