Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nocturnal Scamperer

For that realistic camping experience
  [vote for,

Ever been to one of those public campgrounds with groomed, level campsites, roads, electricity, running water, and a built in grill? Conspicuously low presence of ‘wildlife’, isn’t there?

Some (including myself) enjoy *actually* roughing it in the great outdoors, but scale back considerably on many an occasion due to sporadic spousal amenities addiction syndrome.

Scamperer to the rescue... Works when you’re not *really* roughing it, but also works when you are. This flexible hexapod style robot with sound capabilities is covered in a thick layer of stiff fur that doubles as toggle switches triggering a change in direction when brushing up against something. A homing device and many different animal behavioral / audio attributes ship standard - programming interface included of course.

At bedtime, simply switch on the transmitter attached to your cooler, switch on the Scamperer, and ‘off’ it goes. It scampers out into the woods until almost out of range of the transmitter, then returns about an hour later softly crunching the leaf covered ground beneath as it makes little sniffing and clicking noises. When in close proximity of the transmitter, it quietly shuffles around using species appropriate patterns for several minutes, occasionally brushing against the side of your tent and letting out an audible ‘sniff’ here and there. It then heads to the cooler and makes a scratching noise before scampering off into the woods again. Ahhh, the great outdoors – I love that sound.

An hour later, it returns. This time you hear a slow methodical leaf crunching, accompanied by the sound of grunts, heavy breathing, and sticks cracking loudly. You hold your breath in fear as it approaches your tent. It knocks over your cooler and wanders about the campsite a bit, but without actually opening the flap of your tent... you’ll never know for sure.

<spouse whispers and frantically rattles me> “Honey wake up! I think there’s a bear outside!” - “No worries Dear, climb into my sleeping bag, we’ll be just fine.”

Again… Ahhh, the great outdoors

Shz, Mar 03 2003


       "Honey wake up! I think there’s a bear outside!"
'No worries Dear, climb into my sleeping bag, we’ll be just fine.'
"Should we put out the campfire?"
"Oh, dear!"
'Sweetie, it's just a rob-
'I'm calling Westwor-'
*Remember, only YOU can prevent forest fires*
thumbwax, Mar 03 2003

       Hmm, sounds more like a possum to me.   

       Incidentally I haven't ever found there to be a lack of wildlife when camping in Australia. Too much if anything.
madradish, Mar 03 2003

       Likewise US campgrounds - they're full of raccoons.
hippo, Mar 03 2003

       Hmm, sounds more like the drunken antics of a student to me.
Jinbish, Mar 03 2003

       Never been camping in Australia, though I’d like to – they always make me stay in hotels.   

       There’s raccoons in the areas I camp (usually north-east US), but they don’t seem to come into well developed campgrounds. I suppose if you left garbage out overnight you could bait them…or slept next to the dumpster…
Shz, Mar 03 2003

       Waht happens if your Scamperer scampers past someone else's tent, and that someone is just a trifle nervous and trigger-happy ? I can't see one of these things retailing for less than a hundred US dollars, and it could get kind of expensive ......
8th of 7, Mar 03 2003

       That’s one of the best features… The ‘skin’ (fur-covered top and sides) is actually a kevlar wrapped balloon with a pressure gauge and a counter. Upon retrieval the next morning, look at the display to see how many times it was hit. Great fun!   

       But besides that, although the direction it leaves in is random, it does travel away and back in as straight a line as possible, so even if ‘bumping into’ another campsite, it wont be there long, and probably won't get hit too often. It only ‘hangs around’ by my tent.
Shz, Mar 03 2003

       // wont get hit too often. It only ‘hangs around’ by my tent. //   

       So most of the bullets miss it, and it's hanging round by your tent ......   

       What's wrong with this picture ? Anyone ?
8th of 7, Mar 03 2003

       …Meaning most people won’t have time to get their gun and fire a clean shot, as the Scamperer passes through their campsite too quickly. Unless you keep it by your side [8th], which wouldn’t surprise me, you’re going to be shooting at a fair distance, at a fairly small object weaving through trees, in the dark.   

       Most shots will miss, and I won’t shoot at it, as it’s my creation and I’m expecting its recurring presence.
Shz, Mar 03 2003

       //Most shots will miss// the intended target. Will the bullets then drop at a 90 degree angle straight to the ground?
thumbwax, Mar 03 2003

Shz, Mar 03 2003


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