Jungle Camping

Wanting the true jungle authenticity, we decided to sleep 4 people in a very small tent in Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park. The camping site didn’t seem quite “jungle” enough for us – the prepared families with proper camping supplies were cramping our style so we decided to drag our tent into the forest with the dirt and the monkeys. Then some lady boys invited us to sit with them for drinks and snacks which were constantly interrupted by deer, moose, land leeches and giant porcupines running through the camp site. Our jungle located tent lost its charm when the sun went down and we had to find it by candle & moonlight. Sleeping on the dirt ground was the least of our worries, during the night Issac got bitten 3 times by land leeches and a worm crawled into Kenny’s mouth.

While on a short waterfall hike the next morning some monkeys ransacked our tent. We panicked to see clothes thrown all over but soon realized all that was missing was a bag of peanuts. Confused by the fact that our tent door had been zipped back up, we thankfully gathered our valuables from the mess.

Then we went on an extreme jungle hike.

After 3-4 hours of fantastic and challenging hiking, the path had too many unmarked routes with questionable markers until finally we were lost. I was with 3 boys and once I deemed their “path” decisions as reckless bushwhacking, I honestly started to get scared.

It was interesting to watch my mind deteriorate towards panic. It didn’t happen automatically – I was obviously uncomfortable and saying little things and luckily Trevor nicely said that “we should stay calm” which shifted my gears from “shit, we are seriously lost in the jungle” to a really interesting inner struggle to stay calm. I was picturing a time we got lost on our snowmobiles at dusk, what would happen if we got hurt, having to spend a night in the jungle and being scolded for clawing our way into the jungle without at least leaving a trail of bread crumbs. But alas, those things were not helpful so I quietly endured being frightened and over an hour later we found our way back onto a path.

When we crawled out of the canopied jungle into the sunlight we were praying for the side of the road but instead we got a beautiful observation tower to ourselves. The setting was a wild jungle that could have been Africa and it was surrounded with fresh elephant poop. Each of us were at intermittent stages of bleeding, muddy and bug bitten as we climbed the tower that gave the satisfaction of Mount Everest.

Finally we hitchhiked home and ended up tagging along on some Thai family’s holiday. They took us shopping and bought us ice cream.

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