I love camping.
Not the kind where you drive your car to a busy park, with running water and giant RVs. I love the kind of camping where you stuff 5 days of food into a bag, with a tent and a compass, and take your canoe out into the wilderness.
This past fall I tried my first solo camping trip! I took a rented canoe, my dog, and headed out for five days in the backcountry. No electricity, no communication, nothing.
I was paddling along a gorgeous, calm lake, I had the whole place to myself, when it occurred to me that if anything happened I would be totally alone. Camping can be dangerous I guess. Then a second thought occurred to me, what if the last person who rented this canoe was eating peanuts? Are my hands covered in peanut residue? Is that even a thing?
In the city, I find I can easily forget about my allergy. It’s second nature to avoid certain restaurants and groceries, I wash my hands often and I know where the nearest hospital is. But out there in the woods I had a new challenge, could I do this on my own? Was I missing risks that I would never encounter at home?
Luckily for me this thought, like all others, was short lived and I was able to get back to enjoying the solitude, and majesty of nature. For me this was a great reminder about life lines and vigilance. It’s easy to take my safety for granted, but it’s never a given. For me to enjoy these adventures I have to spend a little time in advance getting ready. I talked to a pharmacist and my doctor, and made sure I was prepared for an emergency. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure.
If I’m being honest, I did get a little paranoid and washed my canoe paddle at my first camp site, so I didn’t have to think about it anymore.
Having a food allergy is never going to stop me from having adventures. This trip with my dog was one of the most peaceful weeks I’ve ever experienced.
If you want to have a great time, don’t let an allergy stop you. Prepare in advance and get out there and enjoy!
– Jason B.