Roughing It

Ever been camping? I have. Once.

We did it the old fashioned way: A tent with some blow up mattresses and a campfire. There was no rolling RV  like cousin Eddie from “Christmas Vacation” with a built in toilet with fine china and table linens.

We went camping when my son was two, did the s’mores thing, did the hiking thing, did the baseball and all the little kid stuff things that little kids like to do in 95 degree mosquito infested heat in August.

So, needless to say, we didn’t do it again. However, I came across an article in the Oprah magazine that made me feel like I was ill-prepared for my camping trip so, so, sooooo long ago.

Yeah, I brought the bug spray, sunscreen and enough food to last thru a nuclear disaster. But, Oprah’s list added a few more things that I would never even think of bringing and probably still wouldn’t bring if I would go camping TODAY, because then I wouldn’t be able to fit everything into a backpack. The stuff they listed would require a luggage check.

I travel light. I don’t like to carry alot of crap with me. When we went to Maui for ten days, I went with a carry-on. Two bathing suits, two pairs of shorts and three shirts. Oh, and one pair of sandals. Since we had a washing machine at our disposal, why pack for a full ten days?

So, here’s their list….I wouldn’t have thought of any of this shit. Some of it makes sense, but the other stuff is just like making your kid wear bubble wrap when they ride a fricking bike.

  • Tweezers. A girl can’t go anywhere without plucking her eyebrows, but just in case you get a tick in that right eyebrow, you have tweezers to remove it.
  • Alcohol wipes. I typically like to drink my alcohol out of a glass, but Oprah recommends wipes for cleaning scrapes and tearing into tinder to start a fire….whatever the hell that means.
  • Medical ID card. Good point. In case some psychopath decides to kidnap me and leave me dead in the woods, someone can find a medical ID card on me and see that I’m an organ donor. That is of course, if all of my organs are still intact, not removed and placed in a freezer somewhere.
  • Garbage bag. I can see how this would be helpful. You would undoubtedly have garbage on your camping adventure with all the beer cans and bottles of rum. However, Oprah is so resourceful! (Don’t you just love that about Oprah??) A garbage bag can turn into a poncho by cutting a hole thru the front of the bag near the bottom of the seam and you can slip the head over the bag – but be careful not to suffocate yourself.
  • Cotton balls covered with vaseline. I wonder how long it would take to do this and then pack it? Apparently, vaseline is another way to fuel a fire and you can also lubricate blisters.  Jesus, what happened to matches, lighters and Carmex?
  • StarFlash Signal Mirror. Yep, this would be good to use to flash the sunlight in that attacker’s face so you can blind him and get away. It’s also a good distress sign. How so? I have no clue unless you know Morse Code. Does anyone in a campground know Morse Code? Think about it.
  • Waterproof bandages. Keeping cuts protected during torrential downpours is extremely important. Keeping cuts protected during tornadoes is also extremely important. So make sure when you purchase bandages it says, “waterproof and tornado proof” on them.
  • Benadryl capsules. Notice they didn’t say liquid. God forbid someone drinks it thinking its booze.
  • Folding blade knife to fend off those “Deliverance” attackers while you sleep in your tent. That little knife along with your medical ID card will not only protect you, but also let someone know who you are after you’ve been dismembered….by your very own folding blade knife.
  • Sparkle Fire Starter. It produces a fire even in pouring rain. I like this. I like this alot. You can get it at
  • Energy Bar. With all that running from the “Deliverance” attacker, you’ll be needing some energy on the run (literally).  Oprah suggest natural Honey Stinger bars because they have a 12 month shelf life. But, if you’re being chased by someone who’s eventually going to kill you, the 12 month shelf life really doesn’t matter, now does it?
  • JetScream Whistle. With a 122 decibel shriek, it can be heard for miles. Apparently, the rule is to blow the whistle three times and wait for a single long whistle in response. Is there a GPS attached to that JetScream Whistle? I bet my voice is around 120 decibel’s…. What do I do once I blow it? Wait for my attacker to attack me, or just run around in a circle?
  • Imodium tablets. After being attacked, I’ll probably have to take a crap….if I already haven’t. Did my Medical ID card indicate I had IBS? Shit.
  • Blaze orange or fuchsia bandanna and a few safety pins. Ok! Now, we’re talking stylish! Neon colors are back in, but only if you want to soak it in water and put it around your neck to cool off. Of course, this will give your attacker a good way to hang you. But, you can also use it as a flag to wave into the air along with that energy bar as you’re racing thru the woods being chased after the “Deliverance” guy who wants your organs to freeze for later use.
  • Lastly, Aquamira tablets. This is to protect yourself from unpurified water. So, I immediately think of the movie, “127 Hours” when I hear this. Enough said.

As you can see, I’m not all that crazy about camping in the woods. At night. In desolate areas. Not far from prisons. Or crazy people.


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