lifebeyondexaggeration

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Twiggy Tornado August 16, 2016

I’ve slept some very strange places in my day. I slept on the floor of a tour bus for a few months, airports the world over, lean-tos, and even a VW van at a youth hostel. But the worst, or maybe best if you’re searching the annals of your life for new blog material, is the time I built my own shelter out of sticks.

It was an overnight camping trip from my summer camp in Maine that I signed up for specially. In camp we stayed in nice cabins with toilets and showers and all the fancy things in life. But this overnight trip was going to be roughing it. Real hiking, building your own shelter to sleep in, and cooking over a campfire. Out of the whole camp only two girls signed up, but I was super stoked to prove that I was just as outdoorsy as any of those boys.

We left camp in a rickety, fifteen-passenger van that was probably not safe for children to be in and drove out to the wilderness. We found a place to pull off the road and hiked around a bit. I don’t think we were really supposed to be where we were. There we no markers for trails or a sign saying we could camp there. I think we were illegally squatting on someone’s land and the camp hadn’t cared enough to ask the counselors where they were taking us before we left camp.

Once we found our less-than-legal home for the night, the head counselor started teaching us how to build our emergency shelters. You had to use a big stick to make the top, lay smaller sticks against it to make the sides, and finally pack it in with leaves for insulation. A decent concept in an area where there are no deadly bugs or snakes that might have wanted those snuggly warm leaves for their own evening shelter.

We all built shelters and went to make our dinner over the fire. The counselors told us wonderful stories of survival before setting up the tents they were going to sleep in for the night. That’s right. They were going to sleep in tents. And they had graciously brought one extra in case any of us couldn’t hack it for the night.

Of course, all the boys immediately started going on and on about how that would be the girls’ tent ‘cause the two of us wouldn’t be able to make it through the night in our shelters.

That’s when it started to rain. (more…)

 

Camping with Zombies March 7, 2016

I’ve been spending a lot of time in Southwest Florida this year, and I’ve noticed something strange.

Okay, noticed is really the wrong way to say it. More like my overactive imagination and zombie obsession have come together to form a theory.

There are lots of “camping” places here where the RVs seem to have taken permanent roots. Or rather sunk into the ground. The siding has sagged and stretched until it covers the wheels. And by stretched, I mean the owners have added bottoms to hide the mobile-ness of the campers, removing the original purpose of having a home with wheels. They’ve added gardens and sheds. A porch roof that definitely wouldn’t make it down the highway. Normally, I wouldn’t care if décor had completely obliterated function, but after careful consideration, a camper would be the best form of housing in the zombie apocalypse. (more…)

 

Car Choices in the Apocalypse (Or Is a Hummer Worth It?) May 11, 2015

A few weeks ago, I saw a Hummer driving down the road. Naturally, the conversation moved to questioning the need for such a large vehicle. Does it have to do with the size of genitalia? Is it about showing off how much money you make? Cause I mean seriously, outside of the military, why would you actually need a Hummer? And then I realized why Hummers are necessary.

The Zombie Apocalypse. (more…)

 

Killer Shoes June 25, 2014

Filed under: Myths and Legends — meganorussell @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I have a problem. Well, I suppose it might be more of a conundrum. What shoes would I wear in the Zombie Apocalypse? Now, I don’t mean should I wear the strappy sandals or the red pumps. I mean would I be better off in sneakers or snow boots? (more…)

 

And Then You Die October 26, 2013

My mother has always been a Girl Scout. She even became a leader while she was attending college in Arizona. She took the girls on all sorts of adventures. Camping, caving. She even organized trips to England.  And of course the girls learned lots of lessons under my mother’s ever watchful eye.

When some people think of Girl Scouts, they think of cookies and sewing, which my mother did with the girls, but most of the time they were learning survival skills. In case you never had anyone like my mother around or have never camped in the desert, there are a few things that you need to know to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Always bring lots of water. It’s a desert. You’ll get dehydrated. And then you die. (more…)