KEYWORDS: water, lots, fire, camp, course, kind

Have Faith--Will Camp--Part 3--Test Food, Travel Outdoors

David Berg

DFO807-313 July 1979

1. THE NEXT TEST, OF COURSE, IS THE TASTE TEST. Some things may even seem to smell all right, but, like fruit juices or old fruit or canned fruit, it still may be spoiled or fermented. If the minute you touch the bare tip of your tongue to it, if it burns like fire or it has a real strong tang or tingle to it, then watch out!—It's probably fermented or spoiled, & it may not be a good type of ferment.—It could be pure poison! Wine is fermented too, but it is by a good kind of bacteria which produce alcohol, which is a preservative that isn't bad for you if you don't drink too much.

2. BUT SOME KINDS OF FOODS, PARTICULARLY CANNED FOODS, fruits & juices, if they were not properly canned, if they ferment, deadly bacteria & poisons are bottled up inside! There are certain types of bacteria which produce poisons in canned foods that can kill you within a few minutes!—It's usually called botulism. Therefore it's very wise to test any food that's in doubt by smelling it first, then just touch it to the tip of your tongue to see if it bites. If it bites back, then don't bite it! If the tiniest taste stings, burns, bites or tingles—look out!—Or if can ends are swollen!

3. CARBONATED OR "SOFT" DRINKS LIKE COKES DO THAT‚ & that ought to be sufficient warning to you they're not good for you! But some people drink these so-called soft drinks & colas & all anyway, which are very bad for you, particularly the carbonated water in them‚ as well as all that sugar! But, of course, bottled drinks will keep! So if you don't like wine or can't safely drink it or the local water, sometimes you might have to resort to some type of bottled drink in an emergency.

4. OF COURSE‚ THE HANDIEST LIQUID TO CARRY IS WATER. It has many uses: Drinking, washing, cleansing‚ etc.—& you can also use it for making milk‚ dried soups‚ instant coffee, etc. If you carry a box or jar of powdered milk with you, you can always have fresh-made milk whenever you are ready to use it. Powdered milk is a very, very handy item to carry—powdered coffee, instant coffee—& they are very lightweight. You can also mix them without a fire & even without any cooking utensils, if you at least have a glass or a cup of water.

5. IN THE OLD HIPPIE DAYS, the hippies used to go into a restaurant & order a cup of hot water & pour into it their dried soup‚ instant tea or coffee, powdered milk & sugar & whatnot!—And some of my little hippies that I live with still do that‚ including Maria! Ha! Of course, the cafes, cafeterias & restaurants may take a rather dim view of that practise if you don't order anything else except a cup of hot water & a toothpick! But maybe if you tip the waiter, he won't mind it. However, normally we order at least a little something else to go along with it, to pay for the seat & service, then we slip out our portable foods from our bags under the table & into our glasses or cups when all heads are turned the other way, if possible, so that we don't look like bums or hippies truing to gyp the joint!

6. YOGURT IS ANOTHER GOOD FOOD THAT WILL KEEP FOR TWO OR THREE DAYS without refrigeration‚ & of course, there are various canned meats, sardines, corned beef‚ tuna, etc. Of course, if you are carrying a backpack, canned goods are a bit heavy to carry. That's one reason why bread & cheese is pretty handy, & I've noticed even quite a few of these poor backpackers, they've even gotten so tired of carrying their heavy loads, we frequently find abandoned water bottles in the stations & various places where they got tired of carrying that big heavy litre of water. But water is certainly handy to have with you when you get thirsty or hungry or you need to wash your fingers where there's no safe water available.

7. SO IF YOU'RE AFOOT, you can't carry too much to eat, so you must try to carry things which are fairly light & not too heavy to carry & will last several days without refrigeration & won't spoil quickly. These are just a few suggestions, & I'm sure you have many more, especially you who are veteran bikers & hikers. If you have any further good suggestions‚ please send them to our Family News, & we'll be happy to publish them if we think they are good for the whole Family.

8. EVEN AFOOT, SOMETIMES IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE A SKILLET or pot of some kind, along with some kind of stirring utensil‚ in case you do find something good to eat, but which needs cooking to sanitise it, purify it‚ sanctify it‚ sterilise it & tenderise it & make it more edible, tasty & digestible. If you are going to be camping out & preparing any food at all of that sort, you need some sort of a pot or pan & stirring utensil to cook it with on a fire of some kind, even an open camp fire. If you are single or there are just two of you, you can even eat out of the pot if you have to.

9. BUT IT'S HANDY TO HAVE A COUPLE OF EATING UTENSILS TOO, like a couple big spoons—& if you're going to have any kind of meat, you're going to need a knife & a fork as well. A Teflon (high-temperature plastic-coated) skillet or pot is usually the lightest & the easiest to wash, & food doesn't stick to it as much, so it's very handy. Some of these modern inventions are very helpful.

10. SO SOME KIND OF COOKING & EATING UTENSILS (the barest minimum if you're afoot!) are often necessary & very handy to have in case you have to do any cooking of any kind, or even the heating of water or whatever, in your camping out. I noticed some of the Vietnamese refugees arrived by plane still carrying their pots & pans & cooking utensils! To them, these were so vital to their survival that they figured they even had to carry them with them to the United States, & it probably wasn't a bad idea at that, if they have a favourite pot or a fovourite pan in which they prefer to cook their food, & quite a few of them still arrive with their own pots & pans hanging on their luggage or on their persons. So the next thing you need‚ aside from something to sleep in & on & a bit of shelter, is some type of portable food & cooking & eating equipment. And of course, if you are going to cook, then

11. THE NEXT THING YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IS SOME KIND OF A FIRE. Many campgrounds & picnic grounds furnish some type of grill or fire enclosure. Some in the U.S. even furnish gas fires: You stick a coin in the slot & out comes the gas, & you can cook almost like at home! But most camp grounds & picnic grounds are equipt with some type of grill or fireplace where you can build your own fire from whatever is available: Wood, sticks, twigs, branches‚ trash, old boxes, etc.

12. I WOULDN'T ADVISE YOU TO TEAR THEM OFF THE GROWING TREES OR CHOP DOWN ANY LIVE TREES, however, as that's usually forbidden! But they usually allow you to go out & scrounge for fallen branches & fallen trees & fallen twigs & tree limbs that are already fallen & dead on the ground. But I warn you, you'll look pretty suspicious if you go dragging into camp any green branches with their green leaves still on them! You will have a hard time persuading the camp keeper you didn't bust it off of some growing tree!

13. BUT USUALLY THE WOODS ARE FILLED WITH FALLEN, DRY, DEAD FIREWOOD—if there aren't too many other campers who've already beat you to it! And you can build your own fire—providing also you haven't forgotten your matches & a little paper trash to help get it started! We've often cooked over an open fire out in the woods or in the camp or picnic grounds, & it's lots of fun! The children always enjoy gathering the wood & helping you build the fire & watching you start it. It's quite exciting, lots of fun, & children always enjoy it!

14. I'VE FOUND THAT CHILDREN REALLY LOVE TO CAMP OUT! They really enjoy it! It's lots of fun, & it sort of comes natural, because after all, that's the way man used to live for thousands of years—close to nature, close to God's creation!—And some still do!—Including maybe you!—Ha! Well, let me tell you, you will never get any closer to God's beautiful creation than when you are camping out!—Unless maybe close to your mate!—And outdoor sex is great too!—It's exciting, wild & animalistic!

15. THAT'S ONE THING ABOUT CAMPING OUT IN TENTS & TRAILERS, YOU REALLY LIVE OUTDOORS! People used to look at us six in our little tiny 14–foot trailer & say, "How can you stand to live in this little tiny place!" They'd look at us with pity, awe & wonder: Six people!—Father & mother & four children living in a tiny little trailer where the floor space wasn't even that big!—And where we slept practically on top of each other or with our legs crossing each other, & they'd say‚ "How can you possibly stand to live this in this small place!"

16. WELL, THAT'S THE SECRET OF CAMPING OUT!: You don't live in that small space! You only sleep there! You live outdoors! You live out in the great wide open spaces in God's beautiful creation, out under the trees on the grass, or in the woods by a lake or stream, under the beautiful bright blue sky & sunshine! Sometimes it gets a bit cloudy, cold or rainy, one of the hazards of camping. But most of the time it's delightful, healthful, invigorating, inspiring, exciting & wonderful!—Even in the rain!

17. SO, OF COURSE, CAMPING OUT IS MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE IN WARM DRY CLIMATES THAN IN COLD WET ONES, I'll guarantee you that from experience! For you do live outdoors! It's really living outdoors. You're not living inside your tent all the time, you're not cooped up in your trailer all the time, & you certainly couldn't be cooped up in your sleeping bag all the time! You are living out in God's great beautiful creation out doors!

18. —AND IT MAKES YOU FEEL SO CLOSE TO HIM!—You just know He lives & cares, for you can see all His gorgeous handiwork & provision for all your needs & enjoyment all around you!—All the marvellous bounteous balance & beauty of His Nature!—Everywhere, that is, that man hasn't already spoiled‚ damaged, polluted or destroyed it!—Which is out camping away from filthy destructive violent man! Like the poem says: "Where all is pure & beautiful!—And only man is vile!"—Amen!

19. SO CAMPING OUT IS REALLY A BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHFUL‚ WONDERFUL‚ THRILLING, EXCITING LIFE & CAN BE LOTS OF FUN! It's lots of hard work, but that's good for you too, as you get lots of fresh air, sunshine & exercise! There are all kinds of reasons that you get lots of exercise when camping: Hewing your wood‚ hauling your water, pitching your tent & breaking camp, & even setting up your trailer, etc.

20. THERE'S LOTS TO DO IN CAMPING JUST TO LIVE! So, don't plan to take along too much other work with you that you are going to have to do. I wouldn't take along my whole library—books are the heaviest thing you can possibly carry—& don't take all your papers, just take what you know you'll have time to work on.—send for more as needed.

21. BECAUSE, REMEMBER, AT LEAST PART OF YOUR TIME IS GOING TO BE SPENT JUST SURVIVING, just camping, pitching your tent or trailer, hauling your water, burying or dumping your sewage &/or garbage, hewing your wood, building fires & doing all the cooking of your meals, outdoors or indoors. There is quite a bit of work that is extra & above & beyond what you have to do when living in a house or an apartment with all the comforts & conveniences of home.

22. TRAILERS & MOTORISED CAMPERS HAVE PRETTY MUCH ALL THE COMFORTS OF HOME. But, even in our big comfortable 26-foot Dodge motor home that I lived in for ten years, we found out that it was still camping out! Frequently in places that we parked or camped we still had to carry our water half–a-mile or to go to the toilet or to carry our potty there & dump it! We were still camping out just the same!

23. SO, THERE'S LOTS OF GOOD HARD WORK, healthful exercise‚ fresh air, sunshine & healthful living in camping out! In fact, I consider it probably the most healthful life you could possibly live—much more so than cooping yourself up in an apartment or a house, where you never get out & take your walk like you should, & you never get enough exercise, & you don't know what carrying water & sewage is! You're so used to going to the faucet or tap & just turning it on & out it comes, special delivery!