So you've decided to spend a night in a cabin in the woods! You fool. You might as well sacrifice yourself to Satan and save yourself some time and effort. But if you and your friends feel you have to embark on this most deadly of vacations, here are 13 tips that might just keep you alive. (Probably not, though.)

1) Come prepared.

Even spending a single night in a cabin in the woods requires a great amount of supplies. Besides food and bottled water — no booze, obviously, but more on that below — you're going to need as many sources of light as you can pack into your car: flashlights, lanterns, floodlights, tiki torches, etc. because the forces of darkness will destroy or steal anything you bring at least once. This includes automobile supplies, so bring an extra set of car keys, a car battery, a distributor cap, whatever. Do not, however, bring an extra tank of gas, and that's for the same reason you shouldn't bring any weapons — they will only be used against you. Bringing, say, a big bowie knife to protect yourself with is tantamount to walking up to the supernatural murderer who haunts the woods and handing it to him. Conventional weapons aren't going to do a damn thing against the forces of evil anyways. Also, you need to bring a large bucket. You'll see.


2) Do not insult anyone on your way to the cabin.

On your way to your destination, you may stop at a gas station or convenience store. It is incredibly important that you are courteous to every human being you meet on the way. The weirder they are, the grosser they are, the nicer you must be. IF they make lewd or outright threatening comments, respond with polite obliviousness as if you have no idea what they're talking about. If you see a crone with only one eye, ask if you can help them cross the street or something.

3) Park as close to the cabin as you can.

Chances are, you'll have to leave your car a sizable distance away. But you want your vehicle to be as close as possible in case you need to flee. Now, chances are you'll die horribly well before you reach it, but it definitely doesn't hurt to be ready. Of course, if you have the option to park next to the cabin, DO SO. And take the time to position the car so you make the quickest getaway possible.


4) Bar all entrances to the basement immediately upon arrival.

When arriving at the cabin, your first instinct will be to unpack and get situated. DO NOT DO THIS. Instead, take a look around to discover all entrances and exits to the cabin's basement area, and then block them. Board them up. Use chains and locks. If there's a trap door in the cabin floor, stack as many heavy objects on top of it as possible after nailing it shut. This is priority #1.


5) Do not touch anything in the cabin.

While looking around the cabin for basement access, you'll likely see things left by the cabin's previous inhabitants. Pretend they are all covered with the ebola virus. Do not read any journals, listen to any tapes, watch any home movies. Avoid all books, especially ones that appear to have been potentially bound in human flesh. Do not read anything from anything aloud. Do not touch dolls, weapons, anything. Don't even use the cookware — for all you know the previous dweller was a murderer who bludgeoned all his victims to death with his sauté pan.


6) Dress to repress.

You need to dress as conservatively as possible. I'm not talking suits or formal dresses, I mean cover as much of your flesh as possible. There should be nothing bare besides your hands and heads. No décolletage, no legs, hell, no ankles should be visible. I don't care if it's summer and 110 degrees outside, you must keep covered. Believe me, dying of heat stroke is a much kinder potential fate than the alternative.


7) Ignore the beds.

It doesn't matter how many rooms the cabin has; tonight everyone's sleeping together. Set up your sleeping bags or whatever in the cabin's largest room, preferably in a circle allowing you all to face each other and past each other to all entrances to the room. The idea is to be able to see a threat coming from all directions simultaneously, while also keeping your fellow campers in sight.


8) Set up a perimeter.

Even if you're able to watch the room's access points, it'll help to know where potential threats are coming from. Use crumpled up newspaper or broken glass (a bag full of light bulbs lightly smashed with a hammer should do the trick) and scatter them about all the entry points and at least 10 feet beyond. That way intruders will have to walk on them as they approach, serving as a low-tech security alarm. Well, for corporeal threats, at least.


9) Don't leave the cabin under any circumstances.

When the shit hits the fan, your instinct will be to flee to your car. Ignore this. You're far safer in the cabin than you are traipsing through the woods in the dark, if only because you cannot be sexually assaulted by an evil tree in the cabin (probably). The physical space of the cabin limits the amount (and size) of your attackers, while in the woods all bets are off. If shit gets so bad you feel you have to leave the cabin and make a break for the car, you should resign yourself to dying horribly. That way, on the off chance you actually survive, you can be pleasantly surprised.


9) Never ever leave the group for any reason.

Your survival depends on a lot of things, but none moreso than being in sight of your friends at all times. The second one of you disappears from everyone else's view, that's the second he/she gets possessed by a demon and starts trying to murder you with a sauté pan. If someone needs to go somewhere else in the cabin; everyone should go. Don't fall for the buddy-system bullshit, where people partner off with a single other person; that's as much of a death sentence as going off on your own. Yes this does mean that you will need to pee and poop in the main cabin room — presumably in a bucket placed in the corner — while your friends watch. Get over it. You're the idiot who wanted to spend the night in a cabin in the woods.


10) Don't do anything lawfully or morally wrong.

This is a broad category, but it boils down to this: Don't do anything modern society or basic Judeo-Christian religion would frown upon. Dpn't drink. Don't do drugs. Don't fuck — especially don't fuck. If you must engage in romantic physical contact with somebody, stick to medium-to-light making out and for god's sake do NOT approach second base. Obey the 10 Commandments, including not taking the Lord's name in vein. Treat your fellow cabin-mates as you would like them to treat you. Basically, don't do anything that would make it karmically appropriate for someone to brutally murder you. Note: If you're you an atheist, don't think you can game the rules by doing Bible study or something during your stay; the supernatural forces that want you dead would only find that obnoxious.


11) Don't film anything.

Seriously. Pulling out a video camera to record your little adventure is tantamount to signing your own death warrant.


12) Do not sleep. If you must sleep, sleep in shifts.

If there's a night to buy an economy pack of Red Bulls and No-Doze, this night would be it. If you're asleep you're vulnerable, and if you're vulnerable someone can give you an enema with a chainsaw. Best case scenario, you all stay awake all night, on the lookout for potential dangers/murderers/demons. If you must sleep, sleep in shifts. And NOT the kind of shift where only one person has to keep watch, because they will inevitably fall asleep and/or die horribly while they're the only one conscious. Half of you sleep, and half of you stay awake — that way there's at least two people who can watch each other, although really, a minimum of three people is recommended.


13) Do not leave at first light.

If, somehow, you've managed to survive the night and see the sun finally begin to peek up over the horizon, do NOT run outside to greet the day. People assume sunrise is the end of demonic/murderous festivities, but that's not true at all. Sure, the powers of evil fade in the daylight, but they still have enough juju to ironically get you just when you think you've finally made it to safety. You're going to want to wait until about noon, just in case — let the sun come up, banish the darkness, and hopefully the evil spirits will get bored and leave. Hopefully...


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