I arrived at Chicot on Friday evening. I set up camp but that was mostly all there is to Friday. There was some mild socialization, but I came to find that the Louisiana Hiker’s Club was mostly old guys who drink beer in social circles. I didn’t fit in, though they were all nice.

I did meet two women who were camping near me. We enjoyed sitting by the fire and getting to know each other. I thought they were mother/daughter, but they were actually former roommates with a strong bond. Gus actually bonded with them really well, too. They babysat Gus for me so I could go to the bathroom or participate in events in which Gus was not permitted.

Saturday was a day of events. I participated in the Compass class, somewhat in the dutch oven demo, viewed the products/demo by the Backpacker and participated in the Ramen Noodle Cook-Off, and of course, the pot-luck dinner.

The compass class was pretty enlightening, actually. I knew how to use a compass, in theory. I knew that a compass always points north. I knew roughly how to find direction in terms of the cardinal directions. Bearings, on the other hand, completely different ballgame. In fact, one of the class teachers from the Backpacker was rather confused by my compass. It’s a bit different than the basic ones they were using for the class. However, after the other instructor got us straight on how to read *my* compass, I feel like it turned out to be much simpler than the one they were using in the class.

I decided to participate in the Ramen Noodle Cook-Off. I can’t cook. Barely half of my homecooked meals are even edible. Let’s just say, I didn’t have high expectations. At the same time, I was disappointed. I was sorta under the impression that we were to cook as if we were on the trail. Everyone had large propane burners. I cooked on a Sterno oven. I had my campstove with me at my campsite. I wish I would have taken it to the competition.

Over all, I found the event fun. I just wish the rules would have been a bit more clear.

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I made an Asian-ish type noodle. I added green cabbage, purple cabbage, carrots, jalpeno beef jerky and soy sauce.

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Above is what I made for the event.
I did a sample cook the otherday using regular beef jerky and found the dish to be rather salty. When looking for a flavor, I found the jalpeno flavor for a little spice and thinking it wouldn’t be as salty. I was right. Below is my sample cook at home on the back porch.

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We had 3 judges for the event. Notably, one was Chef Avery from Master Chef Junior. Check out this video clip from Fox.com.

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Overall, Campfest was fun. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll ever go again, though. I am completely flabbergasted at how many outdoor enthusiasts are rude towards dogs. If you don’t welcome my dog, then you don’t welcome me. That’s just the way it is when it comes to camping/hiking. No doubt, I completely understand that not everyone likes dogs. I understand that some people are downright afraid of dogs. However, I found that many people were rude and even to be considered quite nasty in regards to Gus. I could even understand if Gus (or other dogs) were unnecessarily yippee or were repetitively barking. That was not the case. In fact, the dogs that were present at the event were all really well behaved. The children at the event, on the other hand, were rather unruly. In fact, there was one girl that was completely unsupervised walking around begging people for food and would not listen at all. She said that her parents were no where to be found as they went hiking and left her with a locked car and no food. Then, when she asked to pet Gus, I politely told her no and tried to explain that he was stressed out. (It was middle of the day/hot and I was in the process of getting him shade, water, and a snack. So, then she took it upon herself to get in his face and try to pet him anyways. Leash your children. The only leash a dog needs is exceptional training.

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