A-Camping We Will Go!


Take a deep breath.

Do you taste it? The city air is like bitter ash in your mouth. It’s made your body soft and complacent. Your mind is slow. Your genitals? Useless.

But not mine. I’ve recently discovered the joy of camping!

Nothing quite beats a return to the wilderness, where it’s only your survival instincts, your training, and your survival knife (with leather multi-positioned sheath, sharpener stone, and firesteel) separating you from almost certain death. Only $155.95 on Amazon.

And you’re going to need it, as in the wilderness—or “wild”, as I like to call it—danger surrounds you at all times. Not only are our local woods packed with feral cats, fugitive turtles (the risk of having a nearby “trauma centre”), and college kids looking to party, but sometimes it’s the woods itself that is (are?) cause for caution.

Ask any experienced woodsman—or “wildsman”—and they’ll tell you, every square inch of the out-of-doors is a potentially terrifying survival situation.

Those gorgeous Northern Hackberry trees that surround you are positively swimming with disease, and one false move can lead to squashings, impalement, or the dreaded “tree rot.” Ever have to hack one of your own legs off because it’s rapidly turning to wood? I thought not.

But it’s not all blood poisoning, diarrhea, and bodily transmogrification. Returning to nature has countless benefits. You’ll never feel more wonderfully insignificant than when lying prone under the stars, the infinite majesty of the cosmos reminding you that the world will keep spinning, even after your flaccid, flabby corpse has rotted away to nothingness. Also, you can make s’mores!

Not one for roughing it? No worries! Just because you’re miles from civilization shouldn’t mean you don’t have access to fresh water, wifi, or USB ports. I mean, it should, but it doesn’t need to. Portable generators, solar panels, laptops, and an ever-present iPhone will keep you infinitely tethered to the civilization you’re so desperate to leave behind.

And don’t forget the food! The forest is a veritable cornucopia of potentially lethal delights. Will that mushroom provide essential nutrition, or leave you in intestinal distress? Will those berries provide a quick, sweet treat, or provide you with crippling dysentery? It’s a fascinating game of Russian roulette with your bowels on the line, with only a half-read book by that Survivorman guy separating you from almost certain death.

So throw away your map, tell your compass to “suck it,” and put the terrifying Blair Witch out of your mind!

Camping is like increasing the difficulty level in your already brutal, punishing life; and while learning to start a fire with a condom full of urine has few practical applications, you’ll inevitably emerge from the wild happier, healthier, and with lungs practically filled to the brim with bug spray/Roundup/fresh air.

Settle into your cubicle on Monday morning with the smug satisfaction that things could be a whole heck of a lot worse. At least you don’t have to shit outside.

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Doug Tilley

Doug Tilley


Doug Tilley is a lifelong geek, and an occasional pop-culture writer and podcaster. You can find his work on DailyGrindhouse.com, where he regularly writes about microbudget movies and film-makers in his No-Budget Nightmares column. In 2011 he began the popular No-Budget Nightmares podcast with Moe Porne, with a second ludicrous podcast - Eric Roberts is the Fucking Man - following in 2015. According to friends, he's a pretty cool guy.