In college, I needed to take 3 credits of PE in order to graduate. Now normally this would not be an issue, we all had or have to take classes in college that we really don’t want to. You just suck it up and take the courses and be done.
But I was in the nursing program. The nursing program had a very ridged schedule and there were only a hand full of classes, besides the nursing ones, that fit into this schedule.
One of these such classes was, Outdoor Activities.
Now I need to stop and explain something about myself. I am not what you would call an ‘outdoor’ person. I like being outside but only for the purpose of laying around in the sun, oh and watching the kids. I am not very athletic, not into hiking and not into camping. Bugs scare me. I tolerate animals. Darkness and the noises that ‘nature’ makes in the night freak me out. I know it is cliche but the saying, ‘My idea of roughing it is a hotel without a pool’ really describes me to a ‘T’.
So that being said, Why on earth would I sigh up for a class called Out Door Activities?
Well, it was my Junior year and I needed to get my last PE credit done and this was the one and only class that worked in my schedule. So I was stuck with it.
The class didn’t start out so bad. The first few weeks were learning how to use a compass and survival stuff like how to make water safe to drink. But about 4 weeks into the class, I found out what the final exam was.
It was a 2 day, 1 night pack in pack out, 10 mile hike/camping trip. Where all the survival skills that we learned were suppose to be demonstrated. We were going to be ‘roughing it’.
When this was announced, most of the class cheered like second graders for a pizza party. But me, I broke out in a cold sweat and had one of the two panic attacks that I have had in my life. I had to excuse myself to the bathroom because I thought I was going to vomit.
Needless to say, I was NOT excited about the trip.
The trip was set. There was no way that I was going to get out of it. I had a little less than 2 weeks to get ready. First on the agenda, choose a partner who knew what the hell they were doing.
So the time came for the trip. Most of my class mates were really excited. We were loaded onto buses and driven about 2 hours north. The plan was this, camp along a known hiking trail and hike the 10 miles to the top and canoe back down river.
Since it was late afternoon when we arrived, we would hike for 4 miles and then make camp. The next day we would hike the rest of the 6 miles to the river and then take a canoe back down the river to a set location where the vans would be to pick us up. We had to carry everything we would need for the next 2 days on our backs. The idea was pack in pack out, meaning what your brought with you was to be brought back out.
To put it politely there were NO modern conveniences including bathrooms. You had to go? Take a squat my that tree over there.
In the interest of your time, I will now list all the reasons this was THE MOST MEMORABLE camping trip I have ever taken.
- new hiking boots that gave me blisters that I still have scars from.
- Rain, lots and lots of rain.
- Losing my camp site in the middle of the woods with memories the Blair Witch Project fresh in my mind.
- Dehydration. I had the bright idea of not bringing enough water for the trip so that I would not have to pee in a hole in the ground.
- Bladder infection because I held it too long thanks to fact that I used to have a shy bladder and was not able to pee around other people.
- No way to clean oneself
- Not able to get water to boil to make Mac-n-Cheese and therefore going hungry (who brings mac-n-cheese camping?).
- my partner leaving me to canoe with a hot guy
- strong wind gusts tipping the canoe
- the vans being an hour late to pick us up
- riding in the van with broken air conditioning with 14 other people who were just hiking and had not showered in 2 days.
So that pretty much sums it up. I will NEVER go camping like this again. Now when I go ‘camping’ it is in a cabin with air conditioning, a stove and a bathroom with a shower and when I ‘rough it’ that means no air conditioning.
of the prompts at
Writer’s Workshop hosted by Mama Kat.