Charles H. Mertensotto – Camping Meals

A few months ago I was browsing estate sale listings and came across a fantastic deal on a big oak dining room table. I quickly ran over on my lunch break and bought the full set of chairs, table and leafs.

The estate sale was located at the house of one Charles H Mertensotto of Arden Hills. It was an interesting split-level house overlooking Lake Johanna. I could tell pretty quickly that the guy was an avid outdoorsman, there was a lot of old gear for sale. I looked the guy up and discovered that he was in Army intelligence during the Vietnam war! His obituary also mentioned all of the great hiking trips and backcountry meals he cooked during his life.

My friend ended up buying some old sleeping pads and air mattresses from the estate. Inside the bags were some meal plans he made for trips!

I hope Charles knows that we’re putting his table to good use, and that we’ll eat a good backcountry meal in his honor!

2 thoughts on “Charles H. Mertensotto – Camping Meals”

  1. Chuck prided himself on keeping his camping buddies fed and energized, especially as many trips were winter camping, & often near Canada! Brrrr…!!!

    When friends from our neighborhood, around Lake Johanna in Arden Hills and across the Twin Cities got together, it was often at Chuck’s house (at one or TWO of his tables), or he started a plan to gather at a newly discovered or favorite restaurant. He was the glue that held so many friend groups together, and is remembered often. We met him just after he had moved two doors away, and we helped each other recover from a week of Minnesota’s September storms (with a potluck dinner)! Charles had friends from coast to coast and beyond, plus a HUGE family.

    What a surprising thing-to see his uniquely charming handwriting again. Made my day. Really MISS him. Everyone agreed that it would be appropriate to include a giant spoon with other mementos, at his wake and at his memorial service. You’re onto him! He had several gatherings, and many fond memories were shared.

    We all need things like this, to recover from the past pandemic year. You’re a wonderfully thoughtful human being! Thanks again.

    • Marguerite J, thanks for the comment! I was happy to learn more about Charles.

      As an avid winter camper myself I can assure you the table has been put to good use planning winter backpacking trips in addition to many home cooked meals prepared by my wife.


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