“Upptacamp” is a word brought into popular usage up here in Maine by a regional comedian named Bob Marley.

It is as much about a state of mind as it is about anyplace, and it certainly is not about any place in particular. There is no one Upptacamp. Every person, every family, every hunting or fishing group, every pair of buddies, everybody has their own.

I took this photo on the way upptacamp a couple of falls ago. It is the view from “Height of Land” looking out over Lake Mooselookmeguntic. Upptacamp for us is off the right-hand edge of the photo, about as far away as the other side of the mountains in the distance. 30 miles as the crow flies, 50 by the road.

I’m getting pretty excited by the idea of actually getting out to go camping. The pack frame that I am going to be testing is confirmed to be on the way. I should have it on Tuesday or Wednesday. I got a great deal on a used U.S. Army bivy bag that is Gore-Tex and will eliminate the need for a tent. I got an equally great deal on a superlightweight sleeping bag. Both of them ran me less than $60, and both of them have also arrived. I had already pretty much worked out my cooking gear, and almost everything else I need is stuff that I already have or that I’ve cobbled together.

Ed, or TOG has even agreed to try out MREs. A couple of those military rations each [together with a few add-ins to make them more palatable and add that gourmet touch], some gorp, and some snack food, and price of chow for two guys for three meals comes in at almost no-cost at all. We are usually all up on a sirloin steak or two, mushrooms, a full dozen eggs, pound of bacon, pound of burger, burger buns, sticks of butter, cartons of soda, and giant bags of chips… Oh, and a couple full-sized Cadbury chocolate bars. Runs us out the store at $30 bucks [or more] apiece. …That was the cost of the bivy bag.

Hopefully breakfast on Sunday might just bring TOG around to understanding my fondness for the MRE’s… on deck are pork sausage patties in maple gravy, hash browns with bacon, spiced apple slices and a cinnamon bun… all mil-spec. We’ll kick it up by taking along some Starbucks Via coffee pouches.

Saturday night may not be so thrilling. There are already a couple of enchilada dinners up at the cabin. They are more like tamale dinners. They are not the best MREs, but they’re certainly not the worst. That is reserved for what was called Country Captain chicken… Most people make the sign of the sign of the evil-eye when they speak about that one. But the refritos that come with the meal aren’t bad at all, and we’ll carry along one of those munch-sized bags of actual Fritos. Once you stir in the jalapeno squeeze-cheese and add the salsa package that comes in the meal and then crunch the real Fritos on top… Well… It reaches edible.

Anyway, my living room is scattered with boxes, bags and stuff bags of gear that I’m sorting through. Hopefully I will return from next weekend with a bunch of photos and material for a few posts on the actual experience of CAMPING! The weather will be the final arbitrator on that. Right now it’s about 50-50.

But we get to go Upptacamp. Rainy days upptacamp are why God made Kindles, bunkbeds and covered porches… You just can’t have a bad experience when you are Upptacamp.



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