Walmart, Why Doeth Thee Not Have My Ground Blind?

I used to go hunting with my brother, uncle and two friends.  In the Fall of 2014, I decided to get a ground blind somewhat close to when I was going to be driving to a different state to do the hunting.  I checked around and found that I could get one delivered to a Walmart along the way, as I was heading down to the cabin.

You can figure out from the below what happened.  When it did happen I wrote the below and submitted it to their online order website.  I wrote it in one sitting, without going back and editing.  When you read it you will also agree there was no editing, or spell checking, or grammar blah blah.  I just typed, and submitted.

I did not get a reply.


Dearest Walmart,

Walmart, how are you today? Good I hope. It’s been a while since you and I chatted so I thought I would take this occasion to send you an email.

You look nice today, has anyone told you that? No? Well you do.

Love the hair.

Last week I was looking for a ground blind and after much soul-searching I thought “Why not try my good friend Walmart?” It was the right choice. There was the ground blind I was looking for at a cheaper cost than I could get anywhere else!

I should not have been surprised. “Ah, it’s you….” I remember thinking when the realization hit that I would be purchasing my ground blind from you. I was on my laptop with a warm beverage curled up in a large chair on my back deck, the sun streaming through the trees.

A bird was also chirping.

My only concern was if my ground blind would arrive on time to leave for hunting in two Thursdays. Today was Tuesday and that would give 9 days to deliver. Imagine my delight when I noticed that it would arrive at my local Walmart (chosen carefully from the list of nearest Walmarts, all within 25 miles of my current location!) THIS COMING THURSDAY! Clearly doing business with you, Walmart, was the best choice!

I placed the order and went to bed, dreaming of being able to receive my arrival text (neat feature by the way!) and walk into my local Walmart and pick up my pre-paid ground blind! Walking into Walmart and hearing all the mom’s count to three so their kids know they mean business as well as smelling the greeters who curiously have the odor of formaldehyde would be like seeing an old friend after years apart and picking up where we left off!

I would also pick up some toothpaste as I am running low.

I woke up the next morning (hey the start of a blues song!) and checked my email. An order confirmation for my ground blind! Hurrah! I scanned the email noticing the festive logo you now have (kudos to whomever thought of that!) and sure enough, there was my order with the correct amount with a delivery date of …… the following Thursday! What? How can this be? An entire weeks difference? I was panicked, Walmart! I checked the date to be sure and yes, it was for the day that I WAS GOING TO BE DRIVING AWAY FROM WALMART AND TOWARDS HUNTING. I was confused.

I was also hungry so I made some toast.

I went back to and went through the motions of placing another order. Sure enough the arrival date was THIS THURSDAY!


At first I thought there must be some mistake. How could Walmart lie to me? My non-belief turned to disappointment. My disappointment went to dismay. Dismay gave way to a bit of panic. Panic led to anger. Anger firmed up to resolve.

I purchased that ground blind from you because you had the right combination of price and delivery date, Walmart, how could you do this to me?

I better have my ground blind. Fail to get me my ground blind before I drive away, Walmart, and you will wish you had a ready supply of ground blinds on hand just for this purpose.

On my way out of town I am going to stop by my local Walmart and demand my ground blind. Failure to produce my ground blind will result in the following actions.

First I will not give away that nothing is amiss. I will thank the floor manager with the natty pants and back away with my hands held up, keeping my eyes on his in-store communicator. One move and I will duck into the nearest aisle and over a period of time I will make my way to the rear dock, out the store and over the fence.

Walmart you don’t realize I’ve been preparing for this day. For the last six days I’ve been eating four meals a day. Meal 1 is nothing but steak, and a 32 oz. one at that. Meal 2 is Chipotle. Meal 3 is always a bag of 10 White Castles (with onion chips) and meal 4 is a double dose of Metamucil. Six days worth. Showering has not occurred.

The first thing I will do is go to your halloween section and fart in all the face masks. Thick and viscous, the kids are going to be in for a treat when they try on that Spider Man and Wonder Woman mask!

Pleased with my opening volley I will head directly to the women’s section and try on five sets of french cut panties and three pair of Double D hooter hangers. The french cut panties will be put on and sawed back and forth like I’m trying to cut myself in half. When I’m done I’ll be as raw as a dog with a severe case of the mange on his ass that has dragged it back and forth across your living room carpet until it is stained red. The Double D hooter hangers are just because I like to wear them and feel pretty.

I like them plain and not fancy.

Next I will be going into your pharmacy area and opening up the boxes of condoms and replace with them with wet knaps. No disease or pregnancies will be prevented but several ladies are going to have fresh breath!

Mint scented, for your discriminating palate.

Remember my six day meal plan? By this time my stomach will have started to rumble.

Some cramping will occur.

I have two more stops, Walmart, to reward you for causing me to have to leave for my trip without my ground blind.

My next stop will have to be quick as I am having difficulties walking and concentrating with Hurricane Terrible about to come ashore near my sphincter.

I will skip my next stop… the pain will be unbearable.

I will head straight towards your bathroom, with malicious intent.

It may take a while to get to your bathroom, shuffling like a man who has bad knees and a bad back.

It takes a full 15 minutes to get to the rear of the store, only to find out that your bathrooms are at the front.

Walmart I will have arrived at your bathroom to find it has recently been checked by your sanitation manager for cleanliness. I hope for his sake that ended his shift and he is driving very far away with his phone off.

I am feeling cramping like only a new bride gets when she is getting ready to disappoint her groom during their honeymoon trip to Hawaii. Only this compensatory backdoor action will be far messier.

The tremors are increasing in intensity.

The log ride starts before all riders are buckled in place and the protective barrier is down only part way.

Only years of sphincter kegels allows me to remove all clothing and hang it on the provided hook.

Then I bend over and firmly grip my legs towards the bottom of my calves. And I relax. And then push. And I feel six days of layered hell attempting to escape an opening far smaller than the container it resides in. And it gushes.

And then I twerk. Oh how I twerk, dear Walmart! I shake dat ass like only the most desperate single mom can while trying to attract the scant dollars available on a Tuesday up on stage at the local strip joint. I shake it until my lower spine screams in pain.

Yet I continue.

Layer after layer of the foulest substance known to man coats the floor, wall, and some of the ceiling. I shudder with the pleasure of relieved pain, and I shiver as if a fever is about to break.

My tape worms hang on for their lives.

An explosive pocket of gas erupts and the wall looks curiously like a humorously large daisy that has been painted brown and then shitted on and thrown against a wall.

I finish.

My sphincter is burning.

I cleanup.

I leave.

Without my ground blind.

Screw you Walmart, you whore.

I am CERTAINLY not going to buy any toothpaste from you.

This visit.


Hammock Tarp Hanging Strategy – Hammock Ridgeline Plus Slide/Grip Knots

Hike, Bike, Hammock
Hike, Bike, Hammock

Like many hammockers, and campers in general, I’m always looking for a new/better/faster/niftier way to get things setup.  One of the things that always irritates me is getting my tarp centered over my hammock. It takes me several tries to get it where I want.  Meanwhile, it seems that others in our crew just slap the dang thing up and it’s great!  How the heck?

Then I see the below video by Wintertrekker and my whole world changes.  Watch it and pay attention to it all but especially the concept of the continuous ridgeline for the tarp, which I will call a “Tarp Ridgeline” (I know!) from here on out.  While watching it I had a few ideas to not necessarily improve upon what he did, but just to try a few things differently.  Way below I’ll give a few things I was thinking about though I think Wintertrekker‘s versions are better than my alternatives.

In addition to Wintertrekker‘s video, a tip by Corporals Corner takes care of attaching the Tarp Ridgeline to the anchor tree.  That tip is at the end.

Take the time to watch Wintertrekker‘s video then come back.

Some of the great lessons/take-aways in here didn’t really resonate the first time because I’m already doing something similar.  For example, he uses a neat tarp bishop bag and I’m using a snakeskin.  Both work great.  For the purposes of discussion I’m going to list some of the VERY useful things and then some things that just add a nice touch.

But first …. why am I making this article?  I’m mostly doing it to gather all the thoughts in one place and to provide links FOR MYSELF to the knots used, etc. and I figure if I’m going to do that, why not make it so that others may also find value in it?  Wintertrekker took the time to make his wonderful video, and I’ve thanked him for it, so I figure maybe I can add a little value by providing some links.  There…. that’s why.

Knots Mentioned In This Article

Prusik Knot
Trucker’s Hitch
Klemheist Knot
Alpine Butterfly Loop and Butterfly Knot (easier way once you know how)

Major Lessons/Take-Aways

Tarp Ridgeline & Tarp Holder Bag
Hennessy Snakeskins
Hennessy Snakeskins

Wintertrekker uses a nice bishop bag by CCS, I have a DIY snakeskin made by Michael Collins, though I’m getting close to needing to replace mine.  If I do replace mine I’ll either ask Michael Collins if he has something that is close to the CCS version or buy the one from CCS.Tarp Ridgeline – This I was already doing, but more on that below

Tarp Ridgeline

Wintertrekker uses 50′ of 1/8 Amsteel.  I use 30′ of the same.  Before I watched this video I toyed with the idea of a Tarp Ridgeline but how I implemented it was different.  I was not tying off the ends to the trees and then adjusting the tarp along it.  Instead, I would attach the ends of the ridgeline to the edge tabs of the tarp, and be able to pull on the ridgeline in one direction and the whole thing would move and adjust.  I think it was a great idea but failed in reality.  I’m somewhat pleased with myself even for coming up with it.  I’ll bet that if I tried I could find several people who are doing the same thing and can show me how to make it work.

When I watched Wintertrekker‘s video it solved about every pain point that I was having.

Slide/Grip Knot To Adjust

Wintertrekker uses a Prusik Knot hooked to a plastic clip.  The Prusik Knot works very well but it is made for when there could be tension in either direction.  A uni-directional version of this knot is the Klemheist Knot.  It is NOT VERY IMPORTANT for tensioning the tarp, but I put it here just so you can see it and be aware of it.  You may find it useful over the Prusik Knot at some point in your life.

Hair Tie Things

I use a length of thick shock cord to keep some rope organized on the front of my kayak so when I watched this video I thought “Hmm, great idea!”  A great way to keep lines tidy.  I always feel good when things are where they need to be.  I’m unorganized by nature so finding a “method” to help this situation out is a bit of smile to my day.  I’ve heard some say these hair things tend to break so I’ll make sure I buy some quality ones.  Possibly there were using cheap ones?

User Trucker’s Hitch to tension Tarp Ridgeline

Tensioning the ridgeline was something I was looking to solve.  Usually when I had to tension a rope, usually one used to keep a tree stand in place, I’d jerk a knot (loop) and tension against it.  The problem with this method is that once you pull against then it is very difficult to undo.  For my tree stands, I didn’t care.  For a tarp ridgeline, I do.

While practicing some knots I noticed the Alpine Butterfly Loop and thought this had solved my problem.  And it had!  I practiced it a few times and felt good about using it in many situations.  I re-watched Wintertrekker‘s video and took the time to look at the Trucker’s Hitch that he mentions.  Hmm… I like it even better!  When you watch how the knot is being made make sure you separate it into two parts.  The first is how to make the loop.  The second is how to secure it.  I am going to use the first part but may not use the second part.  For certain I’ll run the line back through the loop, as that is the whole point, but then I’ll use a different knot, for which I don’t know the name of.  Terrible, I know.  If I find the knot at some point I’ll update this article.  The second half of this knot is a great way to secure it and is very useful beyond using it for the Tarp Ridgeline, so it won’t hurt to implement it here just to practice.

Smaller Points Made

Use plastic clip to hook Prusik knot to tarp loop

Great way to do it!  I have some soft shackles that Ron Sage made so I’ll use those.  The plastic clips would be quicker but I’m ok with using what I already have.

Don’t Put End Loops Through Tarp Ridgeline in Order to Help with Wind Deflection

I have no opinion on this but I’m going to try it.  It looks cool if nothing else.

Can Easily Run a Clothesline Inside Tarp

Why have I never thought of this?  Am I just an idiot?

Trucker’s Hitch For Tarp Tie-Outs

Or the Alpine Butterfly Loop, whichever.  The Trucker’s Hitch has the added benefit of how the line is secured after making the loop to tension against.

So there you go.  Every now and then you come across a video that just pounds you with solutions.  Wintertrekker‘s video does that, and I thank him!

Now on to Corporals Corner‘s tip!

Corporals Corner uses a Marlin Spike hitch on the anchor end to get a quick release.  He also uses a Trucker’s Hitch on the other end to tension, but we covered that above so I won’t focus on it here.  I encourage you to watch the whole video, or you can skip to 0:55 to where he gets ready to move to the Marlin Spike on the anchor end.

Thanks to Corporals Corner for posting the tip!

BWCA – Resources

There are some very fine resources on the BWCA out there.  I’ll focus on the resources for “I’ve never been, I need to learn and plan this thing out!”  I’ll add to this post as I go. – Massively helpful site that has tools to help plan the trip, find outfitters, etc.  That’s important but coupled with the helpful members in the forum it’s an incredible resource.

I am a member of that site and made an initial post named “Hello, and BWCA in 2019”  Go there, sign up, and see what it’s all about.

USDA Forest Service, BWCAW Area.

USDA Forestry Service – The USDA (Forest Service) manages the BWCA.  The page I linked to has some information, to include a Planning Guide (PDF).  The site also gives a brief background of the legislation that created the area, dates & information about group quotas, and other useful links at the bottom of the page.  Additionally, there is a “Leave No Trace” video that is required viewing before picking up a permit.  More info on that is on the site.



General Links


BWCA 2019 Gear List – Miscellaneous

This is part of a larger series where I am gathering my thoughts on my gear for a Boundary Waters (BWCA) 2019 trip.  See the intro HERE.

Miscellaneous – Anything that doesn’t fit into another category.  Or maybe it COULD fit into another category but I don’t want it to.  I could also create MORE categories but I have more than I really need anyway.

I’ve got a few things on this list and will add to it as I go.

Flat Bungie Cord
Flat Bungie Cord

Flat Bungie – Bungie cords are very useful.  In the multipack I purchased there was an orange one that was the right size to suit all sorts of needs.  I do consider them a luxury item as one can usually work around them, just not as quickly or as “Ah, that was simple!”  If I need to start removing things this would be one to go.  I have also seen the ones that you can adjust.  That looks handy.  If I happen to need to buy some bungies I’ll look into that else I’ll use what I currently have.

Usack S29.3 AllWhite
Usack S29.3 AllWhite

Critter Bag (Need) – This is under this category and not “Food” as I use that one for edible things.  I have not picked out a real critter bag yet.  Right now I use a stuff sack or the like.  I want one that is good for both hanging in a tree or leaving in camp.  With that in mind, the ursack brand bag always comes up when having these discussions.  Some use a canister for this purpose but I’m going to go with a bag solution.  I will take the bag with me on my local hikes (Ohio) and would not take the canister.  I don’t mind buying for a particular trip but I’d rather each thing be more multi-use.

Black Diamong Trail Trekking Poles
Black Diamong Trail Trekking Poles

Hiking Poles (Need) – I have a pair of cheap hiking poles that I bought at a camp store about five years ago.  I expected them to fail pretty quick but so far they have held up very well, even though they are of cheaper construction.  In a few years when I am able to get out and take more substantial trips, such as the BWCA, I am going to get a nicer set.  I like the Black Diamond brand but am open to others.  In the photo to the right is Black Diamond’s basic poles with flicklocks.


Camp Stool
Camp Stool


Helinox Chair Zero
Helinox Chair Zero

Camp Chair – Normally on backpacking trips, I would take a standard folding camp stool.  It’s easy to detach from the pack and rest on the trail and certainly does the job while actually in camp.  For times when I’ll want to be in camp for more than an evening, I’d like something more.  Enter the Helinox Chair Zero.  I researched this brand and model, the REI version, and so on.  I got this one because it’s light enough that I won’t be tempted to leave it behind when backpacking, yet large enough to enjoy.  When I’ve had it for a while I’ll review it.

Ziploc® Brand Slider Storage Bags Quart / Medium
Ziploc® Brand Slider Storage Bags Quart / Medium

Ziplock Baggies – Always useful.  I’ll use them to contain and organize spices, meal bars, snacks, toothbrush and paste, and many other things.  I’ll use multiple sizes.  Additionally, I’ll take some empties in for garbage storage to pack back out.



Oakley M Frame Heater Sunglasses
Oakley M Frame Heater Sunglasses

Sunglasses – Look no further than the Oakley M Frame Heater Sunglasses for me.  YEARS ago I was looking for a pair that would block the sun from the side while on the ball field coaching a base or hitting grounders or whatever else was needed.  Due to the wide bridge of my nose, no other pair would sit low enough to do what I needed.  When I first tried on a pair of these they were everything I wanted….. except for the price.  Back then money was tight and I didn’t want to spend it.  Father’s day was coming up so I figured the reason I needed these was because I’m out there helping the kids, so I justified it and asked for them.  Very happy that I did.  I’ve since had to replace the ear sleeves, nose piece, and a lens, but they have held up great.  I normally wear the lenses shown in the photo above but for a Boundary Waters trip I’ll look to get a lens that works better on the water.  This used to be “polarized” but I don’t know what the “now” is.  I’ll find out.

Earphones – I should probably put these over in “Electronics” since they are useless without some sort of player but that’s not how I think.  I have several pair of earphones and I’ll just pick a pair and take them with me.

BWCA 2019 Gear List

In this post will be all the gear that I know I will need to take on the BWCA 2019 trip.  Most of this gear is on the list because I know what is needed in the outdoors, yet this list will be compared against published BWCA resources to ensure reality and to not assume I know anything at all.  I’ll also break it out into categories as I go along just to organize.  Where I take the time I’ll post a link to the item on,, or wherever it may roam.

One of several BWCAW logos I’ve come across.

As I get a category done “enough” I’ll put it below and link to the post chatting about it.

I have a bunch of categories for my gear.  I break it down like this because that’s how I think of these things.  Have I forgotten a category?  Combined too many things into one?  Let me know!  Additionally, the spreadsheet I keep with all this gear has the weight of each item so I have a generic idea of pack weight.  I don’t obsess over it, but it’s good to have a general number.

Categories Covered “So Far”



2nd Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride Set (10/29/2016)

Not just a pail, a whole bucket.

The 1st Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride was a bunch of very painful fun. The most important part of this ride wasn’t the 100 miler itself, though it was a good milestone, but the riding put in to prepare for it. I didn’t get to ride and prepare how I really WANTED to but it got me out the door regardless.

The 2016 version of the Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride is all about having a goal in sight to get the participants out the door.  In 2013 I had just gotten back on the bike and I was all about just increasing my distances.  That was good and enjoyable but there’s a better way.  To prepare for the 2016 version I’m going to do more “training” for ride.  I’ll make a separate post about that.

With all that in mind the 2nd Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride will be on the 29th of October, 2016.

In 2013 we started out early in the morning (read trip report linked way up there), stopped for lunch, then had dinner after we arrived and cleaned up.  My wife drove down and checked into the hotel and met us as we crossed the bridge into Kentucky.  I don’t see any other reason to do something similar.

So…. it should be interesting to see how much better prepared I’ll be for the 2nd Annual Henry-2-Hofbräuhaus Memorial Ride.

Watch for updates, to include training, progress and more!

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