I camped alone in a National Forest.

Alright, you have a few days off between leaving your old job for a new one. What do you do? Play non-stop video games? Take off for a couple of nights at an ocean-side resort? Finally tackle that big project you've been meaning to start? Those are all great ideas.

I didn't do any of those, because I'm weird. I went camping alone in Olympic National Park. Phone off. Sleeping in the back of my truck. Trying to camp.

Although I mainly did this for self-reflection (success) and hoping for an epiphany about the meaning of life (fail), in reality, it was mostly a reminder of what  a terrible outdoorsman I am. Here are some of the more frivolous notions that came to me over the course of my trip.

  • I do not know how to start a fire. 
  • I did not realize sleeping bags are rated for a reason.
  • I did not realize that the new 0-degree rated sleeping bag I purchased was only 64" long. I am not 5'4".
  • I did not take into account camping at 5,400' will be colder than sea level.
  • Camping 45 minutes off the main road in the absolute wilderness, a wilderness full of cougars and bears and aggressive raccoons, does, in fact, make me afraid of the dark. And, therefore, also afraid of peeing in the night.
  • Most restaurants in Forks have a "Twilight" menu. One hotel had a "Twilight" room. I saw photo proof.
  • I felt really rugged in my truck, going 16 miles on a rough, rutted logging road to the campsite. My neighbor had a 90's Civic. I didn't feel very rugged after that.
  • Bees can sting you in the middle of the night. They'll find you. And sting you.
  • A rubber mallet and a screwdriver make an adequate substitute for a hatchet.
  • And of course, I encountered some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen.

So, no, I didn't have an epiphany about the meaning of life. But it was a little adventure. And, truth be told, I re-learned some things about myself I had forgotten. So that was worth it.