Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

I'll be back

Glad I got a gander at the new site before I take my “electric vacation”. I will be shutting down all electric media at my place this Friday just to get away from it all for a while. I’m planning on at least a month. maybe more. Have fun all!

So, when you come back, I’d like to know:
Have you done this before?
So, no telephone, tv, computer, radio?
Sounds pretty rustic, I’m envious!
Can’t wait to hear how it goes.


from time to time i’ll do it for a week without shutting things down. I decided to try it for longer this time and save on a cable bill.

I will keep the phone on for emergencies and can plug in a radio if there is threatening weather. I also will use my ipod still for studying songs. Just really getting away from tv and internet.

Back when I was primarily concerned with chasing trout, my wife and I would live in a tent for a couple of months every summer. Living without electricity will certainly reset your clock and rearrange your priorities, but I think I’m too soft and old to pull that off, now. Nowadays, my electric vacations just involve unplugging my amp.

Yeah Larry, this is how we “camp” today. But I still remember very well how we would throw up a lean-too next to the creek and strain our coffee through my T-shirt. And dinner only came to us if we caught it from the creek. Now, well lets just say I’m a lot older

Looks like you really rough it, Stich!
We’ve been going to the Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, Kansas for about 18 years and we rough it less and less every time. I started out sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag and now we are on an air mattress and are looking at getting a pop-up. Old age is a bitch!

I got to admit to owning an RV, too, (though not as nice and new as your’s, Stich). We’ve gone from mocking the RV’s to becoming RV’ers.

Gas is too expensive these days to roll it out west, so about the only thing we use it for is for multi-day music festivals. But it sure works great for that. Sure is nice going in a private bathroom instead of an overused Porta-Potty.

Sounds like you’re almost ready to make the jump, Jim. Bet a pop-up would work great at Winfield.

Thanks guys. My wife thinks “ruffing it” is anything without room service. :wink: But I know different as she and I both camped out in the woods with nothing but a tarp and sleeping bags about 45 rears ago. Wow, time sure changes a person. But I love her and she deserves the best that I can give her, thus the Motorhome and her private bath.

You know just like we have a lot of fly boys on here, seems that a lot are “true to their roots” also.

My case in point is that I love to chase trophy whitetail deer. Well when I do this it is on 600 acres of private property in another state where I have a 1950’s something camper that I purchased to tear apart and make a trailer out of to haul stuff on (pull behind flat bed) but instead decided to gut it and re-do it. I placed this on the property and vowed to never run electric to it. Well I sometimes hunt for 3-4 weeks straight and go that long without electric (no crapper either, I gutted it). My friends say I am crazy for doing such, but to me it kind of helps me focus on reality and reinforces in me just how good we have it. Can’t say I call it a “cleansing” or anything, can’t say I do it to save money, but instead kind of prep myself or remind myself on how things could be.

One life event I had (and I have had and done a lot just to be in my 40’s, Ben got an exceptional kick out of me delivering my youngest of 3 kids on the bathroom floor!) is that during the first gulf war I was with 7th corp, you know the ones that swung around to the left and flanked in on the Iraqi troops…well I went 34 days without even a wet cloth to wipe myself off with or any electric, water was a resource that we had limited supplies of and in order to survive we could only consume it, not bathe with it…it wasn’t you that smelled bad, it was everyone else! But at the end I survived it and came out of it fine…I guess my camping with no electric and “roughing it” is simply a test to see if I still “have it in me”. Even one of the local farmers whom is a “homesteader” and catches rain water to flush his toilets with in order to do his part and “conserve” resources thinks I am crazy not to run electric to my camper!


Great stories. I’ll add mine. Back in the 80’s I got tired of the city life and bought property up in the mountains. Beautiful piece of forested land with a year round creek. Well, I built a small cabin mostly off the land and what I could scavenge. Even used my Alaskan saw mill to mill up the local Cedar trees. No electricity or water so I designed a hydraulic pump that worked off the fall of the creek and pumped it up to a holding tank for gravity feeding the cabin. Had to get drinking water elsewhere but this worked great for washing and such. Built a real nice outhouse too. I acquired a 1914 Wedgewood cook stove and an old Gbison Ice box that the local grocery store would allow me to freeze up blocks of ice in their walk in freezer. Heck, it worked great and milk would stay cold for at least 5-6 days. All cooking and heating was done on that old Wedgewood and some really great meals where the result. My kids (two boys and a girl) still talk about those days in the cabin and how much they learned about actually surviving in adverse conditions. I’m a lot older and hopefully a little wiser now and don’t look back with envy on those days but it sure was a great lesson for the kids and I’m not sorry I did it.
Yes I still live in the mountains but in a real house with flush toilets and all. :laughing:

— Begin quote from "Banjo Ben"

I’m packing up the 172 and flying to Stich’s place when all hell breaks loose around here!!!

— End quote

You’re all welcome here. Just remember to bring the ammo :mrgreen:

I’m a little late to the party… fiddlewood, I hope all is going well.
As for my roughing it story: I lost power AND phone service for several hours once. But it was ok. I survived on Sonic food during those trying hours.

— Begin quote from "fiddlewood"

Glad I got a gander at the new site before I take my “electric vacation”. I will be shutting down all electric media at my place this Friday just to get away from it all for a while. I’m planning on at least a month. maybe more. Have fun all!

— End quote

Wonder how things are going, might have to try it sometime.

I know! When I go on vacation every year, we go to Ocean Isle Beach in North Carolina, I spend the whole week without my cell phone, not watching TV, not reading the paper, not checking email, and etc. It’s amazing how tied into the whole techno thing we have gotten, without even noticing.

Wow, This thread has not only continued, but made it to the new forum as well!

what a handy place to announce my return to electronic society…

when I first turned everything off I found I kept reaching for the remote to the TV for about the first four days…never realized how much I had the thing on until I turned it off!

I’ve spent more time on music and the property and have learned quite a bit more banjo but had to figure out where to look as I usually watch the tube when picking :laughing:

It’s good to be connected again now that it is not such a habit. Still don’t have the TV hooked up though…maybe in a couple weeks,

Welcome back!

Welcome back, fiddlewood. Good to see ya back on the grid. :slight_smile:

Good to have you back, Dave. You’ve only got about a thousand posts to catch up on. There will be a quiz tomorrow.

Oh yeah and Ben had a brand new baby girl. Oh wait, you weren’t gone THAT long, sorry :laughing:

thanks guys!
It will be a while before I catch up on things; pretty busy outside this time of year. Lots of projects going around home, and of course several hours/day of banjo pickin’