Signs you might be in trouble out in the woods
It's early December, time when the outdoors autumn beauty beckons to campers, hikers, hunters and those who just like to commune with nature. I'm not sure about your part of the world but in these parts when this season comes round we have more people falling prey to camping and hunting accidents than in any other time of the year. We also have more outdoor-loving folks getting lost than any other time, too. Authorities agree that most people fall into trouble by not heeding their surroundings and the common sense tell-tale signs that can mean the difference between life and death. So in case you're planning a nice venture outside and not quite sure what danger signals to be on the look-out for you may find the following guidelines of value.
Signs you might be in trouble out in the woods
After an unsuccessful day of hunting you return to camp. Upon entering the tent empty-handed your wife greets you with a cold glare, points just over your shoulder and says, “You can take that THING right back outta here, mister!”
After an exerting walk you sit down on a fallen log when your child mentions the cute rattle on the diamond-print seat cover.
While taking aim at a ten-point buck it suddenly glances over its shoulder –opposite your way- screams like a wounded rabbit then bolts, knocking you over as it flees.
The lost "kitten" your children have been playing with is foaming at the mouth.
You see the kitten’s mother and can count every fang in her mouth as she glowers from the branch.
The dial on your compass moves from north to south and stays there.
Your child walks over with an adorable bear cub and pointing past you says, “And that must be its big brother.”
You notice your companion is about to use the last of the Jack Daniels to douse the camp fire.
You’re miles from civilization or nearest stream when you discover your companion was thoughtful enough to clean last night’s plates with the last of your water supply.
While stopping to chat with another hunter you notice a small red dot passing over the top of his head to his brow.
Just as you’re about to go to sleep you notice the outline of your wife’s silhouette outside the tent and wonder where she found the awesome machete.
The flora is getting denser and harder to maneuver through when you realize you’ve not heard the sound of crickets, flies, bees, frogs, birds or any other living creature for over an hour. But that dragging sound in the brush is growing louder by the moment.
The only fish you manage to catch are pre-cooked and still smoking.
On entering the deepest part of the woods you begin to notice the cool primitive artwork hanging from tree branches.
While giving the cell phone a test the battery charge indicator gives off a nicely glowing skull and crossbones.
While returning to camp you notice a bear has got into the victuals your wife packed and just finished off what you started at breakfast. He’s also vomiting and turning blue.
You and your trusty Swiss army knife have been working for ten minutes trying to cut a path through a mass of giant white tree moss when you hear a cry for help from the equally giant fly caught fast in the middle.
You meet a cute little girl in the woods who tells you she’s hungry. You offer her your trail mix when a care-worn faced woman runs up, grabs your arm and whispers urgently, “You don’t want to do that during molting season!”
You are skinny-dipping in a brook and wondering why it's taking your spouse so long to come up for air when you notice the large dark fin splicing through the water toward you.
While trying to figure out the way back to civilization your wife mentions the beautiful flock of birds that have been following you for over an hour, and in circles.
You come across the tattered remains of a small, red-hooded cape.
While looking for natural markers pointing north you find the moss has been sliced from the bark of all trees and in a clean efficient manner that exposes the sap.
The only bear you come across is one that’s been turned inside out.
As you start up a hill you pass a pale, frightened man running past shouting, “For the love of all that’s holy DON’T GO UP THERE!” You recognize him from the local TV news as the fearless serial killing biker reported to have escaped.
On doing an iPod search for map stats of the territory you keep getting redirected to a website called Favorite Traveler Sights in Purgatory.
You’re roused out of a good sleep by the kid begging for a drink of water. As you reach to turn on the lantern you suddenly remember you left your children at home.
You’ve been lost for over a week, your beard’s grown in, you’ve been reduced to sucking the juice out of your chewing tobacco for nutrition and you stink to the high heavens, when lo and behold you find a river and a ferry man to take you across. When you ask the charge he winks and says it’s not his habit of taking money from sweet young things like yourself.
You’ve passed the same bridge four times while following the path of the stream.
By the fifth pass you start over the bridge when you notice the piles of human bones gathered tidily on the other bank.
You are certain you’re lost and are trying to get the attention of that one hunter you’ve followed all afternoon. This time when you see him you notice his jacket and back of his head are identical to your own.
You find an old wallet with Jimmy Hoffa’s driver’s license in it.
It’s night when you spot a brothel strung with festive twinkling lights in the middle of nowhere. While you are impressed the industriousness of the staff you can’t help but wonder how these diminutive ladies expect to get any business what with their bald heads and huge grey eyes.
Your compass dial begins to spin uncontrollably.
Your compass grows so hot it burns your hand.
You’re looking for anyone with a working phone or a bite of food to spare when you come across a cottage made of candy.
You meet up with a group of weary travelers who introduce themselves as the Roanoke Colony.
You accept a ride into town from a shaggy but seemingly friendly hippy. Only after you get into his green psychedelic van do you notice the seats are upholstered in Great Dane pelt and there is a bloody ascot hanging from the rearview mirror.
©2011 by Beth Perry