Gee, That Plant Sure Does Look Tasty (No the Hell it Does Not, you Chris McCandless, Yuppie, Wannabe)
If you haven’t read Into the Wild, then please do or at least see the movie. The long and the short of it can be broken down as follows (and I apologize to Jon Krakauer in advance): Some yuppie, trust-fund, kid is disenchanted with modernity ( boo-hoo), so he walks in the Alaskan wilderness with basically zero survival supplies or knowledge. And, guess what? He dies. Shocking, I know. How, you might ask? He eats a plant that he thinks is edible. The lesson to be learned from this tragedy (and it is, indeed, an avoidable tragedy) is that you should never eat anything in the wilderness that you are not 110% sure is edible. Never. Ever. The end.
Leave Bambie and Thumper the Hell Alone
Deer, bunnies, and marmots-Oh my! There are many animals in the outdoors that may seem relatively harmless. So much so that you might be inclined to approach them, pet them, feed them because they’re SO FLUFFY YOU’RE GONNE DIE (Despicable Me reference, anyone?). Whatever you do, DON’T! Deer can charge, bunnies can bite, and don’t even get me started on marmots. According to my good, and hyper-outdoorsy friend, they’re pure evil. Leave the critters you come across in nature well enough alone and they might just do the same for you. Unless you want a gnarly animal bite or a hoof to the head.
Some Dumbass Didn’t Use a Bearbox
The Department of Parks and Recreations gives you camping and backcountry guidelines for a reason. If they tell you to use a bear box, make you aware of mountain lion sightings, or issue an avalanche warning for a specific region, you best pay attention. Otherwise, you’ll be dinner or a popsicle.
It Says “No Trespassing” for a Reason
I’m a southern Indiana girl and you best believe we did our fair share of trespassing to find mushrooms on a hunt, catch some fat catfish, or 22 a squirrel but that doesn’t mean it was right. There are signs in nature and with good reason. Some signs are meant to protect you. Others are meant to protect the wildlife and plantlife. Whatever the reason, if you’re fishin’, hikin’, mushroom huntin’ or all of the above and you stumble upon a sign with some version of “Keep the Hell Out” written on it, take heed. Or you might just end up staring down the barrel of a shot-gun or walkin’ off a cliff.
Where There’s Thunder
There’s lightning. This is something my grandmother used to say to me when we were mushroom hunting. Metaphorically speaking, what my grandmother was trying to tell me is that you should pay attention to your surroundings and, if there’s any sign of danger, then danger will most likely follow. If you see signs of an impending avalanche, hear the rolling thunder of inclement weather approaching, or feel loose rock while you’re hiking that could lead to a landslide, pay attention to these signs and take precautions. You’ll live to eat poisonous plants and pet rabid bunny rabbits another day.