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“THE HAPPY CAMPER” by Fink of Oceania


This essay pertains to the skill of Camping, as distinct from the practice of camping, the latter meaning to stay in one location and either repeatedly kill mobiles, kill players, or simply wait out some event (eg: a house collapse or an artifact respawn).

Camping is one of a handful of overlooked skills in Ultima Online. This isn’t without reason; the skill is very limited in what it does and there is little incentive to grandmaster it. But if you appreciate the quirky and diverse nature of UO, or you’re building a character that’s just a little bit different, or even if you just want the convenience of what it does, you may find Camping suits you.
What does Camping do?

Camping allows you to log out quickly, as if you were at home or at an inn. Significantly, this also applies even if your character has a combat flag on them. The moment you log out your character disappears from the game.

This is a helpful ability for traditional adventuring without recall/gate such as exploring Ilshenar or other overland areas. Also handy for switching combat characters relatively quickly, or for logging out on a ship.

What equipment do I need for Camping?

Kindling – may be bought from provisioners or harvested by using a blade on a tree. Don’t use an axe or you’ll get the message “The axe must be equipped for any serious wood chopping” OR, if you have the axe equipped, it will try to harvest lumber. This seems to be the case for all axe types but thorough testing is needed. You can also make kindling from logs/boards with a fletching tool, no skill is required.

Bedroll – available from provisioners. Also available as a semi-rare drop via Begging the elves of Heartwood

What is the Camping professional title?

Ranger. People may think you’re versed in Animal Lore because of the similar title. Avoid confusion by offering to set fire to their horse.

How does Camping work?

To make camp, you need kindling, harvested from most trees via the use of a blade. Kindling may also be bought from provisioners.You may place the kindling on the ground or leave it in your pack, either will work. Double-click the kindling until it ignites. This will place a campfire at your feet.You will hear the message, “You feel it would take a few moments to secure your camp”. This marks the start of a 30-second timer. If you haven’t come to grief within that period, you will hear, “The camp is now secure”.

At this point, you may safely log out. This is done by dropping a bedroll on the ground, double-clicking it to open it, then double-clicking again to log out. You will get a “connection lost” gump; don’t worry as this is normal.

The character you just logged out is safely removed from the game world. Others will see you simply disappear.

Can I “make camp” without real skill?

Yes and no. If you’re a human you have 20 skill from the “Jack of All Trades” bonus, so yes. Elves are all-round useless and must have actual skill to attempt to make a campfire.

There are no items that increase Camping skill with the possible exception of some event rares or the like (if anyone has information let me know).

As failing to ignite kindling does not consume it, you can easily get by with low skill; just keep trying until you get fire. This means there’s little reason to GM Camping other than the novelty of it.

The amount of skill you have in Camping determines how successful you will be trying to light a campfire. The waiting period is a fixed amount, the ability to log out is neither enhanced or hindered by skill level.

In fact, if you are near someone else’s campfire you too will be able to log out when the camp is secure. This means a party of adventurers may all rely on one member making camp. So long as everyone has a bedroll, they can all log out safely together.
Who should take up Camping?

Anyone who has the skill points to burn and the desire to use this ability from time to time. As said, humans needn’t bother training at all; they have a 20% chance at starting a campfire through the “Jack of All Trades” skill bonus.

One character type that suits Camping very well is the so-called “useless skill” template. These are usually cobbled together out of similarly orphaned skills by veteran players who have “been there, done that” and want to try something a bit different.
What skills work well with Camping?

Begging is a natural choice for partnering with Camping. A Beggar is traditionally not very well off in terms of housing, and the bedroll may be the only place the Beggar calls home.

Hiding’s a good one. You can hide while you’re waiting to log out. When you log in again you’ll be hidden and won’t be ambushed by any loitering hostiles.

Cooking, too. Being able to set a fire to cook on is a handy skill. Unfortunately you can’t bake on a campfire, but perhaps some day with enough nagging we’ll have portable camp ovens.

Fishing. Camping on a ship is handy if you’re the type to go to sea for long voyages between ports. You can also cook your fish on the fire.
Where can I use Camping?

Almost anywhere. It’s handy for logging out on a ship, in the middle of a cross-country trek, or just for the convenience of not having to go home or to an inn.

It’s especially good for characters without the ability to recall or mark runes, just for “saving” your point in the game without having to run back to a safe house.

There may be applications for fighting characters as you can log out even when combat flagged.

Some locations are simply difficult to Camp, such as Dagger Isle. This is because the island has no trees from which to harvest kindling; you’ll have to bring some from another location.

Certain locations are forbidden to Camping, and you will receive a message “There is not a spot nearby to place your campfire.” Known no-go zones for Camping are:
Dungeons – Felucca & Trammel
The Lost Lands – Felucca
Lost Lands Passages – Felucca & Trammel

Can I Camp with Pets or Followers?

Unfortunately, you can’t Camp with pets (this includes mounts). If you have any followers, including summons or hirelings, you simply won’t log out quickly.

Which NPCs train Camping?

Gypsies. These can be found at random spawn locations or in NPC-rich locations such as the town of Cove. That said, Camping is extremely easy to gain at low levels so buying up skill isn’t entirely necessary. It takes about 9 minutes / 100 kindling to reach 35 Skill.

Currently there is no training quest in New Haven for Camping.
Quirks and Other Notes.

NPC-bought kindling stacks as a resource. Player-harvested kindling doesn’t stack with itself or the NPC type, but it is cheaper and more broadly available.

Kindling weighs 5 stones per pile whereas a log weighs only 2 stones.

Kindling only comes in plain wood variety, no special wood variants exist.

When used bedrolls change orientation in both the open and closed positions, seemingly at random.

Bedrolls with the “acquired by Begging” tag will lose this property when used.

“Burnt wood”, the final stage of a campfire, can be picked up, traded or locked down. The burnt wood is only temporary, however, and will eventually disappear.

Last modified: February 11, 2013

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