Only a few more days to send us a story and/or picture of a camping FAIL. We’ll pick a random entry to win two camping chairs, a lantern and a Lodge-brand dutch oven from Washington Hardware and Furniture in Kennewick to use on your next trip (which will hopefully be mishap-free). The winner will be announced June 4. Standard contest rules apply.

Enjoy these most recent Submissions

Dad Drenched in Rain Water

A couple of years ago we had purchased a new tent for our daughter and her family. The first few days of the trip were great, then came the last day, the wind had come up over night. The kids were all around up and piled in our camp trailer as the rain began. One of the kids noticed their dad was not in the trailer so looked out the window just in time to see the top of the tent rip wide open and the rest of it cave in on their dad. They thought that was pretty cool stuff! Not only did he sleep through the tent crash, he slept through the rain as well! The kids were new to camping back then, so it wasn’t a good start to their experience, but all in all, we have turned them into great little campers :)

Bad Luck On Memorial Day/ Birthday Weekend

I went out to Horn Rapids Park off of hwy 225 and set up one of my tents so I could save my spot for the weekend.  Friday comes and I packed up my family and gear and went to our site to find that the wind flipped my 16 foot by 10 foot Eddie Bauer tent upside down and up against a tree, which snapped my tent poles and ripped my rainfly and tent all to hell. So, I tried to be Mcguyver and spliced the poles together with sticks and duct tape. Then, Saturday morning I was walking around with my 2 boys and my daughter, and came across a rattlesnake that sure didn’t want us near so it rattled really loud to scare us. Also, our car was out of oil and we made due with half a quart to at least get us home on Monday.  My wife and I planned out our meals for the 3 nights and 4 days but with 3 kids and my wife  we ended up running out of food and ice, but didn’t want to chance breaking down just to go to store so we stuck it out. Come Monday we packed all of our broken gear and luckily made it home to our driveway and practically got there on fumes, because never looked at gas gauge, we were out of gas. So our memorial day / birthday camping trip (it was also my birthday present to go camping) not only cost me about 250 dollars but I lost more than that having both my tents ruined.

Sleeping in Rain

About 10 years ago, I went camping with some friends at Wallowa Lake. Brought a tent that I had gotten from a friend and had never used before. As I was pulling the tent out of its bag, I noticed it had stakes, but no poles. Luckily, my friends had an extra pole in theirs. I used the pole in the center of my “dome” tent and used some rope from my truck to tie it off to a nearby tree. The weather had been bone dry for days before, so I thought it would be fine. Not so. It started to rain after I got the tent up, so I got a tarp from my truck and draped it over the top to shed the water. Went to bed that night, sleeping in a half circle, “spooning” the tent pole that was keeping everything up. In the middle of the night I woke up noticing my toes were wet. Turns out, the tarp had moved slightly and was now funneling the rain water down and in through the door of the tent and I had  water in one corner. Good thing I was on a slight slope, so all the water stayed at one end of the tent. I moved myself to the opposite corner and tucked myself into a tight ball around the tent pole, trying not to knock the whole tent down. Didn’t get much sleep that night. The next night I slept in the cab of my small pick-up.

Posing for the Camera Gone Wrong

We took a last minute trip camping up in the Yakima national forest and we got there right before dark. We set up camp, then started to get our drink on. After drinking almost all the beer we brought up, we were taking boob pictures of the girls. While in the act, one of the girls hit the camera to strike a pose and sent it flying into the fire landing right in the smoldering coals. The owner of the camera and the camera man did some matrix moves and got the camera out of the coals seconds later only to find the front of his Camera melted off. BUT the boob shots are OK! ;-)

Tow Truck Got Rich

Me my best friend and our girlfriends decided to take my van and his truck out mudding and camping for the weekend. Went in too far with my van and took out my CV axle on a boulder and we used his truck to tow it to the road and call AAA. After my van was towed to town we went further up the road to continue mudding but then my truck got stuck. There was no cell phone service and so we decided to set up camp and fish for the weekend. On Monday, we decided to dig the truck out. After 10 hours of digging we got the truck out but the gas tank was cracked. So we walked down the hill and called AAA again. Needless to say, we had a big bill.

Gas Can and a Fire

Three years ago my best friend and I, along with our boyfriends, decided to venture out and go camping in Hells Canyon over Memorial Day Weekend. We were at our site all of about 20 minutes before disaster struck. There was just enough time to begin unpacking our rigs and get a fire started. My friend’s boyfriend thought that our fire needed some encouragement and decided to pour gasoline directly onto the fire. The flames quickly crawled up the stream of gas and caught the entire gas can on fire. He threw the flaming gas can; accidentally spilling more gas out onto our camp chairs, the ground and his own clothes. He then realized that the still burning gas can landed under his truck. Because a man’s truck is more important than the hair on his chest he went back, grabbed the gas can again and flung it into an open area of nearby land. The gas can eventually stopped burning, but not before it helped burn holes in two of our camping chairs, his shirt and pants, and caused numerous mini fires along our campsite.

12 People, One Tent

The following is a story that I rarely recount:

The summer of 2006, while visiting my family out of state, we decided to take a spur of the moment weekend trip. Our group, all women and children, included 12 people; Myself and my 5 children- ages 1-13, my younger Sister and her son (9), my Mother and youngest Brother (15), my Grandmother (in her 70’s), and my Aunt, who was at the time awaiting a heart transplant!

We traveled in 2 vehicles along a winding 2 lane mountain road bordered on 1 side by the mountain and on the other by a drop-off to a river. At times the road would widen into 3 lanes to allow passing, and as my Grandmother was driving the lead car, we were the ones everyone was passing. Just as we came to the end of one such spot, an impatient truck decided to pass anyway, forcing oncoming traffic toward the mountain and my Grandmother’s car toward the drop-off. My Sister and I decided to teach these jerks a lesson. So I overtook them while my sister wrote a sign letting them know how we felt, which we displayed in our back window. Then we stopped on the side of the road to wait for our other car to catch up with us. This gave the 2 young men in the truck the opportunity to pull over as well, which they did. They remained in their truck, however, because as they pulled up to us I whipped open my metal telescoping baton that I keep for self-defense and my Sister and I stood at their window unleashing all our opinion about their reckless behavior, while other motorists were stopping to watch! After a few minutes they gave up trying to defend themselves and left.

We arrived at Bear Lake to find that the town was overflowing as that weekend was their annual Raspberry Festival. We decided to head on up toward Yellowstone National park stopping at the first available room for the night. Town after town we found no vacancies as they were all having a fair or festival. At 3 a.m. after hours of driving we found a town with one room. Totally exhausted and with a small amount of hysteria we packed all 12 of us into it, staying two nights before continuing, the highlights of which included other children hitting ours with billiard balls in the swimming pool, and a midnight bout of swimmers ear which sent us out looking for medication.

Finally, we reached Yellowstone National park. We drove an hour and a half into the park to get to a campsite, where we reserved one spot.  At camp we pulled out the tent, but to our dismay, the bag only contained a rain fly and tent poles. There was NO tent! Apparently, and unbeknownst to all, there were two identical tent bags, one missing the poles and the other missing the tent itself. When asked if the poles were in the bag, one of the kids said yes and it was thrown in. We also discovered that, while we had hamburger and other miscellaneous food, we had nothing to cook with over an open fire.

After some misadventures trying to create a shelter with tarps and rope we purchased in the little campground store, my sister and I decided to drive back out of the park to buy a tent; a three hour round trip. We searched through every store in West Yellowstone and finally found and bought the only tent in the whole town, (4 man size), and cooking supplies. We arrived back in camp after dark. While we struggled to set up the tent by fire light, someone asked the kids to stop playing in the fire. Dutifully and for the first time in their lives, they not only stopped playing with it but took the extra step of putting the fire out with a bucket of water! So much for having light or food! We finished setting up the tent in the dark without staking it down because we could not find the tent stakes. Six of us crowded into the tent for the night as my Sister complained of some lump underneath her. We huddled together under a few blankets, as there were only four blankets and two sleeping bags for twelve people. The two older boys slept in the car with their feet inside the trunk and their heads in the backseat, and my Aunt slept reclining in the passenger seat. Grandma and Mom slept in the back of my van with all the gear, while my middle child, who refused to join us in the tent, crouched on the front seat of the van with a baby blanket.

At first light the next morning, about 5 am, those of us in the tent awoke to the condensation from our breath raining back down on us inside the tent. Cold and tired we took shelter in the cars, stacking on top of each other in the back of the van. When we took down the tent my sister discovered that the lump that had made her miserable all night were the tent stakes! We packed up camp and spent the rest of the day sightseeing before driving home, where we arrived at 2 a.m.

We have since described this as the camping trip from Hell!

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