Camp Fire Fiasco

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    Scott Ashdown


    Locale: United Kingdom

    An apt little story from one of my back packing experiences!

    A couple of years back I had been out backpacking with friends here in England. We had set up camp in a forest and when it got late, we had a small campfire where we sat around it in the customary way exchanging tales of epic adventures and sipping cocoa.

    Above us there was a swishing noise. Now it was dark and we all looked up but could see nothing in the dark canopy against the night sky, when a twelve foot branch fell out of the sky and missed my shoulder by about half a foot. Yep….it hit me smack on the top of my head. Fortunately, the branch had been rotten and only a couple of inches thick and when it hit me it broke in half and didn’t cause any injury. Anyway, the following day, we all separated and I hiked on alone to meet up with some separate friends some fiften miles or so away who were out camping. It was great to arrive at a static camp, with mess tent etc already set up and be able to have some food prepared for me, tables to sit at, chairs to sit on etc.
    That evening, there was a campfire and again my new group were sitting around it, talking, laughing etc. I was sitting in a friends fold up chair, rather comfy and content when I heard a familiar swishing noise in the air. My IMMEDIATE action was to leap forward straight into a roll and end up in a foetal position with my hands wrapped around my head, only a moment later to peep through my fingers to an outburst of laughter from EVERYONE around me. My protestation that I thought I was going to get hit on the head by a twelve foot branch just increased the laughter ten fold. It was SO embarrassing! With many good humoured jokes about being a “lighweight” camper and needing to toughen up!!!

    Excitement & danger can come at any moment when your backpacking. Don’t you just love it!!!

    Any other came fire fiascos out there?


    At times, I still flinch from fireworks, auto backfires (or “afterfires”, if you prefer), or react somewhat if a co-worker yells, facitiously, “Incoming!”. No. I don’t jump under my desk, but it’s interesting how we can be trained to react.

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