Camping season starts next week and that only means one thing -- or two: funny stories and free stuff!

Here's the deal: We want you to send us your camping fails (misadventures or mishaps you had while enjoying the great outdoors). When we're done laughing at you, we'll throw your name in a hat to win some sweet camping gear from Washington Hardware and Furniture in Kennewick: a pair of camping chairs, a lantern and a 'Lodge'-brand Dutch Oven pot to use on your next camping trip — which will hopefully won't suck as some of these ones did!

In September 2008, I was camping with some friends up at Tucannon (NE of Dayton). Late the first night I tripped on a rock around the campfire and landed on the fire pit! It had a grate over top, so my left hand ended up looking like a flame-broiled Whopper! I finally gave in to the pain at 2am and was driven to the ER in Walla Walla (almost 2 hour drive!) with my hand shoved inside an ice chest. I had 2nd degree burns on my hand and spent about $550 on the visit. Then, to top it off, when we got back to the campsite the next morning, I realized I had lost a hubcap (another $80!). At least my friends were impressed that I'd come back to camp the rest of the weekend even with 2nd degree burns!


The first time my family took my boyfriend camping with us it seemed like a regular camping trip. That all changed Saturday night when some of us were around the fire and the rest were making dinner. My young cousin found one of those monster cans with the lid and tossed it in the fire. Nobody thought anything about it... until it started to make some sort of wheezing noise. Then all I can remember is a hot wave of heat flash across my entire body and spinning around as fast as I could. The monster can had gasoline in it and exploded because it was a sealed container. I thought I was ok until I heard my family screaming at me to roll on the ground and everybody was chasing me. That's when I realized that I was on fire! So I rolled on the ground and immediately my uncle hands me a beer and I finish it off. Good ol' uncles. I didn't burn any skin, only the left side of my hair and most of the back of my jacket.

sand dunes

Unfortunately I don't have pictures but last year my family and I went camping out at the juniper sand dunes. We decided it would be fun to go camping in march....So since we didn't have a camper we went out and got generators heat lamps and free standing heaters. We also purchased a large 8 man tent 2 10x12 canopies and 1 large carport canopy the ones that are like 18x20 or so. It was a long cold weekend but on the last day as all the ladies got things ready the men went out on the dunes with their bikes. While they were gone a strong wind came out of nowhere and ripped through our camp site. It Literally threw everything 6 feet in the air when the tents and canopies crashed back down they all broke. There were other campers in the area but no one bothered to see if we were ok. We had to pay back friends we had borrowed the smaller canopies from and had to take all of our merchandise back to the store. We came out of that camping trip in the negative but it made for a great story!

When I was about 8 years old I went camping with the family and all my parents' friends. There were 3-to-5 other children there and we were doing what all kids enjoy doing: playing with the fire with a stick. Clumsy me -- oops my stick broke  -- and my hand went into the burning ashes and I burnt nearly all the skin off my hand! I remind you we were nowhere near a hospital so my wonderful mom had to play doctor for the trip!

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