I’m one of the lucky 15 percent of people who aren’t allergic to poison ivy. And after hearing Martha ask that question, I can’t thank my skin enough for not needing an ocean of calamine lotion.
But one threat that I can’t avoid is the weather.
While a little rain won’t hurt you, it does render some camping situations extremely unpleasant and awkward.
Whenever the heavens open up and some sort of freakish imported monsoon hits your campsite, I guarantee that there won’t be enough tarps to cover everyone’s tent. Your stuff will inevitably get soaked, and the ground around the campsite will turn into shoe-sucking mud.
The worst part about this situation is that, in an act of desperation, you might be forced to share a tiny tent with your friends and awkwardly spoon someone the whole night. This act might keep you dry, but it will probably make you feel a little worse in the morning.
But the worst threat that you can face while camping is also one of the main reasons that you go: alcohol.
Although you can get alcohol anywhere if you’re old enough, something about combining alcohol, your friends, some pointy sticks and an open fire while in the middle of nowhere doesn’t seem like the greatest idea ever conceived.
My fiancé Tom has begun a camping tradition called “magic drink.” In a 32-ounce generic sport bottle, you combine one part warm Coke Zero to one part Evan Williams. The result is a nose hair-curling concoction designed to get you drunk out of your mind very quickly.
Instead of casting a spell for a wonderfully good time, magic drink usually inspires me to go vomit up hot dogs behind a tree and crawl into my tent early.
But after imbibing magic drink and before passing out, it inspires some pretty bad decisions. I’ve singed off a good deal of my eyebrows on the fire. I’ve tumbled and received a hand-sized bruise on my leg. And I always end up hung over the next morning.
If Bear Grylls could see my slow descent into dehydration, he’d completely disapprove.
But this is where Bear got it wrong: I’d rather die drunkenly blissful in the wild than survive by drinking dung-water.
Oh, and Bear – you can keep those enemas, too.