Camping has always been a favorite activity of mine, but like most campers, I’ve experienced my fair share of scary camping experiences. One such experience occurred over a decade ago when I was still young. I hadn’t gone camping much, only one other time. I was not so much scared at the thought of camping but disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to play my Game Boy for a week. My parents had described it as a “welcome break” from technology, while I just thought of it as the sole event stopping me from reaching the next level in Mario.
Despite this, as we took the hour-long journey to the campsite, I slowly grew interested in the idea and looked forward to experiencing the wilderness in all its glory. I actually ended up having quite a lot of fun. Swimming in the lake, hiking — even gathering wood for the campfire — camping didn’t seem so bad after all. Then came the point when I had to use the bathroom. Of course, in the “civilized world,” getting rid of your bodily “unpleasantness” was simply a matter of going to the bathroom and doing what needed to be done. I had gotten so used to the luxuries of automatic toilets and running water that surviving without them seemed unthinkable. I walked into what my parents called the “bathroom” and saw nothing but a hole. I looked at the hole and back at my parents utterly aghast, wondering how I was going to use this thing. They explained and left me to my own devices. After doing the deed, I had never felt more dirty in my life and was desperately in need of a bath, or at least an extensive visit to the lake. The deed was done though, and I had survived the worst. Or so I thought.
The day had ended and it was time to go to sleep. As I sat in the shoddily built tent, I noticed some strange noises in the tent. Of course, my parents were in the other tent, and I was stuck with whatever beast the wilderness had decided to bestow on me. I didn’t know what to do, but remembered a book about wolves that explained that they barked to scare off their attackers.
Panicking, I “barked” as best as I could until my parents ran into the tent. I then saw the wild beast and it turned out to be nothing more than a squirrel rummaging through our things. I had enough though, enough of the so-called “bathrooms” and enough of these monsters terrorizing me in my sleep. I wanted to go home.