Yes ladies and gentlemen, today’s entry is a very special treat: How [not] to go camping, with a bonus of an additional How [not] to run a 10k in your Halloween costume! Today’s bonus double-post-in-one is full of intrigue, suspense, character development, overly dramatic breakup letters, cats clogging up railways, and even the brief appearance of he-who-cannot-be-found!
Without further adieu, I present you with today’s How [not] tos with the sincere hope that you take the guidelines here to heart, should you ever be put in a position of going camping, hiking, or racing in a Halloween costume.
Hiking and Camping
One of the best ways of enjoying the great outdoors starts, in fact, with going outside. From there, you have various levels of hardcore-outdoorsiness to choose from: walking around the block, jogging through a park, or camping in the wilderness!
#1: Leave superfluous perishables like cameras and flashlights at home. You’re hiking and camping through untamed terrain! Who knows what kind of lion, tiger, or expensive-electronics-killing beast might jump out and frighten you when you least expect it! You could drop your utterly irreplaceable and totally-not-generic birthday present you got from some close friend or family member or someone whose name you’ll totally recall once you have a chance to think about it!
Don’t worry, your flawless memory and cat-like nighttime eyesight will more than make up for the absence of your precious electronics. How do you think our prehistoric ancestors enjoyed such organized camping trips? You don’t see any Canon snapshots of velociraptors anywhere, do you? That’s what I thought. Besides, not bringing your superfluous and unnecessary-for-survival commodities along will help out with this next point.
#2: Less is more–coordination, that is. Yeah, you’re going camping with some good buddies, so shouldn’t you talk with them beforehand? Naaaah. In fact, communicate with them as little as you possibly can in the weeks leading up the excursion. Everyone’s stressed out enough; they don’t need your whiny problems on top of that! Bring what you obviously need to bring: food, water, and clothing, and let natural selection sort out the rest.
Plus, minimizing communication beforehand heightens the anticipation! You know how some brides-and-grooms-to-be don’t see each other in the days leading up to the marriage? They’re saving it for that lifelong journey they’ll be taking, just like you’re preserving the magic before the journey of hiking and camping! Don’t pop everyone’s euphoria bubble because of some triviality like “are you bringing matches or should I”, “it seems silly for all six of us to pack 1-person tents”, or in particular “where are we meeting and when”. Let nature run its course!
#3: Zero fun sir! This is a hardcore workout, not some vacation for you to “recharge” and “enjoy yourself”! And yes, the two concepts are mutually exclusive! You and your sexy significant other may indeed be going on your inaugural camping trip with a married couple who happen to be two of your dearest friends as well as camping experts, but that does not mean you are to enjoy yourself! No sir, we came here to work!
Yes, the greatest test of whether or not you’re doing the camping and hiking thing correctly is if you’re having fun. Especially if you had fun over literally the entirety of the weekend: if you somehow manage to have fun amidst the gusting winds, the exceptionally muddy plains in the first 5 miles of hiking, the impassable river, he absolutely breathtaking vistas, and the camaraderie of doing something challenging with some of your bestest friends ever, then you need to stop right away and go back to your air-conditioned, Facebook-inundated, couch-potato lifestyle, because you clearly aren’t cut out for being HARDCORE!!1
(Conclusion: there literally wasn’t one thing about this weekend I didn’t enjoy, and I can’t wait to do it again!)
The Terrifying 10k
We’re all thinking it, but everybody lies about it: running races is boring, a waste of time, and a frivolous expenditure of a not-insignificant amount of money that could be better spent on things like candy bars, a better smartphone data plan, or two more minutes at college. Still, many of us have a façade to uphold.
Similarly, Halloween is yet another one of those overly-consumerized holidays that teaches us that, without money, we literally cannot have any fun in this world. Anyone who wants to be someone has to spend hundreds of dollars on a really solid costume, or risk getting your ass kicked by the duet from TRON:Legacy.
#1: Don’t wear a Halloween costume. Go against the establishment! Rebel! Revolt! Revolutionnnnnn……ate! Seriously, no one else running a race they think is boring on a holiday they can’t stand is going to spend hundreds of dollars on both events simultaneously, right? They’ll bandit the race and show up wearing the running clothes they pilfered off other races they bandit-ed. Or something.
Indeed, you can kill (or at least maim) not one, not two, but three birds with but one stone: bandit the race and save yourself money (down with the 1%!), protest Halloween, and still maintain your appearance as an avid runner! Such a clean and elegant solution.
#2: Party? What party? The whole concept of a Halloween party is a symptom of the aforementioned issue of consumerization. Not only is the pressure higher than that of a race to appear in costume, but you often have to go through the time and money of purchasing food and drink to bring along. That stuff doesn’t grow on trees, you know!
And once you’re at the party, you have to pay the psychological cost of enduring the arduous socializing and frivolity that supposedly characterizes such get-togethers. Why pretend to have fun and spend craptons of cash when you could stay at home with your own bowl of candy?
Which leads me, inexorably, to the pinnacle of Halloween’s how [not] to’s:
#3: Don’t participate in trick-or-treating in any way. It only encourages and perpetuates the shallow and tasteless traditions that have sprung up around this utterly pointless and arbitrary alignment of solar bodies.
Don’t have candy ready for trick-or-treaters. Don’t go trick-or-treating. Keep your porch light off, your children indoors doing their homework (or chores if their teachers aren’t doing their jobs and have assigned no homework), and definitely do not go to a dear friend’s house and hang out on their porch with a giant bowl of candy, conversing with passing trick-or-treaters and generally spreading good Halloween tidings.
Definitely do not watch How I Met Your Mother afterwards. It only leads to laughter and good times. Horrible, terrible, awful laughter and good times.
(Conclusion: The race was fantastic, our Halloween party immensely enjoyable, and Halloween night was filled with adorable children, amiable parents, and good friends.)
If you disobey any of the above points, ninja kitteh will find you!