T's Journey Into Survival Hell - Part 3

Pee Pee Dance Time

I obediently downed my quart of water.  Cody seems like a really nice guy so far but I don’t want to challenge his edict and get on his bad side right off the bat.  And after all, I AM taking this for 2 college credits.   

One quart in about 3 minutes.  That’s four cups of water, people.  Four. Cups. Three minutes. Everyone wipes their mouths and we refill our bottles. From here on out, our water comes from a stream.  I am alarmed to see evidence of bovine activity scattered about and realize that we won’t be the only ones hydrating from Mother Nature.

Cody leads our tribe to a clearing about 50 yards away.  I try to wear a confident expression as I hoist my pack on my back and then pick up my sleeping bag and mat.  I’m not walking, I’m sloshing.  I consider myself a big water drinker but I usually don’t down a quart in a few minutes.  Did I mention a quart is four cups?

We dump our gear in a clearing. Cody is now telling us that our first task as a tribe is to find the best place to set up camp.  You will do this in two different groups, he says.  We count off “one, two, one, two,” only to have a few people forget their number when Cody indicates where each group should assemble.  Maybe their bladders are filling too.

I’m trying to give rapt attention to what Cody is saying but I’m already scanning the wooded perimeter.  Maybe behind that huge fallen tree.  God, what if someone shows up from a different direction.  

“You need to make sure there are no wigglies in the area.  Scorpians.  Snakes. And you don’t want to sleep on an ant hill…,” our leader is teaching.  Oh. My. God.  What if I pee over an anthill?

“And water…you want proximity to water…” We are now about 45 minutes into some pretty intensive teaching and trust me, water is very much on my mind.   A few of the fellows slip away to count their change.  They are back in moments. I want to slap them because they have no freakin’ idea how easy they have it.

I can’t stand it anymore.  I waddle off, probably farther than I need to go, find an area and scan all around.  This is a whole new level of vulnerability.  Finally, blessed relief.  And joy.  Joy that I have the forbidden toilet paper and that I regularly do leg presses and squats in the gym.  

Then the paranoia strikes. What if a critter digs up the TP evidence?  What if Cody happens upon it while he’s scouting about?  I furiously throw more dirt on it.  Then I place a few rocks for good measure hoping the arrangement doesn’t look too orderly and hence invite scrutiny.  I don’t know if Cody has a TP patrol to guard against contraband infractions and I don’t intend to find out.

Then it occurs to me.  My God.  What if those rocks I just touched were used for…


I rejoin the tribe who have since moved to another corner of the field.  Cody looks at me and I pray his wilderness skills don’t include mind reading.