[Hpn] Teaching Camping Skills

HOBOMATT@aol.com HOBOMATT@aol.com
Wed, 20 Sep 2000 08:57:18 -0400 (EDT)

unclescam@buskers.org writes:
<< after years of listening to the older vagabonds/knights of the road and
 watching the gypsies. i learned
  i think an education is the only way to solve these problems. we have
 the means and
 facilities to help educate those close to being houseless on how to
 survive. outreach amongst the
 poor has too often been ideology and politic instead of practical. we
 started to discuss squatting
 but never got to figgering how to disseminate the information.. likewise
 camping.  to teach
 the newcomers how, would alleviate some of the stress of unknowing. >>

Around 1980, I spent a year or so trying to teach effective camping skills to 
those living rough in Colorado Springs. Things like using clean water, food 
safety,  basic field sanitation, light and sound control, and a number of 
other safety/comfort measures. Having spent time with REAL hobos and having 
been a medic in the Army (including VietNam); I knew how to camp well and 
more inportantly, inobtrusively. I was doing this because at the time, our 
only shelter facility had 49 beds and when they were full, they were full. 
There were a lot of folks who could not get inside who wanted to. 

The results of this little bit of domestic Peace Corps work? Nil, nada. Took 
me a year to figure out you can't do much of anything to help people who are 
getting drunk everyday. Most of the folks I was working with were winos. 
After a year of trying, I feel you can safely say: "You cannot teach camping 
skills to winos".
Matt Parkhouse, RN; Colorado Springs, CO