Re: ATM: Field trip

1

Astroglide.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 5:48 AM
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The key ones are: Food. Water. Fire. Shelter. Navigation. As long as you've got backups for each of those, you should be fine. So take more than one stove and more than one cooking pot (and more than one way of lighting the stove!). Take enough tentage that you can fit everyone in to one fewer tents than you actually bring. More than one compass (ideally one per person). More than one map, in a waterproof case, and make sure you aren't the only person who knows how to use it. More than one first aid kit, ditto.

Before you get on the vehicle, physically check that everyone has got wet-weather and cold-weather kit (don't just ask, make them pull it out of their rucksacks and show it to you) and a torch (flashlight).

Things that are quite easy to forget: toilet paper (and a shovel to dig in with), matches, tin opener.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 5:54 AM
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Folk camping trip. I suspect 2 is envisioning a different level of "camping" than the trip entails. (Although the general principles of advice still apply.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:10 AM
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Dumb and obvious, but: I'd ask the students if they have any special requirements and things they need. Make a careful note. Then push that back to them and say, 'make sure you bring $things, you're all adults, and if you desperately need $thing, and didn't bring it, tough shit'.

Other than that, the obvious, as ajay says. Bearing in mind the dietary restrictions: if people need special foodstuffs, it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to ask them to either bring what they need or provide a specific list in advance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:17 AM
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Great tips from ajay. Foam pads for sleeping and good sleeping bags are good for ... uhhh .... sleeping.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:18 AM
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4 is smart. 3 is also right - we're not hiking in to sites.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:19 AM
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Cooking: Keep It Simple Stupid. Prep and cleanup.
Don't forget tea, coffee, hot drink. Oatmeal or similar is good for breakfast, GORPish stuff is very convenient for snacks.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:20 AM
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Good idea on oatmeal.

Should I do paper/plastic all weekend or bring plates and utensils?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:21 AM
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In the random small things you might to have along with you category: duct tape, a bit of dowel (assuming rucksacks), some extra ziploc bags, a couple of sets of extra shoelaces.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:22 AM
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6: Although basic map and compass skills for any hiking whatsoever is still essential/highly recommended. (I still cringe thinking of the part in Blair Witch Project* when the one guy throws the map away. I actually thought it was a very effective movie--simultaneously annoying and creepy--maybe heebie and students should watch it the night before heading out.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:24 AM
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I find questions asking for advice where I really know nothing actively painful. I'm sitting here racking my brain for advice, and then remembering that I've been camping possibly four times in my life, and I know nothing other than not to build your fire under a pine tree with heavy snow on the branches.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:25 AM
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This is a state park where we'll have glossy maps and probably cell phone reception. The type of thing where the sites are too close together and it's jam-packed with campers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:26 AM
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Also check if anybody is on medications and if so ask for proof that they have enough with them.

Food should be planned so meals can be eaten without being cut with knives, as even if you have tables they may not be adequate. Stewy, casseroly stuff.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:27 AM
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Small sewing kit with heavy thread? I can imagine damage to a pack strap that would be annoying if you didn't have anything to fix it with.

And I am continually bemused that this sort of thing is part of your job.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:29 AM
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The very few times I've been camping, the more knowledgeable people I've been with have always brought sardines or some similar kind of canned fish. Whether there's a good reason for this or I just need to spend less time associating with sea lions, I have no idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:32 AM
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And I am continually bemused that this sort of thing is part of your job.

I never, ever would have picked this. The student officers of [Heebie ExtraCurricular Program] picked this as a year-end special event, so I went along with it. THEN NONE OF THEM SIGNED UP. I'm totally annoyed with that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:34 AM
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14.1 is good. Make it so.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:34 AM
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And I could have quietly ditched it and just not actually taken it on, and no one would have been the wiser. And if I changed my mind, no one would mind because pregnant. But I stupidly decided sure, it's something I should be able to do.

(I am borrowing an air mattress for myself. Also Jammies and kids are coming.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:36 AM
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Since this is happening in the United States, should you make sure that nobody is carrying a gun?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:37 AM
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Or at least pack body armor for everyone?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:38 AM
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19: Oh, I don't think I can do anything about it if they are.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:38 AM
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Everybody grab your protective armadillo.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:38 AM
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Bust out the classics of Girl Scout cuisine with the graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:40 AM
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re: 21

I thought NRA sanctioned advice was to bring your own gun, just in case.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:40 AM
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You're bringing a keg, I hope?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:41 AM
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I can't quite bring myself to make a joke about training the kids to rush the shooter.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:41 AM
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23: I've said it before and I'll say it again, that is the wrong way to make s'mores.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:42 AM
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Whenever I've been camping in Scotland the primary concerns have been:

i) do we have enough food?
ii) do we have enough booze?
iii) how the fuck do we stop these ravenous clouds of evil midgey bastards?

At least once a group of us for a weekend beside a loch having forgotten the poles for our 10-man tent. We stayed anyway, as we had sleeping bags, and i) and ii) remained true.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:42 AM
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I am also with LB in finding it extremely strange that this is part of your job.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:43 AM
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Are people going to take acid?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:44 AM
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Because if you aren't bringing a keg, and people aren't taking acid, I seriously have no fucking idea what college-aged people might do on a trip to a campground.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:44 AM
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Evil midgey bastards:

http://2010.midgeforecast.co.uk/index.php/info/midge_facts/

[In terms of practical advice: insect repellant?]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:45 AM
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I think someone has brought a gun on probably every camping trip I've ever been on (as an adult), and almost always they start firing it late at night around the campfire when everyone is drunk. Annoys the fuck out of me. A basic rule of gun safety should be: Don't fire guns recreationally in an unfamiliar, crowded area in the dark when you're drunk!

I was all prepared to offer advice, but given 12, I don't think any is needed. Don't sweat it. The worst thing that will happen is that someone will have a lousy weekend.

Do you need bug repellent in February in Texas?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:46 AM
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I think of our students the way I was in 8-10th grade, when I would have happily just gabbed all night with my friends, without drugs or alcohol.

Obviously plenty of our students drink or use drugs, but I doubt these students will try to bring anything on the trip. And as long as they gave me plausible deniability, I really wouldn't give a shit if they did.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:46 AM
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Bug repellent is a good idea.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:47 AM
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Are people going to take acid?

A little lemon juice will add a certain je ne sais quoi to the most boring of bean casseroles.

Also I will go further than LB and Sifu. I think it's fucking insane that this is part of your job.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:47 AM
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Since this is happening in the United States, should you make sure that nobody everybody is carrying a gun?

For the bears.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:47 AM
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I seriously have no fucking idea what college-aged people might do on a trip to a campground.

Hike?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:47 AM
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I think someone has brought a gun on probably every camping trip I've ever been on (as an adult), and almost always they start firing it late at night around the campfire when everyone is drunk. Annoys the fuck out of me. A basic rule of gun safety should be: Don't fire guns recreationally in an unfamiliar, crowded area in the dark when you're drunk!

Jesus fucking Christ I'm never leaving my nice safe city again.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:47 AM
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I'm so glad to hear the kids are coming. What are some good games that the college students could play with them so all of them can leave you the hell alone for a little while? Prepare for that, nerf balls and whatever you need.

I found this checklist another university prepared and that might be helpful. Can you assign a food to each person or anything like that, or do you have to provide everything yourself?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:49 AM
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1 to 31


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:49 AM
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Ooh, flashlights. That's a good list.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:50 AM
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I assume the people going (other than heebie) are all doing so voluntarily, so they probably have some interest in hiking or whatever.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:50 AM
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I do think you should email the students a list of what you expect them to have packed, and that way they're SOL if they don't. (And I think it was ajay who pwned the flashlight idea but called them "torches," which would probably be a hilarious story to share with your little Texans.) I thought that list had a good first aid kit.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:51 AM
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Heh at the list in 40. I've never gone camping with more than about 10% of the stuff on that list. Admittedly our camping was something like, 'randomly drive around until we find a quiet lochside were we can do stuff unobserved. Unpack tent and sleeping bags. Light fire and cook metric tonne of sausages and bacon. Drink booze until unable to stay awake. Repeat.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:51 AM
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You should be less concerned about what to bring for the college students, who can take care of themselves, and more concerned about what to bring for your kids. Answer: lots of easy snack foods, glow sticks, marshmellows, extra clothes.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:53 AM
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Yeah, there's no way I'll bring 25% of the stuff in 40. But it's good to have an exhaustive list of everything you might could ever want.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:53 AM
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Agreed that the no-grains-no-sugars kid should have a hand in bringing her/his own food.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:53 AM
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46 was me.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:54 AM
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The none-of-the-student-officers signing up thing would really have pissed me off. Surely the right way for this to work is that some eagerbeaver 20-year-old Eagle Scout should be making the checklists and organizing everything, and while you might come along as adult supervision, your active role would be having relays of students fan you with palm fronds and peel you grapes.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:55 AM
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Small sewing kit with heavy thread? I can imagine damage to a pack strap that would be annoying if you didn't have anything to fix it with.

Good point. Visit your local ship's chandler and ask for sail thread and needle. That'll work on the kind of heavy-duty nylon and webbing that rucksacks are made out of.

Make sure everyone's kit is waterproof - heavy duty plastic bag inside the rucksack, with everything else inside it, will work if you aren't planning to swim any rivers. Nothing is worse than a soggy sleeping bag. (Except the Holocaust.)

Hostile animals: are there bears in Texas? Coyotes? Scorpions? Rattlesnakes? Wolves? Crocodiles? Badgers?

If there's mobile phone coverage, make sure everyone has everyone's phone number (easy to forget).

Adequate water - if it's not safe to drink from the rivers, take filters and/or puritabs.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:55 AM
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Yeah but I've taken our kids camping before, and Jammies will also be (over-)planning for them. Doing things the first time is more overwhelming.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:55 AM
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Yes, just email the checklist in 40 to everyone, tell them it's way overinclusive but they should look it over and bring whatever they think they will want. Then your job is done.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:55 AM
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I can't tell if 51 is serious.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:56 AM
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There are actually both scorpions and rattlesnakes, but I think we're too early in the season for rattlesnakes, and plus, stay on the path, kids. Shake out your shoes first.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:57 AM
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I think ajay is serious, but is still thinking more 'spend a week in the wilderness' than 'drink beer in a parking lot.'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:58 AM
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You do have a local ship's chandler, don't you, heebie?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:58 AM
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I don't actually have a good idea of what kind of camping this is. Tent camping, I assume? Is everyone bring their own tents? Are people bringing their own food, or do you have to get provisions for everyone? Is it the kind of campsite that has bathrooms and showers?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:58 AM
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YES to 39. Pull out a gun and start firing it into the air while drunk? Jesus. My reaction to that would be to wait until they put the gun down, throw it into a nearby body of water, duct tape the offender to a tree and leave them until they evolved into a more responsible life form.

40 is... extensive. Camp axe? Water cooler? Chairs? Walking stick? Maybe this is the kind of stuff I would have taken in my youth, when I was exploring the sources of the Niger with my train of eighty loyal native bearers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 6:59 AM
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Mosquitos? Midges? Horse flies? Wasps? Other nasties that can cause allergic reactions?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:00 AM
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I'm supplying tents and sleeping bags that I'm bumming off friends, for the most part. And bringing the food for basic meals, although I told them to bring snackies and I assume they'll go way overboard on that. There should be bathrooms, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:01 AM
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If my most recent experiences camping are anything to go by, make sure to bring shade, lots of fun outfits, plenty of water, turntables and a biggish sound system, maybe the material to build a bar, a golf cart decked out to look like a time machine, a generator, some kind of a two or three story tower you can build, a burn platform for the bonfire, lasers, and plenty of fresh fruit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:01 AM
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some kind of a two or three story tower you can build, a burn platform for the bonfire

What do you think this is, Texas A&M?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:02 AM
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57: Ships in Texas often go sadly unchandled.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:02 AM
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Yes, 51 is serious - but possibly, as LB says, thinking a bit too much in terms of wild camping in my own beloved but soggy homeland. (Which is well supplied with ship's chandlers. There's one just a few blocks from my office. Where else am I going to buy barometers from?)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:02 AM
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Camp axe? Water cooler? Chairs? Walking stick?

Of all the things to single out as excessive, these seem like odd choices. A walking stick may be overkill, but a camp axe is almost essential if you're gathering firewood. And a cooler is needed to keep food (and beer) cold. And unless there are ample stumps at your campsite, chairs are required for comfortable sitting around a fire.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:03 AM
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Ships in Texas often go sadly unchandled.

I'd rather be unchandled than manhandled.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:03 AM
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I'll probably buy firewood and have them collect kindling.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:04 AM
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some kind of a two or three story tower you can build, a burn platform for the bonfire

What do you think this is, Texas A&M?

Yeah, gentle hint, Sifu: Texas university students aren't allowed anywhere near towers three stories tall, for obvious reasons.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:09 AM
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but I've taken our kids camping before, and Jammies will also be (over-)planning for them

What if Jammies falls in a ravine and breaks a leg, and then you're left watching the kids yourself? Trust me, you'll wish you had extra glow sticks.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:12 AM
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69: they'll start shooting at 'em as an act of collective memory?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:13 AM
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That's what the college kids are for! Entertain the toddlers. I'm going to go smoke a joint and call 911.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:14 AM
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I went to a workshop once where I was at a table with a survivor of the Whitman shootings. She'd been shot in the rib cage or something. She was totally nice and willing to indulge my curiosity.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:15 AM
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How dare 73 threadjack like that!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:18 AM
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I'll probably buy firewood and have them collect kindling.

You'll need more firewood than that. I wouldn't necessarily buy an axe (or saw) if you don't already have one, but of you do have one, I would recommend bringing it. Even in the sort of civilized-campground camping you're doing, I've almost always been very happy to have one.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:22 AM
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I recently read a long article about the Whitman shootings. Somehow it hadn't occured to me that the first reaction of all the college students in the plaza (the male ones, at least) was to go get their guns and start shooting back.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:22 AM
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Instead of an axe you could see if any of the kids has a chainsaw bayonet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:23 AM
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I'm not sure which has the greater potential for disaster: a drunk guy shooting a gun into the air in a crowded campsite in the middle of the night, or urple with an axe.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:25 AM
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ajay, you have entirely the wrong idea. This is American car camping, where you pull your car into the site's parking space and set up your tent. Depending on which park it is, there's almost certainly a fire ring with a grate, a picnic table, a spigot with potable water, and a nearby bathroom with flush toilets and running water.

heebs, my sister goes camping a lot with her kid and is ridiculously organized. I'll ask her for her list.

Which park is it? Some Texas state parks sell firewood logs and most of them prohibit collecting any wood, which in practice means collecting kindling and tinder somewhat discreetly. You'll also want firestarters (also sold at some parks) and/or newspaper. If U R doin' it right, you only need 1 match per fire.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:26 AM
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I'm going to go out on a limb and say that modifying "tonne" with "metric" is redundant. Make sure your students know that, heebie.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:26 AM
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Epipen. although I guess you need a scrip for that.


Posted by: trapnel | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:26 AM
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She'd been shot in the rib cage or something.

Nice shot, son!


Posted by: Gil Buckman | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:26 AM
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It's nice to be supportive. Also, thread merge.


Posted by: Gil Buckman | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:27 AM
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79.last: Which park is it?

Don't tell yet! I was going to guess.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:28 AM
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79.1: I had been gradually working that out... if they're not actually going to be hiking anywhere then a lot of the advice I've been giving is rather redundant.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:28 AM
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75: Jammies has a camping axe, but aren't you always prohibited from cutting down anything substantial in state parks? I figured 6 grocery store bundles: two for dinner on Friday, two for Saturday, and one each for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:28 AM
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You know what I'm dreading? Coming back on Sunday with a bunch of dirty tents that I need to clean, because they belong to my friends, and everything stinks like smoke, and I have to go back to work the next day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:30 AM
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70 contains much wisdom.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:30 AM
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Okay, I just got to 61, and I'm now joining team "Why the fuck are you doing this?"


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:31 AM
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It's even worse than that! Sunday is our prospective-first-year day at Heebie U, and so I have to go into school for a couple hours, shower there and dress professional-ish, put on a happy face and shmooze, and then grade a bunch of essays for scholarship bucks. I'm totally dreading Sunday.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:31 AM
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Jammies has a camping axe, but aren't you always prohibited from cutting down anything substantial in state parks?

I don't know the rules in Texas, but anywhere civilized, yes, of course you are. But most dead wood laying around on the ground is not already campfire-sized.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:31 AM
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True. But I think there are rules against gathering the big stuff, anyway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:32 AM
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77: a chainsaw bayonet.

The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre was filmed in a house just north of Austin (Round Rock).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:32 AM
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I figured 6 grocery store bundles: two for dinner on Friday, two for Saturday, and one each for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday.

As I said, you'll need more firewood than that. At least 10-12 bundles per night, plus extras for breakfast. Buying all of that is ridiculously expensive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:34 AM
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Seriously, why the fuck am I doing this is a perfectly valid question, without a good answer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:34 AM
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90: shower? change? surely Texas universities rather like their faculty to be sunburned, narrow-eyed, ruggedly unkempt and smelling slightly of mesquite smoke?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:34 AM
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Yeah, I suppose it's too late to put big demands on the students signed up for the trip, but it sounds like they're pretty much doing fuck-all in prep, and you're doing everything.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:35 AM
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90 seems like more than enough reason to beg off this whole thing, unless it's really something you actually want to do.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:35 AM
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93: I found that out just recently when I saw the DVD on the "local films" section of the video store.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:35 AM
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95. To give purpose to your life?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:35 AM
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No, 10-12 bundles per night?! No way. You get 4 logs in a bundle, no? Use three for a fire, and you have four more to add for the next few hours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:36 AM
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And now, 87. Really, truly, and seriously: bail. Say that you're not feeling well. And then don't look back. The students are grown-ups (after a fashion). If they want to go camping, let them.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:36 AM
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If they are going to be hiking away from the campsite (even for a few hours) they should all carry a few things that will make getting lost (God forbid) easier. Space blanket, waterproof matches and fire starters, compass, etc. A basic survival kit can fit into a very small space in the knapsack. Basically, a version of what ajay has been saying.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:36 AM
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94: how much firewood do you usually eat for breakfast?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:36 AM
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95: Because you're a good person. I'ts good that heebie's taking the student's camping , isn't it Anthony?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:36 AM
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"Prof. Heebie's just been out in Jornada del Muerto State Forest with some of our current undergraduates."
(pause)
"Yep."
"Did they all make it back OK, Prof. Heebie?"
(pause. spit.)
"Nope. Rattlers got two on 'em. Comanche took another."
"Oh, well, that should make your teaching load easier next semester."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:37 AM
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I just feel like I missed the cancellation deadline. I should have quietly cancelled the trip over winter break, if that was the decision, but that it's somehow wrong to do it now.

Also, I'm getting reimbursed for all expenses like food and firewood.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:37 AM
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This is one of those threads that, for reasons I can't quite pinpoint, makes me grit my teeth.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:38 AM
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How many people are going to be gathered around this fire? If more than just a few, it needs to be a lot bigger than 3 grocery-store sized logs.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:38 AM
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May I threadjack now? I need some advice.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:38 AM
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108: Shut up, it's going to be fucking great!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:39 AM
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94: I don't know what size bundles you're thinking of, but heebie's answer is closer to the mark based on my last TX state park trip unless they're going to stay up all night singing "Deep in the Heart of Texas."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:39 AM
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See, if you'd given us a bit more notice, ttaM, urple and I could have stepped in for you.
"Have you all got your axes?"
"And your sail needles?"
"AND THE BOOZE!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:40 AM
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33: the last time that happened to me, the guy in question ended up losing a few teeth (no me). He was ever warned a couple of times so I don't think there was a lot of sympathy.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:40 AM
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If more than just a few, it needs to be a lot bigger than 3 grocery-store sized logs.

Otherwise someone is sure to get hit when the drunken random shooting starts.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:40 AM
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You may threadjack but you have to explain the teeth-grinding, and you may not inhibit anyone from chiming in with super useful tips on the old topic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:41 AM
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86: Yes to this. Bring the axe to chop kindling (aka give the students something to show off with) but rely on purchased wood. I've brought charcoal to cook over too. Is that cheating?

Bring lots of band aids, anti-histamines, warm socks, marshmallows, sticks for roasting, and hot dogs to cut up and cool in a can of beans. Beer is okay but wine doesn't have to be kept in a cooler - perfect time for a box or Tetra Pak (except you're pregnant so).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:41 AM
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Space blanket, waterproof matches and fire starters, compass, etc.

You know it's in the 70s here, right?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:41 AM
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Just saw the Sunday thing and the cleaning thing. I have moved from I wouldn't have volunteered for this, but I am sure heebie has good reasons to bail.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:42 AM
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Jammies has a camping axe

I'm just saying bring it, is all. If you don't need it, great, but you may be glad you have it.

(Also useful for amputations if someone gets a limb pinned under a large rock.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:42 AM
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Space blanket, waterproof matches and fire starters, compass, etc.
You know it's in the 70s here, right?

Then bring a tie-dyed space blanket. Jeez.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:43 AM
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118: Spittle crackles on the snow below 50.

Conceptual pwnage honors to LB.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:43 AM
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The Sunday thing I should have reacted to sooner. It didn't come up until the semester had already started, and I'd already promoted the camping trip, and I didn't incorporate it into my reality quick enough.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:44 AM
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You know it's in the 70s here, right?

Jealous. Still, hypothermia (or just misery) is not to be messed with. A drizzly cool night and lost. Ugh.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:44 AM
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117: Me. Also spellcheck and change on iPhones is super annoying. And now it just made me properly capitalize iphone


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:44 AM
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And now, 87.

Just wait 'til you get to 90!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:45 AM
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And there were various reasons why this is the only available weekend.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:45 AM
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Bring as much firewood as you think you can, some really long tongs, more bandannas than you think you'll need, a moka pot, a cooler filled with porkchops, a lot of eggs, canned baked beans, a can opener, a cast iron dutch oven and frying pan, lots of potatoes, heavy duty aluminum foil, salt and pepper, pounds of butter, a tablecloth, a cutting board, and some decent knifes. Don't buy grocery store firewood if you can help it, find some firewood dealer, and buy from them. The grocery store stuff sucks, and is expensive. It takes a lot of wood to build a good bed of coals for satisfying cooking. Because you're taking it camping, you can get oddly shaped and sized pieces that are difficult to burn in a woodstove.


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:45 AM
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116: the teeth-grinding emerges entirely out of my sense, perhaps as a result of blog-standard selection bias, that you're frequently asked to do insane things at your job. You're fucking pregnant! The people who wanted this thing to happen aren't helping at all! The kids in question are college students and perfectly capable of dealing with the planning and execution of this debacle! Instead, you're not only buying metric fukketonnes of woodde but also borrowing gear from your friends! This is all perfectly insane! (And no, it doesn't matter that it's going to be perfectly fun in the end.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:45 AM
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I actually think you should bail, though. It's simple enough to blame your pregnancy, which will in fact make this a much bigger pain in the ass especially given how much of the work you've taken on. You don't have to be specific, just say you've realized you're not up to it and better luck next year (when you'll make sure they'really responsible for 90% of the prep).


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:45 AM
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This is all, in fact, making me reconsider. There's a lot of internal inertia to overcome if I were to cancel. Mentally I've got a very fixed mindset around this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:48 AM
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Or go ahead with it but blame your pregnancy for the fact that you've brought nothing but axes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:48 AM
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My guesses in order:
Guadalupe
Pedernales Falls
Bastrop/Buescher (but they might have burnt up).
Wildcards:
Ink's Lake
Enchanted Rock


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:48 AM
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Potatoes are a great idea. Grain and sugar free and easiest ever.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:49 AM
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Or at least drop off the supplies you've assembled and tell them to go have fun. I would be very annoyed at the moochy division of labor and the lack of community spirit commensurate with a camping trip. They can bond over working out the kinks.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:50 AM
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133: Great guesses! Actually all wrong, though. A little more southwest. Also I don't think there's overnight camping at Pedernales.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:50 AM
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129:
I had to keep reminding myself that heebie's "kids" are actually adults with votes and everything.
http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_12466.html#1499577


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:50 AM
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136: Camping at The Alamo!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:52 AM
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I'm tired of typing on my phone so I'll be back in a bit to continue explaining why much of the advice above is wrong, unless you've come to your senses and bailed. Isn't it down to only a handful of kids now anyway? Let them pitch a tent in your backyard and chop down a couple of trees.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:52 AM
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I'm getting reimbursed for all expenses like food and firewood.

A case of Dom Perignon is indicated.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:52 AM
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(when you'll make sure they'really responsible for 90% of the prep).

The thing is, getting kids to realize this takes certain ingredients, like they have to own the project, etc. The officers settled on the idea, and then never really bought into it - three of them are international students with little connections to facilitate such a trip. And since it was supposed to be an end-of-year reward for the other students...I dunno.

Getting kids to show up to a meeting where you organize and delegate seemed like a bigger PITA than just doing it myself.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:52 AM
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I guess I'm going to join the chorus of naysayers. I used to organize things like this when I worked at summer camp, and am the de-facto camp kitchen guy when I camp with my group of well-prepared responsible friends, and its enough work that I would think twice about doing it if I had responsibility on sunday. A lot of simple things that seem easy are actually a lot of work, and you never get as much sleep as you want. If none of the students are willing to take over the planning, then you should bail.


Posted by: Light Rail Tycoon | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:53 AM
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Did I miss why college student groups need faculty supervision on a camping trip?


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:57 AM
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140 is the best bit of advice yet - the way to make this worthwhile is to completely go to town on the supplies (expense account style), and get the students to do all the work when you're out there (and why can't they wash the tents etc when they get back too?)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:58 AM
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139: Right. Everyone is massively over-thinking this. A few pop-tarts, M-80s, some Jiffy Pop and a drive to a nearby Sonic for dinner would work.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:58 AM
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May I threadjack now? I need some advice.

Where were you when I needed your advice in the other thread last night?


Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:59 AM
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Only to ensure the trip happens, basically. I don't intend to do much when I'm there. They can obviously pitch their own tents (snerk) and I imagine food prep and clean-up (and child-care!) will be community shared.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 7:59 AM
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(and why can't they wash the tents etc when they get back too?)

I mean, they live in dorms, so they don't have easy access to sponges and hoses, and can't easily leave a tent set up overnight to dry.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:00 AM
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Fair point.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:01 AM
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Getting kids to show up to a meeting where you organize and delegate seemed like a bigger PITA than just doing it myself.

I'm not sure why this is your responsibility either. I mean, just say "You guys want to go camping? Knock yourselves out. If not, don't."



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:04 AM
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Okay, if I'm allowed to threajack, here goes. I'm on a sort of book tour at the moment. Yesterday, I gave three talks at what used to be the Colorado Historical Society (it's been rebranded as "History Colorado"; fuck you rebranders). The event planner at the CHS (double fuck you, rebranders) offered to put me up for a couple of nights. This was very kind of them and I accepted. They booked a room for me here, which is a very, very lovely place.

But here's the problem -- well, problems. I don't like B&Bs. At all. In part, this is a byproduct of misanthropy. But it's also a function of my sense that I want certain comforts when I'm on the road: the ability to control the temperature, within reason, in my room; a bed that is at least queen sized (more on this in a moment); and reliable wifi, so I can get my work done. I tell you all of that as backstory, so you know that what comes next isn't the only issue at hand.

The place, when I arrived, isn't accessible for someone in my current state of limpitude. Which state, I should add (because it's important for the story in a moment), is considerably improved. Still, I can't carry anything heavier than 25 pounds. And I certainly can't carry anything heavy at all up stairs. The B&B in question has a huge flight of stairs, in both the front and the back, leading to its entrances.

Again, though, that's only part of the issue (see my disdain, noted above, for B&Bs more generally). Also, in this case, the room I was booked in happened to be located next to a beeping answering machine. When I called the proprietor to ask if I could perhaps turn the beeping off, he was unapologetic and told me that he'd get to it when he arrived back at the B&B. He also said that my room had double doors and that I shouldn't be able to hear the beeping with both doors shut. I could. Hear the beeping. And finally, it was insanely hot in my room, there was no thermostat in evidence (nor did the windows open -- wtf?), and the bed was super uncomfortable (though I think a queen).

So even though it was late when I arrived at the B&B, I left. I booked myself a room in a generic hotel downtown, which is where I am now. It's anonymous, I can control the climate, the bed is a king, and the wifi is very good. I think I'm in heaven.

Here's the question: shall I tell the people at the CHS? I would, but I anticipate the following problems: first, I imagine it's too late for them to get their money back for tonight's booking (last night's is obviously a lost cause); second, since I did three talks for them yesterday, they were already super anxious about mistreating me (which they didn't at all); third, I completely downplayed my limpitude to them, because I didn't want that to be a big deal, so they might find the issue of accessibility to be a dodge; fourth, I don't want them to think I'm the diva I actually am. I'm sure there are more reasons.

Still, they might be able to get the cost of tonight's room back, and they're probably going to hear from the B&B's proprietor that I went AWOL, so maybe I should just tell them. Thoughts?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:04 AM
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I'm on Team Why, Heebie, Why? I organize student groups. As faculty advisor my role is to coordinate things that they want to do and to call administrative people when necessary, not actually organize the activity!

They're in college. They are adults. They can do that themselves. If you're twenty years old, going camping, and you don't eat grains, pack your own fucking granola. Students groups need to develop their own institutional ways of doing things, not have Mom the Professor do it for them.

I wouldn't blame the fetus (I try not to give people excuses to think I'm less capable because I'm pregnant, but that's partially due to the local culture), but I would say that you need to be back for First Year Recruitment, delegate out tasks, hand them a list of things they'll want to have, and stay the hell home.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:05 AM
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Delegate it via e-mail and then get the hell out of the way.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:07 AM
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143 just might have been pwned.

If this happens to be a very popular central Texas state park that rhymes with Panted Glock, bring headlamps if anyone wants to go into the caves. Also don't bring backpacks for that part because you'll probably have to take them off and throw them through the really narrow parts.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:07 AM
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151 You've come to the right thread! Have you considered camping?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:07 AM
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I forgot to mention a couple of things. I don't expect the CHS to pay for my hotel. They provided me with perfectly adequate lodging. That I chose to go elsewhere is my own fault. I would, then, only be telling them about my choice so they don't hear about it through the grapevine and wonder why I didn't say anything, and so they might perhaps be able to get back the money for tonight's booking.

Also, a Native American woman was waiting in my room at the B&B. She was pretty clearly out of her mind on meth but insisted that we have sex anyway. That's how I know the bed was uncomfortable. But you're probably not interested in that part of the story.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:08 AM
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"Should I do paper/plastic all weekend or bring plates and utensils?"
tell them to bring their own mugs and spoons, so that to not make more paper and plastic garbage, so there is no need to provide plates and utensils for you to provide those for everybody i guess


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:10 AM
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I mean, just say "You guys want to go camping? Knock yourselves out. If not, don't."

The problem is that this was fundamentally conceived of as an end-of-year reward. "If you students accumulate enough participation points, you get to go on a camping trip!" So no one ever had buy-in to organize the camping trip, if that makes sense.

If something is a reward for X, and you want the reward, then you do X. You don't also feel obligated to design and plan the reward, because of how it's been framed.

Now, maybe I shouldn't have framed it that way. But I don't think the students have been lazy or anything for going along with me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:10 AM
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129 gets it exactly right. At the very least, make the students clean the fucking tents. Jesus. They're adults.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:10 AM
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151: What are the money issues? Would you mind eating the cost of the hotel, or is it clear that that should be CHS's problem, or is that going to be an issue where they may expect you to pay but you're unwilling to?

If there's no occasion for conflict over money, I'd just tell them, being mildly apologetic that you hadn't communicated your (reasonable) requirements clearly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:10 AM
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146: having only seen the comment you linked to, my advice is: don't go to the play; go camping instead.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:11 AM
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146: seriously, what advice do you need?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:11 AM
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Also, heebie, my 8th grade class planned and organized our own school trip. It was Montessori, but still. Time to throw your wards in the pool.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:13 AM
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I completely downplayed my limpitude to them

If the limpitude is likely to last any appreciable time you're going to have to get used to:

1. Overstating it whenever somebody else is arranging stuff for you, because the odds are they'll cave on insisting that access is adequate if there's push back, especially if they're arranging through a 3rd party;

2. Being absolutely clear what your access requirements are and cheking off all items on the list when you're making your own arrangements.

Moi qui te parle.

On the present case, I wouldn't say anything unless somebody else raises it, because, as you point out, it's too late, and it would make work for somebody to go through the motions of trying to sort it when everybody knows the can't.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:14 AM
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If this happens to be a very popular central Texas state park that rhymes with Panted Glock

Rhymes better with Plost Plaples.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:14 AM
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Oh, so no money problem. Then I think all you need to do is say "My bad, I should have said that I really need accessibility, wifi, and quiet, and charm is completely optional."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:15 AM
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Honestly, the delegation thing is a little misplaced, because of 158. There are other complicated school functions I sponsor, which are student run and organized, and the impetus has to come from the students. Which this didn't, on any level.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:15 AM
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This is mostly one big shopping trip ahead of time. If I delegated that, I'd have to deal with endless receipts for reimbursements, and kids without cars, etc.

For the cleaning the tents afterwards, see 148.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:17 AM
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160: the money is a non-issue (for me). Which is to say, I'm fine wasting my own money on redundant accommodations (because I'm on the road for awhile, not feeling great, and want to stay reasonably well rested), but I don't want the CHS paying for a room that isn't being used. And I don't want them wondering why I didn't tell them that I wouldn't use the room.

In the end, I think I'll call the B&B and let them know that I won't be there tonight. That way perhaps they'll refund the CHS's money.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:17 AM
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I can't believe you people are trying to talk Heebie out of this blog fodder.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:18 AM
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151: Absolutely tell them. It might save some future speaker a room in a B&B. (And I am sure they booked you that room because they thought you would like it better than a generic hotel! Disabuse them of this notion. Nicely. Start with your not expecting them to pay.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:18 AM
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I cringe whenever anyone tells me they're putting me up in the nicest B&B. Though once, in Scotland, it was true.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:18 AM
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What oud said.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:19 AM
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Obviously, if you're not cancelling, you should just buy the tents you'll need on the school's expense account. That way you won't have to worry about cleaning them and returning them to your friends. (I mean, what if a student breaks one? Which isn't even all that unlikely.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:19 AM
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VW you should tell them. They're grownups, not college students. They'll probably try to pay for your replacement hotel and you'll have to talk them out of that, but suck it up, gimpy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:20 AM
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If there are any cacti in your neck of the woods, BRING TWEEZERS.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:20 AM
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162 Seriously:

http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_12785.html#1557060

And scroll down.

And I am serious. I've found you to give very good advice before with these sorts of things.


Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:21 AM
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I can't believe you people are trying to talk Heebie out of this blog fodder.

This definitely needs to be liveblogged, ideally in a Donner Party diary style.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:21 AM
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If a student broke a tent, I'd definitely charge the school for the replacement part or whole thing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:21 AM
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And I am sure they booked you that room because they thought you would like it better than a generic hotel!

And a future speaker well might.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:21 AM
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Also I think the proper term now is BreakfastBed.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:21 AM
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Coming back on Sunday with a bunch of dirty tents that I need to clean, because they belong to my friends, and everything stinks like smoke, and I have to go back to work the next day.

The college should pay for tent rental if the students don't have tents. This is ridiculous.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:22 AM
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If they're going to hear from the proprietor that you weren't there, you should probably tell them. As a paranoid gossipy type of animal, I can tell you that one possible construction of your actions, without further information, is that you used the B&B for a hookup with a mistress while actually staying elsewhere. Admittedly, I like jumping to prurient conclusions, but there are others like me.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:22 AM
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165: Rhymes better with Plost Plaples.

Great! There's a Sonic in Bandera.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:23 AM
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Obviously the worst thing about B&Bs isn't the sucky beds or the lack of wifi, but rather the sitting down to eat with a buch of randos and being expected to make pleasant conversation. I have hives now just from typing that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:25 AM
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One sharp knife is enough to feed you, clothe you, shelter you from the wind, rain and snow. [Gazes into distance.] But the knife can't show you the way home when you've gone too far....


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRIZZLED, WEATHERED FLIPPANTER | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:25 AM
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Exactly what kind of hoops did the students have to jump through to earn this trip? I get that it was promised as a reward and that it seems shitty to go back on that, but structurally the reward is coming pretty much entirely at the expense of YOUR time and effort. Can you rebrand the thing as a long day of hiking, maybe with a campfire at night, and then getting back pretty late? The whole mess with the tents is just not something you should have to deal with.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:26 AM
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The college should pay for tent rental if the students don't have tents. This is ridiculous.

I wouldn't actually know where to rent tents and sleeping bags from. Cabela's?!

Really, this whole trip is entirely in line with the kind of things other faculty members do. Heebie U is extraordinarily nice, and this is probably the worst manifestation of that trait.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:26 AM
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I don't have time to read the whole thread, but my thought on the post was that was heebie just didn't have the courage to come out and say what the Cowardly Lion said: "Talk me out of it!"

There's still time to fall deathly ill!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:26 AM
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I am actually mildly surprised VW doesn't have a tour rider.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:27 AM
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187: They had to participate in sufficiently many extra-curricular activities, for various points, and earn some total.

Last year my biggest problem was that all the extra-curricular activities were really poorly attended, so I came up with the points incentive to address that. (Then let the officers pick the reward.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:28 AM
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190. Perhaps he likes brown m&ms


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:29 AM
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175 is right, I know, but sigh. 180 is also right. In fact, anyone with a sense of style would prefer the B&B, which really is amazingly nice and located in a great spot. 183 cracks me up, at least in part because I'm not sure of the logistics. I'm in a city far from home but need two separate hotel rooms for my tryst? Why? Oh, wait, it's because of the Native woman I sexed up at the B&B, I guess. My regularly scheduled escort couldn't go there because the room was being used for some spontaneously imperialist love-making.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:29 AM
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188: Then it will be good for one of them to call around and figure out how to rent tents. (Also check with the school's rec department. Sometimes they have this kind of thing for cheap.) Or to borrow tents from their more outdoorsy friends. I get that it's supposed to be a reward, but you can construe that as "we pay" not as "professor mom plans a trip." Dealing with receipts is much easier than cleaning tents!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:31 AM
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I certainly could/should have handled it that way, but it's definitely too late now to dump that kind of thing on them.

I certainly should have enlisted the officers more heavily, but I was sticking my head in the sand about this whole trip.

Basically over winter break I worked myself up into a frantic tizzy about this semester - Jammies going out of town on multiple trips, various search committees, this camping trip, etc. I was really panicky and freaked out, and calmed myself down by designing a schedule along the lines of "Don't think about Y until X is over, don't think about Z until Y is over."

So the camping trip got punted until Jammies was done going out of town, which in hindsight wasn't the best move, but got me through winter break and the past month, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:35 AM
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Around here there was recently a firewood quarantine (!) to try to prevent a widespread infestation of an invasive tree-killing insect from Asia, so campsites would all provide firewood for you. Looks like the infestation went ahead and got spread widely anyhow, so the quarantine is over.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:35 AM
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177: write the letter. I'm not sure of your field, but it would be a shitty thing to ask you to do in mine. Still, write the letter. And for what it's worth, I do sometimes ask people seeking recommendations, whether students or colleagues, to write me up some talking points for me.

Anyway, write the exact letter that you would hope this person would write, were this person writing the letter. Specifically, think seriously about this person's standing in the field, about her or his perspective on your work, and go for it. Don't be afraid to gush, but don't do so in such a way that you think the recipients might be put off. It won't be a pleasant experience, but you might profit in the end.

Finally, and most important, post the letter here before you give it to this person.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:36 AM
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Ari is Ben Stiller.

"You are not good B&B people!"
"Yeah, well, that's because we hate B&B's!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:39 AM
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And of course 185 is the rightest thing ever. When the guy initially said, "We're booking you into this wonderful B&B!" I should have immediately canceled the entire trip. Portent of doom!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:40 AM
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198: I know all Jews look alike to you, but that just makes you more antisemitic.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:41 AM
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199: Without spontaneity, the world of B&B's is fairly meaningless (from the film in 198).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:42 AM
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You know who was antisemitic?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:42 AM
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How many students are we talking about disappointing if you bail? Blume's idea in 187 -- make it a cookout, not an overnight -- is sounding better and better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:45 AM
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8 students.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:46 AM
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177: I've been acculturated into having people write their own (first draft) letters as well. At some point, this was a new concept for me too, but after I found people asking me to do this for the letters I needed, I started asking other people to write their own first drafts. It seriously saves so much time for the letter writer. You basically just need to plagiarize yourself to make it sound different from your own cover letter. Say extremely nice stuff about yourself (this, I find is the hardest part), and the letter writer just needs to put this into his/her own language. Certainly no fun to do. (Letters aren't fun to request or send.)


Posted by: Rance | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:46 AM
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I wouldn't actually know where to rent tents and sleeping bags from. Cabela's?!

Cabela's (though the owner gives zillions of dollars to the NRA, so you may want to avoid if possible) or REI.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:47 AM
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So I'm looking at cleaning 2 extra tents (with a spare 3rd) if we spend the nights, and bringing food for an extra dinner and breakfast.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:48 AM
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203/204: Blume's idea is good. You could also just postpone the trip, giving yourself a break on the prospective student thing and giving the students time to do the prep.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:49 AM
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The idea of schlepping an hour away to REI to pay money for tents and sleeping bags, compared to just bumming them off friends, seems like a poor trade-off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:49 AM
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I can't really postpone the trip. There are no more available weekends.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:50 AM
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If there are any cacti in your neck of the woods, BRING TWEEZERS.

This is smart.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:50 AM
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209: Surely one of the students has a car.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:51 AM
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Skipping the sleeping part doesn't actually seem particularly good to me. I like that part of camping.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:51 AM
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I hate almost all B&Bs and actively avoid them. I don't want a family atmosphere, I don't want to feel like I'm in someone's home. I want a hotel.

The last time my wife and I stayed in a B&B she didn't sleep as the place was crawling with insects and I had to tell the proprietor we were leaving in the morning, and they could stuff the rest of the weekend's booking. The place may have been a lovely country cottage, but the room was stuffed full of old-lady gee-gaws, had _way_ more insects in it than I would have expected even in mid-summer, and the proprietors bedroom was directly below us. And they snored. Like someone was pneumatic drilling.

The woman was nearly in tears as I told her.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:52 AM
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212: A 2+ hour roundtrip to an REI to rent tents (and presumably return them after) would be a rather major imposition on a student.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:53 AM
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Last year my biggest problem was that all the extra-curricular activities were really poorly attended, so I came up with the points incentive to address that

The incentive being... another extra-curricular activity.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:54 AM
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The last time I was put up in a B&B I was told it was run by a charming and friendly 90-year-old woman, which was already kind of terrifying. When I arrived, I found every surface decorated either with tapestries that seemed to be centuries old, or with photographs of the woman meeting famous Republicans, including Ronald Reagan. But she did have wi-fi, which she explained by handing me a paper with a password on it and telling me a black man had brought this password to her and she understood that guests sometimes need it for some reason.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:55 AM
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I learned on our November camping trip to Paplinney Palls that M/tch's cooking prowess extends to campfires. I mean, I can cook perfectly adequately on a fire, but his food was fantastic.

Also: Cast iron is a lot easier to use for cooking over a fire if you have any.

Also! If you can borrow or rent a propane camping stove, you can boil water for oatmeal & coffee in the morning without having to get a proper cooking fire going.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:57 AM
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. But she did have wi-fi, which she explained by handing me a paper with a password on it and telling me a black man had brought this password to her and she understood that guests sometimes need it for some reason.

Now I'm having fun trying to imagine what she thought it was for.



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:57 AM
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217 is awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:57 AM
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she did have wi-fi, which she explained by handing me a paper with a password on it and telling me a black man had brought this password to her and she understood that guests sometimes need it for some reason.

The Cryptomagic Negro


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:58 AM
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Also, if I look at a review of a small hotel or B&B on websites, the last thing I want to see is the proprietor's name appearing.

'We had such a lovely time, Bob and Irene made us feel so at home.'

'Mary and Mungo made our stay so memorable. Lovely food, and Mungo's stories made it all worthwhile.'

Fuck off. Barge pole.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:58 AM
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Also! If you can borrow or rent a propane camping stove, you can boil water for oatmeal & coffee in the morning without having to get a proper cooking fire going.

Jammies does actually have one of these, which is great.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:59 AM
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217: When I arrived, I found every surface decorated either with tapestries that seemed to be centuries old, or with photographs of the woman meeting famous Republicans, including Ronald Reagan.

Damn. It is too bad that I can't find any video online of the Flirting With Disaster B&B sequence.

Tiny, old B&B proprietor woman droning on:

My late husband devised his own anti-erosion system...that later on we had patented on the advice of a dear friend...who was in a law office with Gerald Ford. My brother has the same birthday as President Ford... who is a very sweet man. We met him twice. Once at a political rally and once at a golf tournament.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:02 AM
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OK, since you're determined to torture yourself, I'll get my sister's list for you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:02 AM
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It seems worth reading these comments about the hiking trails. Some of it is focused on the fall foliage, but there's good info about how steep, how rugged, etc.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:05 AM
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I dislike B&Bs. You have to speak with people. You have to be quiet. You have to make eye contact.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:06 AM
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ttaM gets B&Bs exactly right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:07 AM
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So you need a couple of family camping tents (4 students per) or more smaller ones and presumably one for you and your family. The propane stove. A few pots and pans, utensils, and some paper/plastic. Coffee maker. And a bunch of sleeping bags, and four or five meals for the group. And yes a cooler, even cheapo styrafoam. Water jugs. It sounds doable. Maybe shop for food with the group on the way to the park? That way they could be responsible for their food. And yes they should dress for a couple of days for whatever the weather is there.

Actually, the idea of the random 20-year old Eagle Scout planning this is sounding better and better. Failing that, Sir Kraab's sister's list.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:08 AM
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there's good info about how steep, how rugged, etc.

It's difficult to tread the pathways rejoicingly if they're too steep and rugged.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:08 AM
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It's acceptable to require students to bring their own sleeping bags or bedrolls. They will either have their own already or borrow from friends or use blankets.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:10 AM
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Also, Jammies is making my head hurt. His philosophy is: Let's make pancakes! Let's give them some different options for lunch! What if they want something other than water? Let's overplan and make this really great! Don't worry, I'll do the packing up on Sunday with the kids while you head back to school!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:17 AM
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The cognitive dissonance between my marriage and Unfogged sometimes threatens to make my head explode.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:18 AM
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You know, if it's 70 degrees, they don't actually need tents. You should feel free to bring one for your family, since you already have one, but it's perfectly possible for your students to camp without them. Many people even prefer that--it's nice to see the stars.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:19 AM
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232. That's not a philosophy, it's a declaration of war.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:20 AM
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Perfect! Let Jammies plan the trip! Problem solved!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:20 AM
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I prefer it, myself. It's much less stuffy and clausterphobic. I have actually been sleeping under the stars when it started to rain, though, which sucked a lot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:20 AM
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224: It's on streaming Netflix. Lee and I watched it a few weeks ago. That doesn't help people trying to watch on YouTube now, but someone stuck in a B&B with Wi-Fi could potentially take advantage.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:21 AM
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Probably not 70s overnight, though. I think lows are in the 40s.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:21 AM
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236: Which is how our marriage works.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:22 AM
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His philosophy is: Let'sI'll make pancakes! Let'sI'll give them some different options for lunch! What if they want something other than water? Let'sI'll overplan and make this really great! Don't worry, I'll do the packing up on Sunday with the kids while you head back to school!

Sounds wonderful! Have fun, heebie!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:22 AM
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I have a camping hammock that I bought for our wine festival. I prefer it to a tent.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:25 AM
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Maybe you could just send Jammies on the camping trip with your students (and the kids), and you can have a nice quiet weekend at home alone.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:28 AM
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I just read the GF, who used to tour manage, the B&B story and she is intensely angry that you are paying for the hotel yourself. If you want to unleash her on History Colorado, get a proper rider, and make sure that they know how to treat a fucking artist properly, let me know.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:30 AM
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I prefer it, myself. It's much less stuffy and clausterphobic.

237 to 233.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:39 AM
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243 is making me swoon with pleasure at the very thought.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:41 AM
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Extra camera batteries. Remind the kids to download pics they have on cameras so they don't run out of memory. Car chargers for iPhones.

At least one guitar, if someone can play. You'll have to ask them.

Is there water? Fishing gear, if someone does it. Extra pfds, maybe.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:46 AM
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It sounds like a pretty good solution. Though the trip itself might be rather good fun - it sounds like it's just the before and after bits that are causing angst. So just step yourself down to non-executive passenger status and hand the organising over to Jammies, who can outsource the actual cooking and tent-pitching to the students, and there you go.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:46 AM
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Though the trip itself might be rather good fun - it sounds like it's just the before and after bits that are causing angst.

This is true. One big shopping trip today, some packing and email organization, and the actual trip should be fun.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:51 AM
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Remind the kids to download pics they have on cameras so they don't run out of memory.

At the local ship's chandler.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:52 AM
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1st paragraph italics.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:52 AM
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Shoot film!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:53 AM
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(Although I just found out that for one of our searches, our last candidate turned down our offer and we're having to start all over with more phone interviews, which have all been scheduled for this Thursday and Friday and AUUUUUGGGHHHH!! And then more campus visits and dear lord it will never stop will it.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:53 AM
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bring a video recorder of course, for posterity.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:59 AM
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253: "The successful candidate should demonstrate group camping skills." Not many qualify.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 10:01 AM
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Someone else will prob bring the pot.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 10:01 AM
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Despite my misanthropy, I quite like B&B's, except when there's only one choice for breakfast and it's something nasty like fried eggs. (Yeah, whatever, fried eggs are great, blah, blah.) I can sleep through a hurricane, though, and don't mind being perceived as an anti-social jerk if I want to read the paper during breakfast.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 10:14 AM
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I'm an idiot for not making this explicit: I get a course release for directing this program.

So while this camping trip is a choice I made, I'm very much being compensated to run this program, which involves extracurricular activities. It's not part of Heebie-the-math-instructor, it's part of Heebie-the-quarter-time-administrator.

It just now occurred to me that you all were not necessarily aware of all facts of my life.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 10:56 AM
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It just now occurred to me that you all were not necessarily aware of all facts of my life

Actually We are.


Posted by: GOD | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 10:59 AM
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Now I want to go camping. But it's too cold.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 11:37 AM
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I'm an idiot for not making this explicit: I get a course release for directing this program.

Oh hey! Bring a keg, then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 11:37 AM
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The ESWN listserv is collecting recommendations for how to run field seasons, which are kind of along ajays' line (with more attention to Make sure everyone rests and pees!) but totally not what you need.

I agree that there should be a little more pushback on making students plan and bring stuff, even if you have enough backup for a safe warm experience if they're total fools. They'll feel more like they're Campers!

Unless they're there to drink and snog in the bushes? (Bring *less* firewood.) But surely they wouldn't need you along?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 11:38 AM
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Dr. Heebie, folk* administrator at Folk U.

*Don't worry I'll tire of the joke in a decade or two. But feel free to suggest new tropes to be overused.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 12:56 PM
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Are you kidding? I've been making the joke for months and you're the first person who thinks it's funny. Folk away.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 1:11 PM
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If I were to go over to Standpipe's blog, would I find out that the joke is a riff on folk wisdom?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 1:50 PM
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If Jammies will plan this for you, that sounds awesome. Alternatively, do you know a grad student or upperclassman who REALLY LOVES CAMPING (or just being organized & in charge), who will do the planning & (reimbursed) purchasing in exchange for being able to attend? If my sister lived in TX, she'd volunteer in a second. Surely you know some Eagle Scouts or Girl Scout Gold recipients.

To add to the list, though, I'd add whistles in case someone wanders off, safety pins, baby wipes, heavy-duty garbage bags, and those super-durable, large bandaids for blisters, etc.

Or, cancel camping & replace with bowling or some other celebratory event that requires less planning.


Posted by: J,Robot | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 8:34 PM
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365: An indirect answer:

Recently I sort of pre-inherited some "actual"* folk art from my parents by a circuitous route. There's kind of a stupid story about how that came about which does not necessarily show me in the best light**.

*They are landscape oils painted by a guy who was the janitor at my father's one-room schoolhouse. I found one reference to him online in the catalogue*** of an exhibition of Wisconsin "grass roots art" from forty-some years ago. So I'll think of them as folk folk art.

**Two of the three have trucks in them, and they really are two of the first physical objects that I both know to exist and for which I have any firm (and fond!) memories of.

***Which catalogue is held in the art library collection of DFH college, so sprout #3 was able to go and look up the actual entry for me. Which was satisfying in that "we found the actual freaking rock in the picture on Google maps" kind of way.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:14 PM
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-100


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:15 PM
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Remember, if you hide things in footnotes in your comment, nobody will ever see them.*

* True.**

** For real.***

*** Not for real.****

**** PACMAN FEVER. ****


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:21 PM
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I outsourced mine.


Posted by: Plato | Link to this comment | 02-20-13 9:29 PM
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Sorry I didn't think of this before, but bring a bunch of ripe avocados, tomatoes, onions, and appropriate spices, so the kids can make fresh guac.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-21-13 12:34 AM
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||

NMM2 Kevin Ayres. Seriously sad.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-21-13 1:57 AM
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271 - The homemade guac idea is brilliant. Also will go well with the canonical case of beer.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-21-13 6:32 AM
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267: I've probably told this story before, but the Met had an exhibition of Art Deco objects. And among these objets pas-si-d'art? The meat slicer my parents bought at a yard sale for $10 in the 60s. (Apparently it's German and from the 20s. Someone put a new power cord on the one my parents have.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-21-13 6:41 AM
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Remember, if you hide things in footnotes in your comment, nobody will ever see them.

I was working with this ad agency once when one of them explained a clever trick they had exploited. Because a sophisticated consumer knows that an asterisk in an advertisement indicates that the honest full disclosure can be found in the fine print at the bottom (and so immediately looks there), the agency put the advertising slogan in the footnote.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-21-13 7:39 AM
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I want field-trip updates. Is Jammies bringing Dutch ovens and a sourdough starter? Have the students asked if they should bring bathing-suits? Does heebie have a solar laptop charger so she can spend the whole time working? Is the campground on fire?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-22-13 12:27 PM
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Have any of the children had nightmares and had to be picked up by their parents?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-22-13 12:30 PM
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Have any of the children had nightmares tofu and had to be picked up by their parents?

Story behind: a couple of musician friends were playing a festival in Eugene and took their babysitter along to be nanny to the kids while there. A mix-up at a burrito stand one day resulted in the babysitter accidentally eating part of a tofu burrito instead of the one she'd ordered. Lord knows what she thought was in tofu, but she freaked out so badly that her mother had to make the two-hour drive down from Portland to take her home.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-22-13 12:44 PM
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