Dipshit Camping. What is it? Well, Dipshit is made up of the two Greek words “Di” meaning “Person”, and “pshit” meaning “who ends up camping on an unmaintained highway between two switchbacks of the Interstate, less than 200 yards away from their car.” If you’re a mere novice to this form, allow me to take your hand and lead you. No need for your compass – we don’t know how to read it. No need for maps – we don’t know how to read those either. And forget directions from Forest Service Ranger Shirley – they will only baffle. Don’t worry about where we’re going – we won’t get there anyway. We’re Dipshits!
The first rule of thumb for Dipshit Camping is this: Leave early the morning of the day you want to start your trip, but not so early that you would have enough time to find somewhere safe to park before dark in the event that you get lost (which you will). Since you packed the night before (in true Dipshit fashion) you’ll be slightly exhausted, and unable to make even trivial decisions. What does your sleep-addled Dipshit brain do when the corner store is out of the sandwich you planned on having for breakfast? Should you buy the “Hot ‘n Fresh” Sausage wrap, or the mysterious hodge-podge of plastic-encased cheeses, salamis and crackers? Better agonize over it for another 15 minutes!
Another important thing to remember about Dipshit Camping is that you cannot trust anyone named Shirley. If Forest Service Ranger Shirley tells you that you need chains on your tires, you will be driving on pristine and dry roads. If Forest Service Ranger Shirley tells you to turn left after the Eco SnowPark, you will find the road to be blocked with a five foot wall of snow. If you decide to park overnight in the Eco SnowPark despite the ominous and prominent tow-away signs, Forest Service Ranger Shirley will dance naked on the roof of your car while singing “Nanananananannaaaaa.”
But let’s get down to business and talk about the brass tacks of Dipshit Camping. The best part about Dipshit Camping is that it is almost completely stress-free! Despite months of preparation and research, despite the hundreds of dollars you spent on equipment and camping books, absolutely nothing will go according to plan! So you might as well not worry about it.
Leave all your preparation behind (along with something to purify water – oops!) and now you have arrived at what you think is the trailhead. Don’t worry about the absence of all signage, or other hikers – it just means that if you die, you’ll die completely alone where no one can laugh over your Dipshit carcass.
Now you’re out in the cold wilderness with your fellow Dipshit. The stars are glistening overhead, the snow is crunching under your tent, and the soft roar of the highway is lulling you to sleep. Not only do you get to admire the starlight in the dark night, but you get to view the town from a mere 1 mile distance. Ahh – civilization. How far away it seems – a whole 15-minute car-ride. Who needs toilet paper?
Now that you’ve settled down in your tent, on your pad with your sleeping bag, you begin to gently drift into the tense, hyper-aware state of extreme nervousness that all campers live for. This is the time – generally referred to as “night” – when a camper in the middle of the wilderness begins to notice sounds.
At first, these sounds might sound terrifying. Your city-born ears hear an animal rushing up to your tent in the dead of night to riffle through your packs, chew up your extra sweaters with enormous gnashing jaws, and rip your camping cookware to shreds with its razor-sharp claws. It’s a strange quirk of the outdoors, but that enormous creature menacing you at 4 a.m. somehow always leaves squirrel tracks in the snow. Perhaps it was a squirrel. Perhaps it was some other animal walking on squirrel-foot stilts. Who can say. It’s important to not overstretch yourself reaching for a logical interpretation. That’s not the Dipshit way!
The shining moment in any true Dipshit camping experience, of course, is when you wake up the next morning, and realize that you parked your car (illegally) 5 yards from the actual trailhead.
Congratulations! You are a real Dipshit.