DFO807-513 July 1979
1. THERE'S A LOT MORE FREEDOM CAMPING OUT than living almost any other way. Of course, some localities take a rather dim view of camping & they don't provide camping facilities or campgrounds, but such places are very few, TG! In Europe & most of the rest of the world outside of the United States you can camp almost anywhere!—Even along the highway, at least for a day or few, & they won't chase you off. You can camp almost anywhere you can have some type of sanitation or sanitary disposal of waste & sewage, & where you can find water.
2. YOU WILL FIND THAT THE MOST ESSENTIAL THINGS YOU NEED IN CAMPING ARE WATER & WASTE DISPOSAL! In the United States they have lots of beautiful camps, many of them free. In the free ones you might have to walk a little further for your water & to go to the toilet, but you may also find them less crowded & with more privacy & more open & free & away from the rest of the world for awhile. If you need a little rest & vacation to get away from it all, you will find some of the free campgrounds are the best!
3. FREE CAMPGROUNDS ARE USUALLY A LITTLE MORE WORK, BUT QUIETER & MORE PRIVATE. You don't have a water faucet or electricity or a sewerpipe right there attached to your trailer, & you may have to walk half-a-mile to the outhouse, which may only be a board with a hole in it. But you may find it very secluded & quiet & restful & private & beautiful & away from the noise & clatter & clutter & confusion of the rest of the world.
4. OF COURSE, SOME CAMPGROUNDS—PARTICULARLY THE POPULAR CROWDED ONES—ARE ALMOST WORSE THAN LIVING AT HOME! They are so crowded & you are crammed up against each other in little tiny spots & tents & trailers, so jammed right against each other, that I wouldn't exactly call it getting away from the world! You're getting right into it! But these are usually the more popular, expensive places—near popular beaches, popular resorts etc.
5. SO I ADVISE YOU TO STAY CLEAR OF THE MOST POPULAR SPOTS IF YOU CAN‚ BECAUSE THEY ARE USUALLY CROWDED & EXPENSIVE. It's better to be out in the hinterland, out in the boonies & away from it all. Sometimes even near the big cities where you work or minister, within a few miles you will find isolated campgrounds with only a few people & few & primitive facilities, but privacy‚ beauty & quiet.—We have!—Many times!
6. SO YOU'LL FIND THAT IT'S OFTEN POSSIBLE TO CAMP OUT EVEN NEAR BIG CITIES, where you may have to go in to do your work or provision & witnessing or litnessing.—You can still camp out! We did, the first year of the Family on the road—125 of us in about 40 vehicles! We camped out almost all the time near big cities, & we did no sales litnessing‚ we had no lit to sell, we gave it away free—the little Warning Tracts—by the millions! And we provisioned all of our food & our gasoline & our car repairs & our clothing & our camping equipment & did all our witnessing & working for the Lord while camping out!—And it was usually near some big city where we could go in & really witness or have demonstrations or sackcloth vigils, etc.
7. WE WERE NOT COMPLETELY CUT OFF FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD OR FROM ANYBODY TO WITNESS TO‚ JUST BECAUSE WE WERE CAMPING OUT‚ We camped outside of big cities‚ like the children of Israel camped outside of the city of Jericho, & kept on marching around it until it fell! We camped outside many a big city & kept on marching around inside of it until it fell to the Lord!—Or quite a few of their children fell off to us & we went off with them! PTL! So it's a great life!
8. OF COURSE, IT'S NOT ALWAYS WISE TO CAMP IN ANY AREA WHICH IS TOO ISOLATED & you're too much alone, or you're apt to get mugged or robbed where there aren't any other campers, or enough other campers to assure that you have some kind of mutual defense & protection. But most campgrounds have at least a few campers, & they usually have keepers, so this is not normally a risk that you have to run. If it's during certain seasons which are not normal camping seasons, you may find some campgrounds closed or deserted completely‚ & find yourselves all alone.
9. I MUST ADMIT, IN OUR CAMPING DAYS WE ALWAYS HAD A FEW GUNS ALONG! I carried a pistol & we had a couple of rifles for small game‚ but also for a deterrent against being mugged or robbed! Often if we were in a very isolated campground or picnic ground near some big bad city or someplace where we were the only ones, I often wore my pistol in a highly-visible holster right on my belt where it could easily be seen, & I walked around that way to deter any possible unwanted visitors! It's usually legal in the United States, if you have a registered gun, to carry it openly in a holster.
10. A CONCEALED WEAPON IS FORBIDDEN in almost all States by all governments & countries & cities, etc. But a rifle carried the open, or a pistol in a holster strapped to your belt in the open—not under your coat or jacket, remember‚ but out where it can be seen—is usually legal, if it is a registered gun & legally possessed. In most places in the U.S. you do not even have to have a permit for it, because the Constitution guarantees the right of the citizens to bear arms for self-defense‚ etc.—It's part of the Bill of Rights!
11. IT'S FREQUENTLY VERY HANDY, IN CASE OF VARMINTS, SNAKES OR PESTS of any kind, to have a gun or a rifle, or even to hunt edible game with, where it is permitted. There are some types of wild game that you can eat for food. It's also very handy to carry some fishing-tackle along, so you can go fishing & get your fresh meat right out of the lake or stream or ocean or sea, wherever you may be!
12. SO WEAPONS ARE HANDY & sometimes convenient to have, if you can carry them—particularly in isolated spots or where you can go hunting & procure your own food that way. Just be very, very careful that you are in an area where you are permitted to hunt or fish without a license‚ which isn't very many places! There aren't many spots in the U.S. where you can still hunt or fish without a license!—And even if you buy a license, you must do it in season according to all kinds of rules & regulations.
13. MOST STATE & NATIONAL PARKS & CITY & COUNTY CAMPGROUNDS WON'T ALLOW YOU TO TAKE GUNS INTO THEM AT ALL! If you do have a gun with you, you'll have to leave it with the Gate Warden or the Ranger at the entrance. They will keep it safely for you until you return & leave the park. But you are not allowed to have guns in most of those places. For of course, guns can be dangerous if you don't know how to handle them & you are not accustomed to them & you haven't lived with them for years on a ranch like we did‚ where you had to have them for snakes, varmints, pests‚ etc. Guns are particularly dangerous around children‚ so watch out!
14. AFTER ALL, THE LORD & PRAYER ARE YOUR BEST PROTECTION & your greatest security! So just choose your campsite wisely in an area that is not too entirely isolated & there is no one else around for mutual defense & protection. This can eliminate the necessity of having to have any kind of weapons, & much less have to use them! It's almost better to get robbed than to get accidentally shot with your own gun, or accidentally shoot somebody else! My sister's son, David, was careless with a rifle, & nearly shot his arm off!—And many people have been killed in hunting accidents!
15. SO DON'T CARRY A GUN UNLESS YOU KNOW HOW, ARE PERMITTED & HAVE TO!—unless you know all about guns & how to handle them & absolutely have to have one for your type of camping or hunting, I suggest that you don't have any! We've lived for years & years without them, so they are not a necessity.
16. BUT I WOULD SAY THAT FISHING TACKLE IS A REAL ADDED ADVANTAGE, & could be an absolute necessity if food were scarce or you were somewhere where you couldn't get it. If there were fish in the stream or the lake or the sea or the pond, you could fish your own fresh meat.—And that would save you a lot of money as well, considering the high price of meat nowadays!
17. ALSO, SOME KNOWLEDGE OF HERBS & VERDURE IS VERY USEFUL, as to what is edible & what is not, as well as mushrooms. But be careful you don't try to gather any mushrooms unless you really know what you are doing, because most varieties of mushrooms are deadly poisonous & can kill you within a few minutes! So‚ unless you really know your mushrooms & which are edible & which are not, I would suggest you don't touch them, as well as many other kinds of weeds & verdure!
18. MANY ARE DEADLY POISON & CANNOT BE EATEN AT ALL!—Some of our young people have been through some sad experiences this way. One lost her husband this way, & nearly died herself, but God spared her life by a miracle!—All because they got ahold of the wrong kind of herb! They thought it was something else, but they got the wrong thing & they cooked & ate it, & it made them all deathly sick & killed two of them! So this is a very sad thing! This was one of our young people before she joined the Family, & in fact it was this event which eventually led her back to the Lord & inspired her to join the Family!
19. SO WATCH OUT WHAT YOU TRY TO EAT IN THE WILDS‚ if you don't know what you're doing! Be wise: If you want to try to live off the land & the herbs & the wildlife, get yourself a book on it that has pictures, & preferably colour pictures that show you the exact colour of everything, as well as the shape of the leaves etc. as to what is edible & what is not! If you haven't lived out in the wild all your life & been taught by your parents & grandparents & great grand parents like the Indians or the natives as to what's edible & what isn't, you had better learn from some kind of book or somebody's herb-educated nose before you start picking leaves off the trees or plants out of the ground & trying to stew them & getting yourself poisoned to death!
20. BUT THERE ARE MANY THINGS GROWING IN THE WILD WHICH ARE EDIBLE & CAN BE EATEN IF PROPERLY PREPARED, Even tapioca in its original wild form is a deadly poison & has to be very, very thoroughly treated by chemicals etc. before it is edible! It is so treated by the natives of South America to make it edible for us. So, there are some types of herbage & vegetables which after a certain type of preparation, although poisonous in their natural state, can be cooked or chemically treated in such a way as to make them edible.—But you'd better know how!
21. I THINK THEY PUT TAPIOCA THROUGH SOME KIND OF POTASH TREATMENT, soda alkaline or lye, in some way, that is then thoroughly rinsed out & can then be edible. But you'd better really know what you are doing, because it is a very highly technical process! If I were you, even if you found wild tapioca growing, you'd better not touch it unless you know what you're doing!
22. BECAUSE TAPIOCA—THAT DELIGHTFUL DESERT THAT WE ALL LOVE—IS A DEADLY POISON IN ITS NATURAL STATE!—It has to be specially treated to make it edible. But if you know what you're doing, well, fine!—You're all the better off than the rest of us as to what plants to eat & what not to eat & what mushrooms to gather & which ones not to gather‚ what animal & fish to eat & what not to eat.
23. THE BIBLE EVEN TELLS YOU ABOUT CLEAN & UNCLEAN MEATS. You'll find it in the Old Testament in Genesis & Leviticus & several other places, especially Lev.7 & 11. It tells you exactly what kind of living creatures you can eat & which kind are clean & which kind are unclean. There are even some kinds of insects & grasshoppers & locusts that are edible & clean meat according to the bible! So some jumping insects are actually edible, if you'll go by the Bible! They have to be, as I recall‚ flying-jumping insects with six legs? (Lev.11:21-22—Also see Letter 609.)
24. THERE ARE REALLY SOME VERY FUNNY RULES ABOUT INSECTS IN THE BIBLE! You'll enjoy reading them, even if you don't like eating them! (Maria: You could camouflage them inside a stew or some sauce!) Yes!—And pray over them! The French are very fond of garlic-buttered baked snails, & who is it that's very fond of baked ants?—And the Chinese eat birdnest soup! There are lot of strange things which can be eaten! But if I were you, I'd go through my Bible & figure out whether it's clean or unclean.
25. NEARLY ALL SEAFOOD IS UNCLEAN, EXCEPT FOR FISH WHICH HAVE FINS & SCALES! So all these Crustaceans & shell fish that people eat by the ton are unclean meat!—Garbage! (Lev.11:9-12.) The only kind of seafood or river food or lake food that is clean & can be eaten healthfully without fear of contamination is the kind of fish that have scales & fins! Catfish are not clean meat, they are scavengers, garbage men, contaminated meat which can make you sick! Although I remember people when I was a kid, lots of people used to catch these huge big catfish in the lakes & streams of Texas, Oklahoma & California & eat them! Some people got by with it, I guess, but you just might be the one that didn't, & got the contaminated one!
26. A RECENT CHOLERA EPIDEMIC IN EUROPE WAS TRACED BACK TO MUSSELS FROM A FAMOUS MUSSEL BEACH OF ITALY where the people were very fond of pulling the mussels out of the sand & cooking & eating them. Mussels are also God's garbage men: They collect dung & garbage & sewage & eat it, & then you eat them, & of course you get sick!
27. SO WATCH OUT WHAT YOU EAT IN THE WILDS & OUT CAMPING‚ that you make sure it's clean food & it's cleared by the Bible rules. Play it safe: When in doubt, don't!—Whether it's some kind of herb or animal or fish or insect, whatever‚ if you're not sure‚ it's best not to. Of course, if you are starving to death & there is nothing else to eat, you might have the faith to pray over it & sanctify it & kosherise it by prayer, & eat it anyway, & ask the Lord to do a miracle & help it not to kill you.
28. AS WE'VE SAID BEFORE‚ "YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!" (Letter 609). If what you're eating is deadly, what you are will be dead!—Or sick at the least! So, particularly when camping, you need to be very cautious, also, about the preservation of your foods, that they don't get old or rotten or contaminated or fermented or gone sour with dangerous bacteria which can make you sick or kill you! Make sure that your food is fresh, & even if it's a little old, that it is still edible & not dangerous.
29. REMEMBER TO GIVE IT THE EYE, NOSE & TASTE TEST FIRST! Look at it, & if it looks dirty or rotten or decayed or old, don't eat it! Then smell it if necessary, to see if the nose test agrees with the eye test. Then finally give it the taste test if still not sure. If the eye, nose & taste (or any one of them!) agree that it's not good, don't eat it!
30. WATCH OUT ABOUT CANS THAT ARE DENTED OR PUFFED OUT AT THE ENDS! If they are puffed out at the ends at all, even one end, don't buy it!—Certainly don't eat it, because it's got botulism‚ a deadly poison that kills! It was not cooked thoroughly & the germs were not all killed & they are still alive & active & well & producing a gas inside which has caused the end of the can to puff out, & therefore, if you eat any of that it could kill you! They used to call it "ptomaine" poisoning, from eating bad meat or bad canned goods etc. It won't cause a pain in your toe but your tummy‚ & you'll feel main bad! So, when in doubt, don't!
31. BE VERY WISE IN TAKING GOOD CARE OF YOUR FOOD, keeping it clean, keeping it where it will not be contaminated by either bad water or the dirt or where you won't be robbed of it by some animal during the night. I remember one wise guy in one of our camps in Yosemite decided that it was safe to leave canned goods on his picnic table overnight. But he woke up in the morning to find a bear had discovered that canned goods were edible! The bear simply sank his teeth into the cans & sucked most of the food out of the can! The bear had probably learned that cans contained food just from rummaging around in the garbage! Another wise guy decided to preserve his nice big leg of ham by hanging it on a rope from a tree, forgetting that bears can also climb trees & slide down ropes, & he lost his ham!
—HAPPY CAMPING!—GBY! WLY!—From the Voice of Experience!
(To be continued in Part 6.)