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On Bathroom Issues... by Anonymous, written at 6:26 PM on Wednesday, Oct 15 2008

Nothing can be more unpleasant than waking up in a tent, in the middle of the night, realizing you have to go answer nature's call.

      I remember our last summer venture when the five of us - Faina, Max, Venia, Vadim and I - ended up pitching the tents late at night next to a trail, in the roaring wind. Just a few hours before we had enjoyed our late lunch, consulted the map - pretty easy (at least that's what we thought) - put on our headlights and headed for a spot in the meadows recommended by the rangers…

      To make a long story short, we never found the meadow having hiked for about three miles, and it was getting darker, darker, and finally - pitch dark.

      While hiking, I personally was feeling brave and adventurous, especially leading the hike. (I am the slowest on the trail, and for that particular reason I walked in front.) A flash forward - the next morning, hiking back and looking at the treacherous trail with all the ups and downs, protruding roots, we couldn't help thinking - how in the world did we make it that far the night before?

      When we decided to stop for the night and somehow fixed the tents, my fearlessness vanished, almost instantly. Faina, who I shared the tent with, fell asleep right away while I lay there sleepless listening to the bellowing wind and imagining the worst case scenario. "What if"… I was thinking, "What if one of the trees falls? What if it falls either on our tent or the other one in which three guys - Venia, Max, and Vadim - are sleeping peacefully?"

      Hopelessly I was trying to put myself to sleep. Nothing worked. What with counting sheep, horses, and students! And then, with horror, I realized I have to go. This is the moment I always dread most. What exactly am I scared of? The answer is vague. Bears? Coyotes? Some other unidentified wild objects? Or is it simply the inconvenience of getting out of a shelter into the cold and darkness of the night?

      I was lying in my warm and cozy sleeping bag listening now not only to the gusting wind but to my bladder as well. The latter one was getting fuller and fuller…"Do I really have to go?" I asked myself repeatedly, and when it became obvious that the answer to the question is YES, I unzipped the tent door and crawled outside…

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