Carefree seems to be the word for how some like their camping. A soldier on leave with his brother stopped by Ramhorn springs provided an example: two guys on a motorcycle with a tent, sleeping bags, beer, and power bars stopped at a campground with no drinking water a long ways from civilization.
Friendly and courteous always helps. In meeting with new neighbors at the campground, the first thing they wanted to know was where the nearest store was so they could stock up on necessary supplies. They had started the day going over the Sonora pass and then up US 395. A BLM campground between Susanville and Alturas is a beautiful place to camp but not so convenient for finding places to replenish supplies.
With amazing energy they tromped up and down the canyon gathering wood for a fire. Not having an axe or saw put a limit on the size they could gather and also meant that some of the wood hung out over the sides of the firepit. Most of the camp was in bed at 10:30 pm wondering what the lights and noise was outside as they gathered wood even rather late. Carefree shouldn’t mean ignorant and one needs to be careful about camp quiet hours, what can be collected for firewood, proper fire location, and making the sure the fire was completely out when unattended.
If a store wasn’t available, how about campground neighbors? Yep, those guys could spare a bag of marshmallows. Those over there had some matches. It was a small campground with just a few campers but all good neighbors willing to help each other out, given a proper attitude.
Getting the tent set up in the upslope canyon wind was a challenge, too. The bike anchored the upwind side, finally. Modern tents don’t need ground stakes and it didn’t appear that such articles were available on this trip. Those winds were pre-frontal so it got a bit chilly overnight. That created a problem with condensation in the sleeping bags.
The CamelBak wasn’t sufficient for drinking water so a bottle of drinking water was borrowed, too. Beer is just not quite the right beverage, sometimes. The hope was that the campground had drinking water but the BLM closed that access to the spring sometime back, probably due to regulatory requirements. The spring head was still protected but the pipe just dumped into the creek.
This is the spring head with the concrete tank and collection to protect it from contamination.
Remember those days? Back when you were in your 20’s and a few nights with little other than the shirt on your back was a fun adventure? – seems the older you get the harder the adventure gets and the more there is appreciation for some of the creature comforts of planning and preparation.
An example was the couple who stopped by after spreading the ashes of a bird dog they lost from snakebite. They had a pickup with an ATV in the back and set up a camp with about as comfortable a set of gear as you could have with a tent. Other than the grief over the loss of their dog, they showed that carefree can be after you set up camp as well as in planning the expedition.