Oilfield Camper Life: A Man’s Perspective


If you read my last post you will remember that I had been told that I had fractured my elbow. Thankfully, after two trips to the orthopedist they found that it was in fact not fractured. Unfortunately, it still hurts a great deal and I will soon be starting physical therapy to regain my range of motion. The stiffness and pain are greatly inhibiting my ability to type so, for this post, I’m going to let my husband take lead by interviewing him via email about his experience living in an oilfield camper for the past year and a half. You’ve already heard about my experiences, so I figured it might be interesting to hear the male perspective. So, here he is, Mr. Jacob Klipsch:

Me: To start off, Jacob, please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to live in a camper in the North Dakota oilfield.
Jacob: Well, dumb luck, really. My first employers put me up in it, and later abandoned the idea of housing their employees, so they sold it to me cheap. A few cycles of oilfield employees had left it a little road hard.
Me: What has been your favorite thing about living in an oilfield camper?
Jacob: Its paid for, and it allows a kind of mobility that isn’t found in any other professional scenario–if i don’t like my circumstances, I can move the thing easily. Then again, there’s that smell..
Me: What is the worst thing about living in an oilfield camper?
Jacob: It’s small, it’s cold, and everything breaks at the least convenient time. It’s lonely too, but when there’s someone else living there it’s like being in a sardine tin.
Me: Tell us about funniest or most amusing experience you’ve had during your camper experience.
Jacob: Other than my drunken coworker snuggling the lot dog and me getting a video on my phone? Probably Will’s (our son) comment that my roommate needed “to clean it with the mop” on his first visit. I still laugh about that!
Me: What has been the most frightening or perilous thing that you’ve experienced while living in a camper?
Jacob: When the Parshall Cenex ran out of F’reals. No, really–it was probably the time that the heater didn’t ignite and filled the camper with propane–I had a lit cigarette. Fortunately,we figured it out.
Me: Tell us about your plans for the future. How long do you see yourself living in a camper in the oilfield?
Jacob: I have no plans to leave the oilfield. As for the camper, the first viable option I see, I’m taking!
Me: Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your oilfield camper experience?
Jacob: To anyone reading this who is considering moving to North Dakota, don’t. You’ll be killed by drug cartels and roving gangs of locals. All positions of gainful employment are filled. Your tauntaun will freeze before you reach the first marker. (Seriously, it’s not that bad, but it can be rough. That’s why wages are so high. But, if you think you can handle it, come on up. Just don’t underbid me. ).
Me: Finally, sum up your oilfield camper experience in one sentence.
Jacob: It ain’t over yet, dear…
A big thank you to my husband for helping me out with this post. While I fully expected the sarcasm I was a bit surprised at some of the experiences he chose to bring up. (And it made me really miss f’reals since they don’t seem to exist outside of North Dakota.) Anyhow, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I have and maybe even got a chuckle out of it. Thanks again, Jacob, it’s been amusing and insightful.
About chelsea

Chelsea is mama to 4 year old Will and partner to her oilfield man and best friend of 16 years, Jacob. She splits her time between the family’s camper in the North Dakota Oil Patch and a small urban homestead in Kentucky. Chelsea writes about the family’s camper adventures at www.talesofanoilfieldgypsy.blogspot.com. She is a batik artist and loves teaching others about the art of batik at www.beautyofbatik.com. She can also be found working on her other sites www.chelseaniehaus.com and www.urbanagricultureinfo.com. In her moments of spare time she enjoys knitting, sewing and gardening.

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