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Rangerly Advice
by Ranger Rigged Strong winds can break tent poles. The combination of wind and rain can flood your tent. Use rebar bent into a "J" for tent stakes. Attach your tent to the j-bars with locking carabineers. When a storm strikes, take out the tent poles, unhook the tent from the j-bars and toss everything into your vehicle until the storm passes.

Pull up the j-bars later by tying them to the towing brackets under the bumper of your vehicle and slowly backing up to loosen the j-bars. This is a two-person job--one person drives and the other directs. Don't use stretchy cord for this job. It will stretch and break before pulling out the j-bars.

Keep a set of clean clothes in a plastic bag in your vehicle. Whatever happens out on the playa, you'll have something clean to change into when you hit town.

Not everyone likes the taste of energy bars. Put dried fruits, nuts, Japanese cracker mix, pretzels, Fritos, bits of jerky and similar snack stuff in a sandwich bag to tote around with you. Don't use stuff that will melt, like chocolate or carob chips. Snack as you go. It will keep your energy up and your electrolytes in balance as you drink all that water.

Avoid blisters by wearing clean socks and switching shoes every day. If you get a "hot spot" on your foot, cover it with a piece of mole-skin. Keep your feet clean and moisturized with lotion.

Showers aren't always possible on the playa, but baby wipes are great for keeping the wobbly bits clean and fresh without using your precious water supply. Just be sure to pack them out with you--don't put them in the potty because some brands don't degrade quickly. Even the ones that do won't degrade quickly enough and might clog the hose when the potties are emptied.

Some of us are on a tight budget or don't want to deal with icky grey water from melted ice. Use two ice chests. Freeze some plastic bottles of water in your freezer at home. Put dry ice in one ice chest and food in the other. Put the frozen water bottles in with the food to keep it cold and put more in the chest with the dry ice to keep frozen. As the water melts in the food cooler you can swap the melted ones with frozen ones in the dry ice chest or drink the cold water. Bags of ice will stay frozen in the dry ice chest for those times you want ice cubes for cold drinks. Think of the advantages: No icky grey water to contaminate your food supply; nice whole ice cubes for drinks, and no messy cleanup later.

Wind storms cause flying debris. Avoid being a target. Drop to one knee with your back to the wind. Keep your head down. This makes you more streamlined. Most debris will slide over you.

Wear lights at night. It makes you visible to people on bicycles and other vehicles. If you and your friends wear distinctive sets of lights, you'll recognize each other--even from a great distance.



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