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Dear Stosh

I’m all Camped Out

Stosh Kay helps a stressed-out mom save her family camping vacation

‘Stosh Kay’

Dear Stosh: We just arrived. It was the longest ride from Throggs Neck, NY to our usual family get-a-way in Saratoga Springs, NY. For many years we’ve traveled to the same place for our family camping vacation. The trip has barely begun, and I feel all camped out. This year it seems like too many years at the same place. And to make it worse, the kids were horrific during the trip. I’m pretty sure I have lost half of my hair from the stress of it. I’m sure you can imagine – Minivan with five kids, two adults, one dog, one rabbit, and a pet hermit crab that could not be left at home says my youngest.

On-the-road my husband just kept quiet stared forward and drove as fast as he could. (We were almost run off the road several times by semi-trucks and random jumping deer, but my husband is a skilled driver) Somehow he was able to ignore all of the brats the entire trip.

What did that mean for me? It meant taking hours of crazy kids and pets management. Who knew hermit crabs have to take frequent restroom breaks as often as a three-year-old. As you can probably understand, I am toast. I know what the next week of camping will be like and I just don’t know if I can take it. Please help I’m all CAMPED OUT

Can Stosh help this stressed camped out mom?

Dear CAMPED OUT: You’re in luck. Not all is lost. First, I recommend you stop unpacking the gear, the kids, and pets and throw them back into the minivan. Next, bump your deadbeat husband to the passenger seat, because you are about to take control of this trip.

Where are you going, I know you’re asking? Do you want a place of tranquility? Are you looking to simply relax and forget about it all while your family is out all day on adventures? I’m sure it’s yes to it all. I found you a groovy little place very close by where you can just chill like a queen while the kids tear each other apart, collecting poison ivy in the nearby forest.

I’m sending you to an Authentic Mongolian Yurt. It’s just a couple of miles away. It’s where you can have your own private healing sanctuary to get some deep relaxation while the rest of the family pitch their tents right next door. Your healing retreat awaits. You will be alright. I’ve already made your reservations.

Photo Credit WIKI – Mark Fischer
FROM
TO HERE (with five kids in a minivan)
PLEASE NOTE: STOSH KAY IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. THE STORIES ARE MADE UP. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM STOSH KAY. AS NEEDED, PLEASE SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE WHILE CAMPING, HIKING, OR ANY INDOOR OR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

If you like Dear Stosh, you might like Baker Burroughs in our Seeds and Worms cartoon

Baker and Stosh - Seeds and Works Cartoon / Comic
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Dear Stosh

Overheated Feathers

Stosh Kay discusses sleeping bag problems with an aspiring serious camper after overheating some feathers

‘Stosh Kay’

Dear Stosh: By accident, I overheated feathers. I’m not completely new to camping. Over the years, for something to do, I occasionally went camping. Recently due to the pandemic and to get away from it all, I decided to get camper serious. Every day I see people posting on Twitter, Instagram posting awesome photos of themselves having a great time in the woods. I want to do the same.

To that, I decided to first upgrade my sleeping bag. The one I have cost twenty bucks at a box store and has served its purpose. I decided since it is later in the year I should go with a nice down-filled sleeping bag. I selected a nice one, (after looking at this best sleeping bag list) and the following weekend I tested it out. Boy, I sure didn’t know what I was missing. It was the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had while camping. It was cozy. It kept me at a comfortable sleeping temperature, and it smelled really nice. (I know that sound weird but it did)

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks later. After I returned from my camping trip, I didn’t think much about how I should store the sleeping bag. I threw it into a hall closet just like I did my old bag. I think it was my first mistake, but not the worst. While retrieving something from the closet I noticed it smelled like a campfire. That’s when I realized I forgot to air out the bag.

Without much thought, I took it to the laundromat, and after a good washing in the oversized machine, I dumped it into a dryer. Everything was fine for about 35 minutes when I opened the door to check it. That’s when I noticed a strong burning smell. OMG, that’s when I realized the machine was on high heat and the feathers were baking. I’m sure I just overheated feathers. I think the down is toast and I’m not sure what to do, I turned the heat down and basically, air-dried it the rest of the time. But, I think the bag is damaged. After a few days the smell has calmed down, but I can still smell burnt feathers. Please let me know what you think. OVERHEATED FEATHERS

Can Wilder help solve the mystery of the possibly damaged sleeping bag?

Dear No Harm No Fowl: I think you will be OK. The smell of the feathers are a good indicator of their condition. I’m not an expert, but I think if the burnt smell goes away you should be fine. If not, then I think the quality of the bag has been greatly reduced, and in that case, there’s not much you can do to fix roasted feathers. (that I am aware of) Go test it in your back yard before you take it camping. You’ll know.

PLEASE NOTE: STOSH KAY IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. THE STORIES ARE MADE UP. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM STOSH KAY. SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE WHILE CAMPING, HIKING, OR ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

If you like Dear Stosh, you might like Baker Burroughs in our Seeds and Worms cartoon

Baker and Stosh - Seeds and Works Cartoon / Comic
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Dear Stosh

Dear Stosh – Making up some lost time

Dear Stosh: I have been locked in self-quarantine isolation since March 13th, 2020. I’ve put an “X” on my wall calendar every day of the isolation. The quarantine has been so long it takes me several minutes to count the Xs. I’m OK with this because I tricked my mind to think about how it must be stationed on a submarine. On a submarine, you cannot go outside. You have to deal with it – You have to keep busy – You have to have routines. The good news, however, I’ve decided to come out of isolation. I plan on making up some lost time.

I want to see all the changes the news has been reporting. It’s the only thing I know except for what the delivery people tell me. They generally like to talk and stories about their lives when I ask.

To the point, and not to waste too much more of your time. I read your advice posts. And I thought you might be a great person to suggest the first place I should go camping. I live in the Yooper area. (Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) I’m concerned about the killer virus, but I am ready to rejoin society. I’m ready to see and meet new friends. MAKING UP SOME LOST TIME

Dear Making up Something: Congratulations on your successful trying experience. As for the transition back to society, I recommend a socially distanced, no more than 6 people “Coming Back” party with you and your friends. I also recommend checking in at the CDC Safety Guidelines and CDC travel for their latest safety protocols. ON CAMPING: I would not cross the border into Canada. They might not appreciate US visitors at this time. I would check Travel.gov for special instructions and restrictions, then pick a place nearby that you have always wanted to visit. You might like to consider a new hobby such as Birding to help meet some people. People have flocked to it since the beginning of the pandemic. Sleepy Hollow State Park is a great place for camping and birding. Overall you should go camping where you feel the safest and can make the most out of your first time out of isolation adventure. Finally, the best of luck coming out of your quarantine grind.

‘Stosh Kay’
PLEASE NOTE: STOSH KAY IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. THE STORIES ARE MADE UP. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM STOSH KAY. SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE WHILE CAMPING, HIKING, OR ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

If you like Dear Stosh, you might like Baker Burroughs in our Seeds and Worms cartoon

Baker and Stosh - Seeds and Works Cartoon / Comic
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Dear Stosh

Dear Stosh: Wild fruit turned me blue

Dear Stosh: We live in metro Atlanta about 6 miles from downtown. In case you didn’t know, Atlanta is known as the city in a forest. With that, my family and I decided to get into camping this summer, but as you know – there’s that big killer virus we’re all dealing with…(you know the one named after that refreshing beer we all drink at the beach with tequila shots when you don’t have kids)…anyway, camping – We’re getting into it but in our backyard, some local parks, and maybe some short road trips.

My wife had a great idea (she has a lot of them, it’s what makes her awesome) for our first adventure. We should forage for wild food. I was iffy about it but said, “What the heck, let’s do it.” Besides we all need to get out of the house and off our screens. What better way to do it than acting like cave-people? We jumped in the car and drove an hour or so outside of Atlanta where we found a nice little place to do our foraging.

Long story short Stosh, because I know you’re a busy person, we found this nice little place on the side of the road and with baskets in hand: set out foraging for food. I think we did well. We collected mushrooms; wild shiso and mint; spice-bush berries, elderberries, mulberries, blackberries, and more.

One unexpected find and the reason I’m writing today is about this golfball size blue purplish fruit. We could not identify it. But, since there was a lot of it, we thought it was safe and proceeded to collect them. My wife commented, “It’s probably rich in antioxidants.” I guess I agreed, and we all decided to try them. It was delicious. None of us had eaten something so exquisite tasting. It was the ultimate blueberry pie melting in our mouths. We gobbled them up.

Everything was fine until we all came to dinner that night. We were all swollen and blue. Meet the blueberry family I joked. Nobody laughed. Well, I’m pretty sure our dog was secretly having a good giggle. We rushed to the emergency room and we’re still there now. They’ve run every test imaginable but have no diagnosis. They told us, “We’re stumped and seeking outside expertise.” That’s when I thought of you Willy B. I bet you know what’s happening. Can you please advise? BLUEBERRIES IN ATLANTA

Dear Blueberries: I recommend you immediately roll yourself and your family down to the juicing room and let a team of Oompa-Loompas take care of the problem.

‘Stosh Kay’
PLEASE NOTE: STOSH KAY IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. THE STORIES ARE MADE UP. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM STOSH KAY. SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE WHILE CAMPING, HIKING, OR ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

If you like Dear Stosh, you might like Baker Burroughs in our Seeds and Worms cartoon

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Dear Stosh

Dear Stosh: Bigfoot Bucket List

Added Bigfoot to our Bucket List

Dear Stosh My wife and I have recently retired after both of us working for over 40 years at a steel factory outside of Charlotte North Carolina. We met at the factory 35 years ago. Shortly thereafter we were married. We’ve never taken a vacation while working at the factory. We were good hard workers who showed up every day. For years we’ve been talking about a “Big” retirement adventure. We contemplated many things we would enjoy, like climbing Mt. Everest, Sailing around the world, and even going to an Elton John concert – in the end – we thought it would be the most exciting to spend our hard-earned retirement money on a lifetime adventure trying to find Bigfoot. What do you think? And, can you tell us about any recommendations you have about finding Bigfoot? BIGFOOT ON THE LOOSE

Dear Bigfoot: First, I would like to say, adding bigfoot to your bucket list is a fine addition. As a result of those all long years of service, you deserve a real adventure like finding Bigfoot.
Second, for the information you need, I recommend you first try #bushcraft #bigfoot and #bigfootdightings. And, then try #Sasquatch. They are great hashtags for preparing to find bigfoot.
Finally, please make sure you carry a super long selfie-stick, and when you do find Bigfoot make sure you take a lot of photos with him. The candid photo-bombs are best. Good luck, and I cannot wait to see you, your wife, and Bigfoot.

‘Stosh Kay’
PLEASE NOTE: STOSH KAY IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. THE STORIES ARE MADE UP. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM STOSH. SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE WHILE CAMPING, HIKING, OR ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

If you like Dear Stosh, you might like Baker Burroughs in our Seeds and Worms cartoon

Baker and Stosh - Seeds and Works Cartoon / Comic
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Dear Stosh

Dear Stosh: Collection One

Put a tent here, put a tent there?

Dear Stoshear:I’m setting up camp right now with my wife. We’re at Jenny Lake – Grand Teton National Park. I’m having a hard time trying to decide where to pitch our tent. I have spotted two possible locations. The first location has a great view of the lake, but it’s under a big tree. I am concerned about falling branches. The second location does not have a good of a view and it’s closer to my wife’s friend’s campsite who came with her husband and three kids. I would much prefer the view of the lake. Also, I feel like I need to mention it’s my wife’s best friend since childhood. We are newlyweds of a little over a year and this is our first camping trip together. What camping spot should I pick?” SAM FROM MAINE CAMPING

Dear Camper Sam: There’s an old saying, “When presented with two choices pick the third.” Pitch your tent as far away from the tree and the family with kids. It’s the safest choice for your marriage.

Where, O Where is that bear?

Dear Stosh: “I’m in the woods. I’ve been camping for five days. The past two nights I’ve had a visitor. I’m not completely sure, but I think it’s a bear. I see some big tracks, but by the time I get up the rain has washed them away making them unidentifiable. I know there are bears, wolves, and mountain lions living in the area. I’m by myself, but I’m playing on a reality show to see who can stay by themselves the longest. Besides this phone, I snuck onto the show (it’s what I’m using to write to you) I have a satellite phone to call for help, but I don’t want to give up. I would like to win the contest. It would mean a lot for myself and my family to win the big prize. Can you please let me know how to find out what’s visiting me at night, and if it’s a bear, should a call for help? ALONE IN THE WOODS, DARIN

Dear Alone: You are not alone. Leave now!

Shredding Mountains, not Cheese!

Dear Stosh: “I’m an avid mountain biker. To me, there is nothing more exhilarating than shredding through nearby mountain trails at warp speed on my bike. Everything is a blur of color as you race along. I mostly go by myself, but sometimes with a group of friends. We have biked a lot of trails – so much so that we flowed. Then one day it happened…I committed – laid off the brakes and went for it. I was dreaming, it was magic, then out of nowhere, I crashed…hard…like no other crash anyone I know has experienced. Not wanting to go into details and make this too long, can you tell me how to “Get back on the horse?” SHREDDED BY MOUNTAIN

Dear Shredded: Wash off your scratches, put some band-aids on, and get someone to kiss everything to make it better? Sooner than later is best.

‘Wilder Burroughs
PLEASE NOTE: STOSH KAY IS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO PERSONS LIVING OR DEAD IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL. THE STORIES ARE MADE UP. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE ADVICE FROM STOSH. SEEK PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR ANY ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE WHILE CAMPING, HIKING, OR ANY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES.

If you like Dear Stosh, you might like Baker Burroughs in our Seeds and Worms cartoon

Baker and Stosh - Seeds and Works Cartoon / Comic