Our theme for SysAdmin Appreciation Day on July 31 was camping, because after spending months cramped in our homes, many of us dream of heading to the great outdoors, where we can trade emails for s’mores, and status meetings for…well, anything is better than status meetings, right?

And so last month, we asked you to share your best camping trip story. As we had hoped, the stories were GREAT. Here are some of the highlights (or maybe lowlights, since a few of you ran into some interesting challenges!):

  • Ron, who came home from a camping trip with little splinters in his hands, because he wanted to chop and handle all of the wood without gloves “like a real man”. Sometimes real men cry, Ron!
  • Ben Liebowitz, who went on a so-called “snake hunt” as a kid with his Boy Scout troop, only to discover that what he feasted on was sausage instead of snake. Hey Ben, some people around here are terrified of snakes and would have just gone home!
  • Thomas Higgins, who amazed his fellow campmates by cooking delicious fire-roasted pizza. Way to go Thomas! Maybe you can come and cook for us one day? Please? Pretty please?
  • Philippe Nault, whose worst nightmare is getting a flat tire with his camper on a busy road. We hope this nightmare never comes true, but just in case, make sure you have your emergency flares and road kit ready.
  • Marcio Furukawa, who blew us all away by sharing that he hiked to an altitude of over 15,000 feet in the mountains of Peru. Wow Marcio, that sounds amazing and truly life-changing.
  • Jim Mac, who earned his permanent spot in the Camping Hall of Fame by chasing away a bear with the sheer primal power of his snoring. Hey Jim, maybe you can record yourself sleeping and sell an audio of your snoring to campers as an anti-bear solution!
  • Kjartan Konradsson, who braved the elements by going winter camping to Vatnajökull, the largest ice cap in Iceland. The scene must have been spectacular Kjartan, and one that you’ll never forget!
  • FFournier, who enjoyed camping in France. Yes Francois, as far as we’re concerned, if there’s a tent then it’s camping — just ask Sysadminotaur’s Maurice!

We also heard from Germano Saffier and Shiam Beeharry who said they’ve never gone camping. Our advice is simple: go for it! There is nothing like it. Sure, there are some inconveniences like bugs, and sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. But the experience is always memorable, and you can meet some wonderful people.

The Winners Are…

Now, to announce the two lucky winners who will each receive a $25 Amazon gift card…drum roll please…congratulations to Zack and Jim Mac. Please email me to claim your prize.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in the poll. The August poll is on the way — please stay tuned!