Don’t Store Your Food Like This!

Mark Wilcox
3 min readMay 25, 2022


Sausages grilled over a campfire

Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas.

Texas has many lakes but every one of them except for Caddo is man-made.

Caddo is in far east Texas on the Louisiana border about 30 miles west of Shreveport. What makes Caddo so beautiful is that the lake is basically an alligator-filled swamp so you can’t swim in it but the edge of the lake is surrounded by hundred-foot-tall pine trees.

I was on a group campout. It was mid-May and the temperatures were already getting warm. The high was low 90s with about 100% humidity so I brought my box of fans with me to keep cool at night.

There was simply no breeze at the park so even though I was sleeping on my cot with a tarp cover, it was still stuffy.

The week before I was camping at Inks Lake outside of Austin but we could just walk into the lake to get soaked during the day.

And there was a breeze coming off the lake so it was comfortable at night.

At Caddo, I had brought my new bear canister. There’s not yet a resident bear population in Caddo though bears are returning to east Texas.

But I had brought it to the show to record some content for a YouTube video I had planned to produce.

I knew there was an active raccoon population at the state park so I left the canister on the picnic table to entertain the raccoons.

The canister wasn’t even touched in the morning so it had done its job.

After crawling out of my shelter, I opened up my truck bed and dragged the box that held my fans onto the tailgate. I was going to swap out a battery for a larger fan I had for the group.

The temperatures we were expecting were going to be warm and a fan makes it easier to enjoy the outdoors without being forced to get in the cars to cool off in the heat of the day.

My friend and I made our morning trip to the restroom.

When we got back, I noticed there were a bunch of food wrappers under my tailgate and a hole ripped in the bottom of my cardboard box holding my fans.

I was shocked to see this because that box should only have my fans in it.

I was wondering if the raccoons had developed a taste for electrical wiring.

But when I looked in my box, I discovered on the previous camping trip, my camping buddy, who wasn’t with me on this trip, had placed a bag containing cookies in my fan box without telling me.

It wasn’t a practical joke, it was a mistake of omission.

So the point is that whenever you are camping, make sure that you always store your food properly.

While this box only attracted a small raccoon, it could have been much worse if we were in bear country.

That’s why I created the course “Camping with Bears” to teach people how to camp safely around bears.

You can learn more here.

I’m Mark Wilcox and I once backpacked 100 miles in 90 days. After 25 years in IT, I wanted more adventure in my life. I want to inspire you to add more adventure too.

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Mark Wilcox

I once backpacked 100 miles in 90 days. After 25 years in IT, I wanted more adventure in my life. I want to inspire you to add more adventure too.