Caroline (not her real name) is a seasoned world traveler.

Mid-forties. A good researcher. She’s been to many different countries. Knows her way around the world.

Hotels, trains, planes, taxis, public transportation, museums, the arts. No problem. Caroline is competent.

She is not, however, in any way, shape, or form, an adventurer.

She’s never been on a camping trip. Spent a single night in a tent. Ever put her hands on a tent, in fact, much less set one up. Or put a stove together. Cooked a meal over a campfire. Any of those outdoorsy, adventure-y things.

Especially in rough weather.

So when Caroline got engaged, she decided that she and her fiance, a man who loves warm tropical beaches, beers in the sun and lazing around in plush hotel rooms, would camp all the way around Iceland for three weeks.

What could possibly go wrong?

True to her “be prepared” motto, Caroline did what most first-time campers do. She went to REI. Spent a mint. Bought a tent, sleeping bags, a stove, all the right gear.

She and her (very) reluctant new husband are going to drive the famous Ring Road all the way around Iceland and camp.

What could possibly go wrong?

The gear is sitting at her house. Since she is completely absorbed in the wedding preparations, she hasn’t taken the time to actually learn to use any of the gear.

Such as, set up the tent. In sunshine, much less epic, windy, rainy and cold conditions, for which Iceland is rightly famous.

My friend Krisha told me about Caroline’s Grand Plan a month ago. We were in stitches. Krisha is a camper. Looked over the gear, gave it a thumbs up.

However, we share the same concern.

I spent nearly a month in Iceland. The Ring Road is long and lonely in places. Once out of Reyjavik the countryside is empty and you are extremely isolated. Towns are tiny and many miles apart. The weather any time of year can be brutal. It’s cool at best, cold and icy at worst. It’s hard to comprehend that wind. I sat a horse for three weeks in it.

Two rank novices attempting to set up a strange tent in a strange place in the wind and rain, with little prior experience, possibly getting all their gear wet?

What could possibly go wrong?

In 1983 I set forth on what turned out to be four years of thumbing my way through Australia, New Zealand and the Fiji Islands. Especially on South Islands, I had to pitch my one-man Marmot tent in vicious rain and do it in under two minutes flat or get drenched. Back then, down didn’t shed water. People die in those conditions.

I spent hours learning my gear. I made some dumb purchases which I ultimately tossed. Before I left for Auckland I could whip that tent together in seconds like my life depended on it. Because sometimes it does.

Caroline and her new hubby are headed to Iceland in July. On some days, it’s moderately warm. Ish.

I suggested to Krisha that Caroline give me a call. She hasn’t.

What could possibly go wrong?