Like many students at Kenyon, the outdoors scare me. Going out of range of a strong WiFi connection is extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone without proper training. However, I understand that there are some who are daring enough to risk life and limb by going out into the wilds which lie so close to our school. Yes, I am talking about the BFEC. The 380 acres of untamed, uncharted territory given to the school by the Brown family are tempting for some who want to venture off this hill, but the journey should not be taken lightly. Here are some tips for surviving a BFEC excursion:
Be prepared for anything: Never go down to the BFEC with just the clothes on your back. Even the shortest trip could end in disaster, so be prepared for anything mother nature could throw at you. You never know what could happen, so you should always bring a backpack packed with warm clothing, food, a flash light, a flare gun, a sleeping bag, and a tent. Also, don’t forget a raft in case of a flash-flood and snowshoes in case of a freak blizzard. Although gear from the Outdoors Club will do in a pinch, Walmart is known for their top of the line camping gear. A Walmart tent will keep you safe in any weather and a poncho also doubles as a statement fashion piece!
Do your research: You should never step outside without knowing exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Luckily, there are lots of books written about camping and general adventuring. Study up on local edible plants and learn how to track animals. Read about other people who have gone camping! One book with a lot of great camping tips is Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. I’ve never finished the book and have no idea what happens at the end, but Christopher McCandless is an expert camper who you can learn from!
Know how to behave around the wildlife: The BFEC is teeming with vicious wild animals, and you should be prepared to face them. If you encounter a bear, snake, wolf, crocodile , or other dangerous animal, make sure to hold eye contact with it for as long as possible. This will show the animal who’s boss. If you can’t get the animal to respect you, however, challenge it to hand-to-hand combat or a children’s card game. Warning: Squirrels should never be approached or challenged. If you see a squirrel at the BFEC, run as fast as you can. They are the most dangerous of all woodland mammals.
Bring a friend: Journeys into the unknown should never be attempted alone. Bring a friend to make your trip safer and more fun! You and your friend will have loads of fun singing loudly, playing Poohsticks and getting up to general shenanigans down at the BFEC. They are especially helpful to have around if something goes wrong! You and your friend can brainstorm and work together to get out of any situation. And if nothing else, you friend can always be used as bait, food, or sacrifice in case of a true emergency.
You are now ready to plan a trip down to the BFEC! Make sure to keep these tips in mind, stay safe, and have fun!