I’m packing for a three-day backpacking trip and I’m having a bit of a moral crisis. I can’t decide if I should bring a flask of whiskey or not. I’ve been going back and forth all day, putting the flask in my backpack, then taking it back out only to put it right back in an hour later. On the one hand, whiskey tastes good. It tastes especially good when you’re sitting around a campfire at the end of a long day on the trail and your belly is full with ramen noodles or mac n’ cheese and canned tuna and you’re tired but the stars are out and you don’t want to go to bed. Does anything make you feel more like a cowboy than leaning against your backpack and taking a sip of bourbon while kicking the fire with your boot? So yeah, whiskey belongs in the backcountry. So, I should definitely take some whiskey with me on this trip.

On the other hand, studies show that not drinking is good for you. I’ve been trying to drink a little less, just to see what it’s like, and this three-day backpacking trip through Pisgah could be the perfect opportunity to dry out a little. Sort of like a mini detox/bootcamp. I can hike all day and not drink all night and emerge from the forest fresh and clean. Instead of drinking whiskey by the fire at night I could…eat carrots by the fire. Or practice magic. Or read a book? I literally don’t know what people who don’t carry whiskey with them everywhere do. Like, what do you do with your hands when you’re just sitting there? Whittle?

So, yeah, I’ll probably bring some whiskey. Because like I said, whiskey belongs in the backcountry. And I can’t see myself learning how to whittle at this point in my life.

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