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Oh, the darkness

One of the very first and most important inventions of mankind is fire, and you might think of it as an uplifting, spiritual component of camping.

But I now think of fire as a single point of failure of camping. Having remembered to bring coffee, mocha, water, a stove, a car, a cup, a can of soup, a spoon, and even propane, you might think that the consequences of forgetting a lighter would amount to at most a 10% reduction in the fun-ness of camping after dark. But folks I'm here to tell you that it causes problems all out of proportion with the amount of space that it takes up in the car.

So on my first night of camping I had no way to start a fire to heat soup or even warm my hands. (Well, no practical way. My car's cigarette lighter is sitting at home in my garage, but something else on my car does heat to over 451 degrees F. And I almost did it, I almost kindled a fire by touching a paper towel to my turbo, but then at the last minute I realized that an engine compartment fire is exactly the sort of thing that I wouldn't want to trade for hot soup. So I went to bed.)

However, one piece of ingenuity that I did execute was to make a lantern out of my drinking water and my flashlight. That's what this is:

So I was at least able to read and use my camera.

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