Sunday, June 10, 2018

IIWK - Camping - Part Two

Mature Content NSFL
The below content is marked NSFL - Not Safe For Lunch. some readers may find it disgusting and/or icky.
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It's not that I don't like camping with other people, it's that I am hesitant to do it with someone who is inherently more experienced than I am, and they criticize my habits because they were raised or trained or taught in a way different from what I do, if nothing else than because I mostly had to figure things out on my own rather than having instruction while doing.

But there is one major thing I'm missing out on by camping alone. It's not a fun thing to think about, but in temperate and tropical regions, it's not something that you should ignore.

Ticks.

I have essentially two options for dealing with ticks when camping alone: one, wait until I get home to do a full inspection, or two, find a stranger willing to help me out.

Neither of these are preferable. The first gives ticks in the hard to reach places more time to burrow in and lay eggs and possibly infect me with something. The second requires me not only to find someone else, but also to find someone who is honest and trustworthy. (While I believe most people inherently are honest and trustworthy, it's the rare person who isn't that spoils it for everybody else.)

So here's my solution:

Rangers offer the service, and it's not free. In addition to that, there's a twist: if you're hiking and camping as a party, the fee is a lot higher.

For example, if you're in a "party of one" the fee is, say, ten dollars per inspection per person. But if you're camping with other people, the other people you're camping with should be helping you with the inspection, so it's more like fifty dollars per inspection per person.

Now, people lie. Especially those who are concerned with saving a little money (honestly, though, if you don't trust the people you're camping with, you shouldn't be camping with them). But Rangers should be considered government employees (a couple of degrees removed perhaps, but they're paid with government money), and attempting to defraud a government employee is a crime. Aside from what the law might say on the matter (I know very little of law, but I found this in a moment of searching), I'd personally set the first infringement at a fine that's more than the amount of money you would have saved from lying about the size of your party, the second infringement at being banned from the park, and third banned from all the parks.

That might seem a little steep for something as small as a tick inspection, but considering the service is offered as a courtesy, and the money goes to support the park, a steep penalty should be sufficient to stop people from taking advantage of the service.

And I also wouldn't be adverse to "hidden surcharges" for people who are excessively overweight (honestly, you shouldn't be doing anything other than RV or assigned-campsite camping if you are, not dispersed camping where there's more of a risk) or under-prepared.

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