Thinking of celebrating the 4th of July by going camping this year? When you think about it, there really probably isn’t any more authentic way to celebrate Independence Day than by going camping. Outdoor plumbing, no air conditioning and the attack of irritating bloodsucking insects that bear much in common with the bloodsucking British crown trying to keep the colonists down. If you are planning on getting in touch your rebellious American birthright by getting away from typical commercial constraints on 4th of July authenticity, then you might want to pack these tips along with your food, tent and inflatable bed.
Bring a Can Opener
The can opener was not invented until nearly half a century after the invention of the sealed can for preserving food. And the invention of the sealed can for preserving food wasn’t invented until almost 30 years after first Independence Day in America. So, technically, going camping with canned food is not exactly the most authentic way to celebrate the spirit of the 4th of July. But unless you are especially adept at tracking, killing and cooking wild game around your campsite, you get a pass on this element of authenticity. What you will not get a pass for is the brain burp that arises in the excitement of celebrating the 4th of July in the great outdoors in the form of making sure to pack enough canned food to get you through the holiday while forgetting to bring a can opener.
Nix the Insect Repellent Apps
If there is one thing that we can say with almost absolute certainty about the signing of the Declaration of the Independence in 1776, it is that the Founding Fathers attending the Continental Congress during the sultry summer in Philadelphia that year had to deal with bugs. And lots of them. Probably exponentially more than most people spending the summer in Philadelphia has to do now. In addition to authenticity by way of no air conditioning and eating wild game, you can kinda sorta get the full 1776 experience on July 4th by dealing with mosquitoes and other insects that feed upon human flesh when you go camping. Lots of different types of insect repellents are on the market and dozens more can be made from stuff at home, but the newest kid on the block is ultrasound repellents that work from an app downloaded to your phone. Well, “work” may be stronger term than is warranted. You may be tempted to download free insect repellent apps to your phone just to experiment with whether they work or not. After all, if they work, great and if they don’t, what’s the loss? Well, some independent testing has concluded that not only do ultrasound insect repellents in phone app not work at actually keeping bugs from biting you, they may actually attract mosquitoes and other biting bugs.
A Deck of Cards for Everyone
Going camping on the 4th of July isn’t like it used to be when the weather turns inclement. Another failure of the Founding Fathers who put together the Declaration of Independence during the Continental Congress of 1776 (the main one being the utter lack of credit given to Thomas Paine for just about everything that Jefferson put into the Declaration) was their shortsighted decision to declare independence from Mad King George during the height of storm season. Camping as a way of celebrating Independence Day means dealing with the ever-present risk of electrical storm, tornadoes and hurricanes. Tornadoes and hurricanes are one thing, but electrical storms are another. They usually pass quickly enough and without great enough incident to allow you to continue camping when they pass. But during the period of the lightning storm, you will need to seek shelter from danger for who knows how long. Nowadays, campers may have access to smartphones and computers and tablets to pass the time, but you shouldn’t necessary count on getting a signal to allow you to while away the time spent sheltered from bad weather. That’s why everyone going camping on the 4th of July should be equipped with a deck of cards. If everyone carries a deck with them, it lowers the risk of not having a deck to play during the storm. It also offers the opportunity to play multiple solitaire. Multiple solitaire is just like solitaire except that when anyone draws an Ace, they place it in a shared area in the middle. As the availability of each succeeding card that can be laid on the top of the Ace, 2, 3, etc arises, each player has the capability of placing that card on top of the growing collection of piles in the middle area. The first person to place all 52 of their cards in the middle area is the winner of that round and everybody else stops playing. Everybody tallies up their cards that made it to the shared area according to a point system that matches the number given to the cards. Then you deal and start over again. The first person to reach a set number of points is the winner. Multiple solitaire is a fast and furious way to spend time penned up in a tent or shelter while camping.