Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Geek's Guide To Outdoor Dining

I'm not much of an outside person, because it's all outside and stuff, but today was so beautiful (70s, light wind) that I had lunch al fresco.

No, "al fresco" doesn't mean "my wife made me sit outdoors"--at least, not today.

Since eating outdoors is a rare experience for me, and maybe for some of you, too, here are some helpful tips I discovered.

1. You don't need a tent
Sure, it's outdoors, and that may bring camping to mind (which is something else I know nothing about), but you don't need to bring a tent, and a bivy bag is right out.

2. You also don't need to bring a LifeStraw
Again, while your first instinct may be to bring a LifeStraw so that contaminated water will not poison you, it's apparently not necessary.

3. Carry a first-aid kit
Sure, I was outdoors in an urban environment, but it's always good to have what you need to set a broken leg or stem uncontrolled bleeding, because being outdoors is dangerous. This kit should also include snakebite treatment.

4. Bring a flashlight
If it takes too long to get your food (like, say, eight hours), then it may get dark while you're outside. This is a terrifying situation for many non-outdoors people like myself, but a powerful flashlight (say, 4000 lumens) will help you calm the *uck down.

5. Look out for bears
Bears and outdoor food are a dangerous combination. Sure, all the bear attacks I hear about are in Alaska, and I don't even think we have bears, but you only have to be wrong once. Alternate suggestion: bring a laundry bag, put your lunch in it, and tie the bag up high where no bear can reach. It's a proven safety strategy.

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