Coping: Seasonal Calendar Issues, Camping

I’ve been looking at the calendar a lot lately.  Coming up sooner than ever, it seems, on “the holidays.”

In Texas, holidays include the opener of the bow season for deer, opening of the youth season for deer (where an amazing number of 6-7 year olds are leased and immediately become expert shots with a .308), the regular deer season, any day it snows, and when the bass start biting in the spring.

More than astronomical data, or church tradition, Texas Parks and Wildlife runs the real holidays here.

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You don’t want to plan any important business the first week of deer season; most folks will be missing from their duty stations.

Since I don’t hunt, the coming replay of the Tet Offensive provides acoustical cover from my penchant to kill targets on the range out back.

If I were to be a hunter, the local herd comes through twice a day (around dawn and again in the evening) so there are 6-10 whitetails as a back-up food source on the hoof.

Planning for the rest of the holidays is simple enough:

  • Order any organic big  turkey.
  • Stock up on extra-big oven bags.
  • Figure who to invite over from Thanksgiving libations.

Christmas is even easier; Amazon has made the “opening packages” tradition an all-year even.  So a Danish dinner (leg of pork and high-calorie sides) and then all that’s left for planning is New Years.

Rock Salt

One of the to-do tasks on the list today is “Get 50-pounds of rock salt.”

No, we’re not getting pickled.

But there’s a good bit of discussion in organic bug-killing circles about how 50-pounds of rock salt, spread as a good line around your foundation, will keep termites away.

Theory is that the salt makes in-ground insects need water like mad and they essentially blow-up.  There’s a five-dollar word for it, but I can’t remember it at this hour.  Coffee hasn’t kicked in, yet.

No, we don’t have termites, but I figure a 50-pound sack of rock salt is pretty cheap insurance.  My plan is to sprinkle it around the shop (a pole building with cedar poles) around the foundation, especially near the doors since there’s lots of wood in the shop.

While I was at it, I reckoned it wouldn’t hurt to pour a couple of cups around the screen porch footings and around our three power poles that bring the feeder to a meter pole between the house and the shop.

Friends from back in my sailing days insisted that a boat, kept in saltwater its whole life, was not particularly more maintenance-intensive than fiberglass.  Both hulls needed annual bottom paint.

Unless, of course, you know the yards (in B.C. and Mexico mainly) that were still putting on high tin content paint.  No such places left – on environmental grounds.  But there is always a trade-off.

Back on point: I don’t know if termites would like iodized, or not.  Himalayan pink?  No thanks…

Prepping Note

I was going through our “seed vault” Wednesday.  Needed to free up some storage space and I noticed we had a lot of seeds.

Many seeds aren’t good more than a season, or three.   Most of ours were past their “used-by’s.”

We also did some reading trying to discover if hermetically sealed cans of seeds were worth the extra dough.  Jury is still out on that.

We’ve got some 5-year old canned seeds and it might be an interesting home science project to see what kind of germination rate (not to be confused with German Nation rates on the economic side of the house),

Glamping or Prepping?

My buddy Gaye and Survival Hubby are on their first expedition into the wilds of upland Arizona in their new bumper-pull.

Gaye’s got an article on her site about the 10-benefits of “Me Time.”  Glamping is the hybridization of glamor and camping.

Elaine and I have talked about camping.

Every time I broach the subject she reminds me on what it was like living in the mountains of Utah, running a water-drilling rig, welding pipe, cooking on a wood stove, and washing the diapers for two of her boys in a cold-water creek.

Hard to fathom, I know.  She also doesn’t look like she was in the Army and can field-strip an M-16, either.

Point is, we have these discussions and she’ll ask pertinent questions.

How much a night for a decent hotel…like that Hilton in Grand Junction, Colorado with the great views?”

I have to think back, since I used some points on that one.  “I dunno…less than $200 a night for sure.”

And the cost of a camping trailer, new, with the options, cookware, glamping stuff?

Again, I was stumped.  “I dunno, maybe $25K?”

“And for those people high-end Monaco-type diesel pushers?”

“Jeez…I dunno. $400K, maybe?

“So, 125-room nights in a good hotel.  Or, if we’re talking high-end RV 2,000 room-nights…”

Sure enough, she had a point.  “But what about the view and camping right on the edge of the lake?”

What about room service, movies, full bar downstairs, no dishes, and the golf course outside the lobby?

Seeing her point, I quickly changed topics.

But as a follow-up point to Irma and Harvey, I’d sure be interested to here first-hand reports of how the camper and RV crowd fared.

Especially with the power still out for so many.

Back-up, portable, well-stocked housing actually makes sense.

Especially if you can drive it to somewhere cooler like the Arizona uplands.

And double-especially if the fish are biting…  which, for Mrs. and Mr. Strategic, I hope they are.

The closest I’m likely to get is my outdoor cooking center on the deck.  One of our prepping items I’ve been saving for nuclear winter is about to come out of the box: A Camp Chef Camping Outdoor Oven with 2 Burner Camping Stove.

One of the best reasons for glamping, RV’ing, or even going fishing is that food tastes so much better outside. I don’t know what it is, but outside in the 50-70 temp range, something magical happens to taste.

Elaine acknowledges that, too.  Just so long as I clean up my mess and put things in the dishwasher when done.

And that gets us to the real question du jour:  How much of camping and RV’ing is driven by this food taste-change? Or is there a point to communing with Nature once in a while, to remember what it was like back in cave times?

Write when you get rich,

27 thoughts on “Coping: Seasonal Calendar Issues, Camping”

  1. Salt will kill out vegetation too. So, putting it around the perimeter of the house will also act as your weed killer, but no chemicals.

  2. George,

    Here in Canada (the cold country), we avoid the use of rock salt around concrete. It can be very damaging. This may only be because of the freeze-thaw cycles we experience during the winter and not an issue for you. Still, you may want to read up a bit on this before you pour 50 pounds of rock salt around any concrete structures.

  3. George
    Your salt perimeter around the shop may or may not stop the bugs but you will have fewer problems with Negative Spirit Entities. Supposedly they cannot cross a salt line. They do exists as my family has encountered them! Heir Einstein gave us the first clue to the existence of Spirits with his formula for energy. That formula shows that matter and energy are two side of the same coin. Every thing comes from energy which opens the door for spirits of all types.
    Please don’t get spooked by my comment!
    Rocket Mike

    • Yep, Wiccan friends of mine do use salt barriers for non corporeal nasties. George gets twofer benefits from using the rock salt.

    • I’ve heard of that before – but always wondered…. spirit implies more than 2-dimensional. Making a perimeter of salt seems like that would provide a 2-dimensional barrier only. Who’s to say a spirit can’t enter your house from above or below? …or even another dimension that’s not readily apparent to us? There may be a better explanation, but I can’t get past the 2 dimensions vesrus 3 or more dimension idea.

      • it’s the circle enscribed that projects to 3, a sp, that protects.

  4. GEO …Leaving tomorrow for two weeks camping and jeeping the Ouray/Telluride/Lake City trails. All up close and personal sleeping in my own bed, using my own throne and eating my own food. Waking to natures morning offerings, wandering around mountains and watching the stars one never sees around city lights at night ….all just outside my doorstep.

    Joy in the mountain coolness and Fall colors which is our payback for another Texas summer survived.

    The RV tripping payoff is more than the cost in a way which is less than the sum total … makes sense for some and not for all.

  5. re: seeds…you can always try sprouting them for extra nutrition. I opened a ‘super pail’ from Walton Feed (6 gallon bucket, foil bagged & nitro purged beans/grains) of lentils from 1999. I was amazed they all sprouted, and we ate ’em with rice.

    • I vote for this too – heard that the stuff is too ‘scratchy’ on their ‘little feet’ and they will avoid the area. Now if you have a slug problem – salt works, to satisfy violent ‘gardener urges’, though an underside of a board is better or cheap beer – save the good stuff for yourself!

    • No idea about the salt remedy, but diatomaceous earth (try looking for cheap kitty litter, which is how I get mine) can be effective against a variety of bugs, including roaches. The diatoms scratch the carapace of the offenders, which subsequently dehydrate and die. I used to run a line of it across the kitchen door frame which kept the outdoor roaches completely at bay. It should also work with scorpions for that matter.

      I’m thinking I might try a salt bath in the space between my garage and the neighbors. Nothing much grows there anyway and it’s an identified termite area. Will let you know if there’s anything to report.

      • See my note above about bugs and baking soda. Baking soda + sugar + water = lethal ant & roach bait.

    • Diatomaceous Earth works absolutely great. But only while it remains dry. Let a little rain fall on it and you’re back to square one. We’ve used it here for years but always have to reapply after it rains.

      • DE is beautiful stuff. It scrapes any soft bodied thing to death yet feels soft as talc to us.

        Besides being able to put it on floor by the baseboards you can-
        *put some in a vacuum cleaner bag to kill critters that get vacuumed up,
        *deworm yourself and your critters by eating it,
        *put some in your grain storage or pet food containers to kill or prevent crawlers,
        *use it in the garden to kill crawlers, a little circle around tomato plants and it’s the end of your problem.

        But be careful because, like all dusts, it dangerous to breath.

    • dang.. you beat me to it bryce.. although I wonder if it would work outside since the weather.. the idea is it coats the body and they dry up.. we use it indoors around the floor boards to keep spiders from scooting around..
      the other thing is Mint.. mint is awesome.. I have found that it is easier to have the plants.. I never understood why my mother wanted mint around the house..and cinnamon is good to. they actually sell a snake repellent and all it is is Diatomaceous earth and cinnamon. the pests I would like to get rid of forever are the little black biting beetles.. I have tried neem oil, Chrysanthemums powdered up. just about everything even the industrial pest control poisons and they eat and drink it like it is a delicacy they are so nasty.. I call them beer bugs.. you go out with a beer and they will be crawling in and bite.. grrr..

      • if you were going to use diet animus Earth outside I think you would need to have clear weather because water will make it clog into a clump and it won’t be effective for the bugs to pick it up on their legs and then they clean their legs and it goes into the digestive tract and clogs them up
        But be careful around the diet ominous Earth because it has been done to cause breathing problems in humans that do work around it for a living
        So just casual use of it should be okay

  6. rented a RV for trip to the Indy 500 once. it’ll be fun they said! worked on it off and on along the highway and later at the fairgrounds.
    NEVER, I mean never had to work on a Hilton hotel room! And, when I’m not staying at the Hilton it doesnt cost me a dime! If you dont have 28 acres to store your RV in, you’re gonna pay to store it!

  7. “Many seeds aren’t good more than a season, or three. Most of ours were past their “used-by’s.” ”

    Your seeds are likely fine, although the germination rate might be somewhat diminished. What would be your impetus to replace your supply every year if the companies TOLD you, “Eh, no problem; we just tell you there’s an expiration date to worry you into spending more money with us.” If they’ve been sealed and are dry, I wouldn’t fret for at least another five years. Plant some and see what happens, which is ultimately the only way to know for sure.

  8. I keep my seeds in jars in the freezer. I’ve had seeds germinate 20yrs. later. I think they might keep even longer at least as long as the freezers work!

  9. Hello, George,
    Might want to consider baking soda. Bugs are little containers of acid with one-way valves on top (they CANNOT burp!); thus, they pop instead, relieving the pressure and removing their animative capabilities.


  10. Hello, George,
    You might want to consider baking soda, as bugs are mostly little acid containers with one way valves on top (they CANNOT burp!); therefore, once they taste the soda they do the next best thing and pop, thus relieving the pressure and eliminating their animative proclivities. Have fun!


  11. I used all several year “out of date” pepper, tomato and chili seeds this year. Most all germinated and are sitting there with peppers, tomato and chilies just waiting to be harvested.

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