Here is the 20th installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at http://1writeway.com and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at http://johnwhowell.com. These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. This list has been prepared for all you campers who will be taking advantage of the Thanksgiving weekend. We hope you enjoy.
10. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not forget to pack a sufficient amount of toilet paper for your stay. Yes, the added bulk and weight of the paper may seem burdensome in your backpack, but you will appreciate the luxury soon after you’ve eaten too much of the wrong kind of berries.
9. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not store your food in your tent thinking it will be more protected from the elements there. If you do, you will likely be rudely surprised in the middle of the night by, at worst, a bear that will find your leg more delicious than your beef jerky, or, at best, a coterie of raccoons who will steal your pistachio nuts and proceed to eat them loudly in the surrounding bushes.
8. If you camp at a primitive campsite and want to explore some of the nearby hiking trails, do not forget to bring a topographical map of the area in which you are camping. At best Google Maps may not be up-to-date on the hiking trails around your campsite and you may wind up walking in circles while your iPhone quickly burns its battery. At worst the Google map didn’t give you a warning about the five hundred foot drop you encountered on the way to the trail below.
7. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not forget to bring plenty of waterproof Band-Aids for blisters. No matter how many layers of socks you wear and how well-broken in your boots may be, you are likely to suffer at least one blister. Without aid, at best you can expect to spend the rest of your camping trip hopping around in burning pain. At worst you will find yourself trying to apologize to your hiking partner for having to carry you the last five miles.
6. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not forget to bring a water filtration system in case you run out of potable water. The water in the creek near your campsite may look clean and pure, but without a filtration system, at best you may end up wishing you had brought more toilet paper. At worst you might get a close up view of the local ER.
5. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not carry a gun thinking it will be sure protection against any wild animals that you may encounter. For one thing, you are in their territory and if it isn’t hunting season, you have no right to be toting a lethal weapon. For another, if you are afraid of wild animals, then you risk shooting your own foot when you awake to a leg cramp in the middle of the night and think it is a bear gnawing at your calf.
4. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not forget insect repellant. Be prepared to apply repellant every hour unless you don’t mind being a blood donor for all species of biting insects.
3. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not think this is the best time to break in those new Keen Ketchum hiking boots you bought for $160. Chances are your feet will wind up in worse condition than is suggested in item #7, and you will be driven so crazy by the painful blisters that you will throw your new hiking boots and maybe yourself off the nearest cliff.
2. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not try to make like Grizzly Adams and befriend any orphaned bear cub or other wildlife you come across. Chances are the bear cub is not orphaned, its mama is in smelling distance of you, and you’ll soon find yourself having to explain to a very impatient mama bear why you have her precious cub in your hands.
1. If you camp at a primitive campsite, do not leave your trash behind. Take out what you pack in. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a Far Side cartoon where the deer and the bear join forces to wipe every trace of you from their habitat.