2010/365/144 Liberated from the “Back Room” – My First Camping Equipment

I have a story.

The house I grew up in Baltimore was a split-level, the lower part was divided in half; the finished half was a family room, the other was "the back room" where the washer-dryer sat, but also piles of stuff, mysterious boxes, trunks, old tools, un-ridden bicycles, metal cabinets with musty coats, the old crib, boxes of Life magazines, some stacks piled high and filling a space you could not even see over.

At times I was curious enough to pull boxes down, off the metal shelves, to see what was in side. One time, I pulled a small box down and found a metal mess kit and this set of metal camping utensils. The snapped together neatly in a stack, moving items from right to left, the knife on the holder, fork on the knife, spoon snapping closed over the fork…

I had never been camping; in fact I did not even sleep a night out in the woods til senior year of high school. So I had no idea why this found object fascinated me, but I did not put them back- I "liberated" them to my own room and piles of stuff.

(I later found out my sisters had gotten these items as part of a girl scout thing they had done years earlier).

I’ve had this since, and once I did start camping, I found them the most indispensable items because they were solid, not only useful for eating, but doubling as cooking utensils, and i am sure my little 8 year old mind had no idea what the bottle opener was for.

Now I do.

So here I am some 40 years later, still using what I lifted from the "back room."

I hope I don’t get in trouble for taking them!


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