By: Yelin Gemma Lee, Arts & Culture Editor
The best thing to do in summer is to go camping. There is nothing more peaceful than being out in nature with your phone on airplane mode and having deep soul-searching talks over the crackling fire. If only bugs would stop getting in the way of this pure unequivocal joy.
As a person who experiences an intense case of bugphobia, there is nothing more terrifying to me than those . . . pests. I just don’t understand why they have to be all up in my grill. “LET ME ENJOY NATURE!” I remember screaming last summer when I met an earwig in the shower. I know what you might be thinking. If you don’t like bugs, don’t go where they live. That’s the thing though: those territorial motherfuckers live everywhere, even in my own apartment.
But instead of cowering, I will teach you to fight back. The wanna-be-outdoorsy-Vancouverite edition.
Money can buy you courage
Last summer, my biggest purchase of the year was buying my own camping equipment from MEC, and now I can’t chicken out of going camping even if I wanted to. It would make no sense logically or financially. Did I build up my camp-fantasies by watching Laid-Back Camp, an Iyashikei anime? Absolutely! Who wouldn’t want to make s’mores by the fire with your unlikely friends? Did it make me have rose-tinted glasses about camping? A little bit. Nonetheless, investing in high quality equipment is the only thing giving me the courage to go camping sometimes. So, it works.
Study your opponent’s go-to moves
When you’re on enemy territory, you have to scope out the situation over there. You have to know the lay of the land, where their weapons lie, and what kind of soldiers they have coming to the front.
Is there a body of water near the campsite you’re booking? Mosquito city. Look up the times in the day that are the worst for the mosquitos to be out and light a massive bonfire to kill those scrawly-looking Edward Cullens.
In fact, put your tent as close to the bonfire as possible to get the best effect. If your tent lights on fire while you’re in it, at least you will be free of those creepy little things leaving their mark on you.
Mosquitos aren’t the only thing you have to worry about. The biggest concern is when you have to go to the bathroom or shower. When you’re in your most vulnerable state: naked and afraid. I take 5-minute military showers and somehow at least one bug gets all up in my grill WHEN I’M NAKED. Who does that?
Campsite websites are never detailed about this critical information, they just say whether or not they have a bathroom and a shower. They don’t tell you if it’s an open concept with no roofs and a fluorescent fucking light attracting everything that flies, crawls, scatters, and sludges. Which in my opinion, is awfully suspicious of the campsite workers — whose side are you on? If you want to know, you just need to call. It works . . . sometimes.
Unfortunately, my partner said the camp worker hung up on me because they thought it was a prank call. But I know better. She was on THEIR side, protecting top private information from getting out to their enemy. Well-played.
If you’re in the trenches like me, the only advice I can really give you is to bring plenty of bug spray, citronella candles, blowtorches, bug traps, and holy water. If anything is swarming you or crawling up your legs, remember all bugs are scared of excellent dance moves. Proceed to aggressively Irish jig or tap dance, and may the hymns of death be your music. Whenever you open your tent flap to go in or out, make your body as straight as a pencil and torpedo your way inside, whipping around to zip the tent shut within split seconds! It takes some practice, but you’ll get the hang of it one day, young brave one. If you see me on your campsite this summer, sprinting like a track star, it is probably because a wasp is chasing me. I am pursuing nature, and running from it. Mind your business.