A Silk Purse Out of a Sows Ear

October 3, 2011

A condensed amalgam of a number of conversations on Saturday afternoon…

“Let’s pitch here.”

“Ah, let’s not, if it rains we will get flooded out. Actually, when it rains…”

There’s nowhere else flat enough.”

“Drop yer pack, lets have a look.”

“How about here?”

“Look up.”


“What happens if one of those drops on you?”

“Oh I see.” Slight pause. “What drops?”

“Those limbs. Stringybarks don’t tend to but those things there can drop branches.”

“How about here?”

“What’s coming off that rock if it rains?”


“Heaps of water heading for your sleeping bag.”

“Oh. Well maybe there. That looks clear.”

“Uhuh, well spotted. Nothing overhead, a good start. Kick the ground.”


“Yeah. Dig into it with your heel”

“Uh, I can’t. Too rocky.”

“Exactly. Let’s keep looking.”

“Well where then? There is nowhere that looks like it will work.”

“How about there?”

“Nowhere to put up tents.”

“What if we do a bit of weeding?”


“Look, we can drop a fire in that pit there, get a tent up over there, hang the tarp there… The soil is nice and sandy, weeds should come out easy, and the water drain away.”


“Yeah, under those weeds there. See?”

“If you say so.”

“I do. Start weeding. Mind the spikes on those rushes.”

“But there is nowhere for the tent. We need to site that somewhere else.”

“How about the ground under those weeds there.”


“Sure, watch this…”

“Oh, they do come out easy.”

“Uh-huh. And when we are done we will have plenty of space. Just make sure that nylon is a good distance from the fire. Oi, how come we have greenery in the fire place?”

An hour and a half later, sitting by the fire, logs cut and shifted in for seats, an evening worth of firewood collected, tents up, tarp stretched taut, first water starting to simmer…

“Hey, this site is really cool.”

“And dry?!”

“Ah yes, and dry.”

(A great team effort turning wilderness into home for the night).








2 Responses to “A Silk Purse Out of a Sows Ear”

  1. Paul Kessler on October 25th, 2011 23:33

    I’ve been reading your posts recently on your site and they were all quite resourceful. I really enjoyed reading. I was wondering if you’re open for guest bloggers? I can submit one that would definitely be enjoyed by your readers.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Regards, Paul.

  2. PickledEel on June 11th, 2012 16:34

    Hi Paul,

    Dreadfully sorry for not seeing this post of yours earlier. I have not really considered the idea but hey, I am open to most things. My email is – shoot me a note with any ideas you might have and I will let you know.



Got something to say?