Arachnophobia and Camping

 In Blog, Denver Tent Company

Eight Legged Monsters

Spiders are everywhere, from you own bedroom to five star hotels, and they are definitely there when you are camping. It wasn’t too long ago that I was deathly afraid of spiders, much to the amusement of my brothers, but being a fan of traveling and nature and all things involving a tent, I have been battling that fear my whole life, because love of camping and fear of spiders do not work well together.

 spider hangin on leaf

They are more afraid of you…

Yup, my mom tried that on me several times. The old “they are more afraid of you than they are of me”, but once you’ve woken up from a nap on the couch only to find a giant, hairy black spider of unknown species chilling on the wall above your head, and your stomach lurches and your breath is sucked out of you and your whole body is tingling and your mind is reeling and you can’t call for help and you feel paralyzed with fear, I started to question what my mom was saying, because, honestly, that spider on the wall could not have care less about me. Of that, I am certain. I am also certain that this was the incident in which I decided to actively start to deal with my arachnophobia, because as you can see it was starting to prevent me from doing things that I loved, like taking walks in the woods, exploring the jungle, spending the night in a tent, or worse, falling asleep on the couch.

Red Feather Lakes in Fall

Photo Courtesy of Peter

Overcoming Arachnophobia

There are lots of ways to battle your fear of arachnophobia. The best one is and always will be: face your fears head on. And remember, baby steps.

For me, it took spending my summers in the jungle. All of a sudden there was a whole new crew of spiders to be afraid of, and they were everywhere it seemed. I couldn’t always see them, but the telltale webs gave them away. It was in this house that the above mentioned couch incident happened and shortly thereafter I began actively working to combat my fear.

Step one: Facing my fear

The next time I saw a spider I would force myself to just be in the same room as that spider, and keep telling myself that these were a natural part of this world, city or jungle alike, and that whereas they may not be more afraid of me than I them, they were also not plotting against me and should I come in contact with a spider, it was probably not going to kill me. Yes, most spiders are venomous, but only to their prey, not to people. We may just have a slight annoying reaction, but nothing life threatening.

kid searching

Step two: educate myself

I tried to find out about spiders and all the “cool” things they could do. But some of those things just freaked me out more. Like, some can weave an air tank for themselves so they can swim and breathe under water!!! Yup, didn’t want to know that! Some carry their babies around on their back until they are ready to fend for themselves. This one I also learned the hard way. I had finally summoned the courage to approach a particularly fat and hairy looking spider in my bedroom. Armed with a flop flop I took a deep breath and swatted the spider only to see hundreds of tiny baby spiders scatter in all directions!! This was a minor setback in the battle against arachnophobia. But the more I read about spiders, the cooler they became.

Step three: be patient

It took some time, and I’m still not totally comfortable with spiders, but what really got me looking at them in a different light was focusing on the fact that they would catch and kill all the mosquitos that were sucking me dry and leaving me a bloody scab of itchy bumps. There is nothing that brings two people together than finding common ground.

Two Sherpa Porters Carrying Heavy Sacks In The Himalaya At EvereDon’t let fear of bugs or spiders or snakes or anything get in your way of getting out into nature. Face your fears, grab a tent and get out and explore the world. The more you educate yourself, the more you’ll appreciate everything that nature has to offer. For the best canvas wall tents, sportsmen tents and camping equipment check out Denver Tent Company in Denver, Colorado. 

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