Image: The Pacific Ocean near Big Sur, CA is a turquoise rivaled only in the tropics
The plan was to stop over for a day or two at
I found a place to camp about 20 miles south of
After setting up camp, I hiked some lovely rocky mountains with views of the Pacific. I descended to my campsite just as the sun was setting. When I got back to my campsite, I realized I had a pretty big problem. I had forgotten to bring water, and the campground (like many out-of-the-way sites) had no running water.
I was thirsty, and wanted to drink something right away, but I had no choice but to wait till I could boil some water from the creek that ran past the campsite. I unloaded my pallets and was faced with the awful truth: I had forgotten matches. My entire plan depended upon my campfire. I would need to boil water to drink and cook my food over the fire. There were no stores and no other campers.
That’s when, in an act of desperation, I decided to try the electric, popup, cigarette lighter in the dashboard. If it can light a cigarette, surely it can light a campfire. Two hours later, after making countless trips from my car to my campfire holding a wad of toilet paper with a few precious embers, I finally succeeded. From then on, I’ve always carried a lighter in my glove box.
- A lighter, matches, or both
- At least a gallon of water per person
- Toilet paper (doubles as kindling)