Summer is winding down, which means that you’re probably scrambling to cram in all those cool activities you said you’d do back in April but never got around to. We know you’re in a rush, but don’t make any hasty plans that you’ll end up regretting. Specifically, you might want to avoid camping — or doing anything that will involve going in the woods.
We acknowledge that we’re being a little cautious here. Still, do you have any idea what’s out there? It’s terrifying. If you do decide to venture out into the untamed wild, at least know what you’re getting yourself into.
1. The woods are full of ticks that give you Lyme disease.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease is 10 times more common than previously reported. If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause facial palsy, arthritis, memory problems and “chronic neurological complaints months to years after infection.”
2. Snakes are everywhere!
Although there are very few deaths from snake bites in the U.S., the CDC estimates that there are 7,000 to 8,000 bites per year. To be fair, you may not even be safe out of the woods — especially if you live in this Austin apartment complex, which had its own snake pit.
3.You can get bitten by chiggers.
Chiggers are the larval form of certain mites. The myth is that they burrow inside your skin and cause an itchy rash. Although they don’t actually burrow inside you, they do “insert their feeding structures into the skin and inject enzymes that cause destruction of host tissue.” That does cause a rash and is still gross.
4. If the chiggers don’t get you, the cougars can.
Cougars are found in several parts of the United States and have been known to attack people. Terrify yourself with this website dedicated to cougar attacks. (Yeah, it’s a really, poorly designed website. But still!) Cougars aren’t even afraid to attack bears:
5. If the cougars don’t get you, the wild boars will.
Wild boar attacks are not uncommon in the Southeastern U.S. They are so bold, they will even attack armed police detectives. Luckily, that detective managed to make it to a hospital, but the boar did some serious damage.
6. Even the plants don’t want you there.
That’s what you look like after touching poison ivy. Do you want to look like this? No? Don’t go in the woods.
7. You may know to look out for poison ivy, but what about wood nettle?
8. If you do get attacked, good luck getting a cell phone signal.
The woods are full of dead zones. As if 911 could get to you before that cougar or wild boar does anyway.
9. Don’t just worry about large animals. The small ones can still give you rabies.
You think that raccoons and foxes look cute. That’s why you’ll try to feed them some food so that you can get a better look at them. Then they will bite you and give you rabies because they are wild animals that live in the woods and that’s what they do.
10. Most of the injuries in the woods are just from falling down.
Yep, the woods themselves hate you and are full of slippery rocks and steep slopes to make you at worst hurt yourself and at best look like an idiot.
11. The woods will also attack you from the sky.
Wasps, bees and hornets are all in the woods. Mostly their stings are just painful, but you can have severe allergic reactions. Remember that scene in “My Girl”?
12. Are there ghosts in the woods? Do you really want to find out?
It’s doubtful, but some of you reading this believe in ghosts, even if you don’t want to admit it. Deep down you fear that there is a small chance of a possibility ghosts might be real. That fear will consume you in the woods. Especially if you’re in one of these allegedly haunted woods.
13. Spiders LOVE the woods.
Look at that spider. Why are you going into the woods?