I will say one thing about camping with my buddy, you are well protected.
My friend is what is known as a gun enthusiast. In other words he has enough fire power to repel the entire zombie apocalypse by himself.
Of course, he has all the proper permits, certificates and qualifications to be a one-man army. He is an avid hunter so the guns are more than just for show.
When life was not so busy, we used to get our families together to lounge in the wooded hills for a few days to forget about life's woes and sip upon fermented fruits, hops and barley.
Often we would go 'bush' camping, at a forestry site far from the mainstream campsites where your neighbour is two feet away.
This was real camping where the only water you had was what you brought with you and the only food is what you prepared before you left. There was no concession, no market to run to for a latte and no flushing toilets.
Yup, it was camping where men were men and you were pitted against the elements. Of course, if the elements got too bad you jumped into your trailer and cranked up the furnace, but still you were communing with nature away from the mainstream crowd.
We were still in the wilds of the province, a long way from civilization and in the backyard of woodland creatures that do not care humans are the dominant species on the planet. Once you enter the forest, you become part of the food chain, not the master of it.
We are only dominant because of our brains. When it comes to muscle, tenacity, power and ferocity we skinny, weak little humans are no match for woodland masters like a bear.
I read if you encounter a bear you are supposed to not panic (yea, right), walk away slowly (yea, right) and talk calmly to the bruin (yea, right). I wonder if urine would act as a bear repellent because there would be plenty of that around me.
They also say you are supposed to throw an item to distract the bear – like a hat or a jacket or someone from the next campsite.
No, when you are that far in the woods, you are no longer at the top of the food chain, unless you are camping with my friend.
You see my buddy, Mark, does not just bring the regular camping accessories such as folding chairs, hot dogs, marshmallows and other standard gear.
Sure he has all that stuff, but he also packs something with a little more kick – like a 12 gauge bolt action shotgun which is ideal for campsite defense.
If we went to a provincial campsite, he would leave the weaponry at home and just bring his standard load of food and booze, but if we were venturing off the beaten path, he would always be packing heat.
If an aggressive bear, wolf, squirrel or gopher did show up, Mark would dispatch it without hesitation.
But in all our years of camping, Mark only grabbed his shotgun once when a big black bear was meandering through the campsite, but despite sniffing a few things and having a look around it really did not bother anyone and Mark was not forced to go Rambo on it.
In fact, he has never had to use the boom stick to defend the campsite, but you know what they say, better heavily armed, than sorry.
Copywrite 2014 Darren Handschuh