A recent post on the BCUSA forums about being afraid or nervous when alone in the woods has really got me thinking…
I spent a lot of time in the sticks as a kid with dad and granddad, as a teenager and young adult. Quite a few trips I’ve taken in my adulthood where solo. Sometimes just for the day and other times over a night or two. I am fairly comfortable in the wilderness and respect it enough to know that if I am being dumb, it can hurt me. Otherwise I know if I am being careful and mindful, I’m going to wake up the next morning.
But there is something that I’ve been battling mentally lately. I want to leave the tent at home and go with nothing but a tarp to protect me from wind and rain. I want to forgo the sleeping mat and replace it with a hammock. Sounds easy right? What about that Mountain Lion or Black Bear that decides my rear end hanging from a tree looks like an easy and tasty snack!?
Now, I fully understand that a tent is absolutely no protection from a curious black bear. If he wants to see what is inside the tent, he is going to. Nylon and mesh fabric are not going to stop him. It’s the false sense of security that helps to put ones mind a little more at ease, and may just be enough to help you get a good nights rest.
In the end I’ll get that hammock, and go out and survive. Maybe I wont get as much of a good rest as I would otherwise – but what I do know for sure is that I’m safer out there than I am walking around downtown Tucson in the daylight!