My biggest fear is bumbling blindly through the woods

Everybody has something to fear. Some are afraid of snakes. Some dread an IRS audit. Others are petrified that cockroaches will eat off their eyelashes in their sleep. Some fears are based on reality, though. That’s the case with mine.

I don’t have good eyes. Had I been born two hundred years ago, there would have been no help for me. Glasses can’t help me, so I’d have been blind. I have to wear a special kind of contact lens, which wasn’t available in the days of Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone.

But through the miracle of modern science, I can see, and pretty well. As long as I’m wearing those funky contacts, my vision’s actually better than the average human’s.

That’s where my greatest fear comes into play.

I try to get out to the woods every chance I can. I’ve learned to read a map and compass like the morning paper, because I don’t want to find myself stuck in the wilderness for too long without a bottle of saline solution. My contacts are marvels of technology, but they aren’t meant to be worn overnight.

If I got in a pinch, I bet I could sleep in them one night. But after that, they’d be useless. I would be better off sticking aspen leaves in my eyes than wearing my contacts for more than a couple of days straight.

My survival kit reflects my anxiety. In addition to the firestarters, whistle, emergency blanket, signal mirror and about a hundred band-aids (I cut myself a lot, too, and that’s my second biggest fear), I keep not one but two bottles of saline, two contact lens cases, a spare pair of contacts and an extra pair of glasses.

The glasses won’t help much if I lose my lenses, but they’d be better than the aforementioned aspen leaves. I’d still probably be bear bait, but at least I could see the bear when it got within 20 feet of me. I’d like to know exactly what it is that’s going to eat me before it does so.

So if you see me stumbling around, yelling at trees to help me, please give me a hand.

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