By Sam Suva
What do campers love to do? We love camping, gathering around the campfire or on the deck, enjoying tall tales and sharing good times. While there we usually have refreshments, including alcohol. Alcohol is a way to ease anxieties, help to relax and enjoy the camping experience. As long as that is the goal and the final result, alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly. However, that one time that alcohol gets the better of a work camper, it can drastically damage a work camping job or even a future.
Campers enjoy alcohol and beer around a campfire. Driving around a campground from duty to duty can find campers enjoying a tall cool one or a cheery glass of bubbly. Most campers enjoy these responsibly, usually in the late afternoon and evening. While I have seen some campers imbibing at all hours of the day and night, that is a rare sight. Usually the work camper is getting off work around the time that long-term campers and weekend campers are settling in for a fun, active and social evening.
These are people we see almost every day and they are friendly, fun and mischievous. So when we are invited to their site, they expect to see a nondescript tall tumbler in our hand or a beer tucked in a coozy. Displaying the labels of beer or bottle(s) of alcohol are usually against the rules of the campground. We get asked, “What are you drinking?” or “What are you sipping on?” If one comes empty-handed, alcohol is usually offered generously.
Okay, that first drink or sip is probably not going to land a work camper in the back of a police car, but what could we consider? How about “loose lips sink ships?” Relaxing through alcohol could lead to speaking negatively about the campground or about some of the campground guests. It also relaxes inhibition and suddenly we could be bragging about our accomplishments while stunned or annoyed guests nervously look around.
I have personally seen a work camper so drunk they could not put on their shoes the next morning. The campers started streaming in first thing in the morning with many complaints. The young man was let go. We had a couple a few months away from retirement that became so intoxicated that they crashed their vehicle and were asked to leave. Golf carts smashing into RVs, inappropriate advances from both males and females to the opposite sex, and personal injury from drinking alcohol are just some of the stories we have witnessed over the years.
The takeaway here is that a work camper can enjoy alcohol, but its “bite” can be deadly to our RV lifestyle. If a person struggles with alcohol, it is best to abstain from it. It could also be that alcohol is not an issue, but if it does become an issue it is best to get some assistance with managing it. Even if one is comfortable and experienced with alcohol, simply being seen with it can have some unintended and uncomfortable side effects.
See you down the road,
Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below or contact me at samsuvarv(at)gmail.com .
Sam Suva and his wife are work campers. They began work camping more than 10 years ago and have spent a lot of time working as they traveled. In this new weekly feature, they will share their experiences with you, with an emphasis on how to incorporate work camping into a full time RV lifestyle.