Motorcycle camping – often referred to as a fun excuse to test someone’s rock bottom. Are you looking for adventure backcountry camping in the Great Smokey Mountains, a weekend at the state park, or maybe you’re using it as a trial for a partner, or friend, you’re thinking of abandoning? If your choice is the latter, by merely adding gnats and tent instructions made by an absolute moron, you will sift through the psychos and decide who you want to keep as a loved one. Sadly, if that psycho turns out to be you, professional help is available in the yellow pages. For the rest of us, some resources can help you achieve your camping bliss. Following is a guide to help.

Preparation – To avoid being the source of ridicule during the next bro gathering at the local water hole, consider the following. Should I bring someone with me? Secondly, choose camping gear based on my decision. The advantage of the company is someone will drag me to safety if I get attacked by a bear. However, this isn’t a problem if I choose someone who runs slower than me. The disadvantage is someone will be mad when they get attacked by a bear, and I leave them to die. In this case, my gear should include a vinyl cable to string my food from a tree branch furthest away from me. Bringing company will determine my type of campsite. At a car campsite, I can quickly shove this person in the trunk of a car, (reference above why you’re going camping) but in the wild, I have to be creative. Well, it seems I’ve lost the map, Dennis. How about I find civilization, and you sit here and wait? Great! Here’s half of a Cliff’s protein bar. I should be back in ten to fifteen days. On the other hand, designated sites allow me to hear the campers in the location next to me as if they’re in my tent. I can catch up on things like Grandpa’s knee replacement, Brewer’s bowel movements, and Sally’s child delivery. If you’re unlucky, your dreams will involve…  well, it’s best not to get into it. You will have a hard time sleeping for the next few months.

Activities – For most people, camping is a hike, eat, sleep, repeat.  I love all those things. But I can add more variety to my journeys by including downtime into my trips to eat, drink, and be merry! Should I go hiking? Nature, exercise, wildlife, mountains, rocks, blah, blah, blah… I should need no other reason to hike than to be able to snot-rocket the contents of my nose on the trail and shrug it off as usual. In civilization, I would be ridiculed and abandoned. But in the wild, I will be honored; as it is a gesture of solidarity, an action that says, there isn’t much holding me back from eating a roach for lunch. Games. My favorite adult game is Truth or Dare. Campers take turns either answering a question (a truth) or performing a dare. The rules are simple. Each camper takes turns as the asker, spinning a bottle to choose which camper to question. An example of a truth: Where is the strangest place you have peed or pooped? An example of dare: Let the group play a song by slapping your b**t cheeks till someone guesses the song. Another favorite campfire game of mine is Storytelling. Campers gather around the campfire and tell scary stories. One of my favorite crime stories is the time I went to Carolina Honda asked about trading my Harley in for a Goldwing. Another story of mine is the time I let someone ride BJ (my bike) on the Tail of the Dragon and crashed into the Tree of Shame. Hey! I didn’t say the stories had to be true!

Survival – Survival skills are best learned while camping, said no one ever. I take the time to learn lifesaving skills like how to start a fire, purifying water, or finding edible foods by staying in a Holliday Inn Express. How do I start a fire? It worries me that this is the first question. Officially, fire is best left in the hands of professional candle lighters and teenagers without strong authority figures in their life. Unofficially, starting a fire is like matching Tupperware lids—some people can do it, some people can’t. It’s frustrating, and most end up completely losing their junk and buying new Tupperware. There are two ways to start a fire: the normal mode or the redneck way. With the usual way, you use words like “lighter wood,” as in “This lighter wood should start the fire in hopes it will one day provide warmth for my buddy and me.” The redneck way involves a different vocabulary: “Hold my cigarette while I pour some gas on it,” “WATCH THIS BUBBA,” or “BUBBA! PUT IT OUT, PUT IT OUT!” In the beginning, you may not have a Southern accent, but after siphoning gas out of your buddy’s motorcycle and using it to create a fire that ultimately destroys your friend’s bike, you will.

Last but not least, drinking water. The average human can live 5 to 7 days without water. However, after 3 days serious side effects like constant skin irritation, hallucinations, and the swelling/ cracking of the tongue could appear. Heck, I’ve had this after eating a 3-year old fruitcake at an office party. NO ONE FILLED ME IN ON THE CHRISTMAS JOKE! So, using my newly acquired fire starting abilities, I will gather some water in a pot upstream from where my camping buddy is standing and boil it.

I hope my guide to camping has filled some voids in your camping life.  Whether you’re looking for adventure backcountry camping in the Great Smokey Mountains, a weekend at the state park, or maybe you’re using it as a trial for a partner, or friend, you’re thinking of abandoning, you’ll find useful tips in Rick’s Guide to Worry-Free Camping! See ya on the trail!