Be prepared, camping season is coming…
I’ma gettin’ excited! The ice is out, and now we’re just waiting for the temperatures to get a bit warmer so that we can get out there and not be super-uncomfortable. So I figured I’d share with you all what I’m doing to get ready:
1.) General Fitness – Camping isn’t a particularly labor intensive activity, but it does help to be prepared. I’ve been putting into my local creek and lakes to keep up my paddle form. It’s not an entirely tiring thing to paddle for an entire day if you know how to properly paddle. It’s all in the form etc. etc. Paddle 6 hours a day for a week and it becomes like riding a bike. You get into a rhythm and it gets to be really fun. It’s also a good idea to be able to run on only a little bit of food, allowing you to go farther and carry a lighter food pack.
2.) Getting the gear ready – I’m double-checking the gaskets, inspecting the zippers, and airing out the sleeping bags! It’s incredibly necessary to do this at home and will make your life a lot easier. There’s nothing worse than getting to a camp site and realizing that you’ve got a whole the size of Kansas in your tent, or that your stove is clogged. So I’m firing things up and then taking them down in a way that only makes me more excited to use it all in the field.
3.) Planning the routes – It has long-since happened, but with all normal people now would be the time to bust out the maps and figure out where the hell you’re going to go. It’s a great time, where the maps are taken out and unfolded on the floor and you try to connect the dots. You try your best not to go to the same spots again and again, but you’re drawn to the memories you have from the years gone by. It’s a problem, but one that’s awesome and fun. It stimulates the spirit of adventure and allows you to channel the spirit of the voyageurs hacking their way across the rugged Canadian landscape! Whee!
4.) Selecting from the menus – I’ve got what I call “The Camp Cookbook” which is exactly what it is (for sale, only 99$ a copy). It’s got enough on it to keep people eatting a different meal for about three or four days and it can be fun to plan it all out. My favorite meal? Throw some potatoes into the fire, wait an hour or so, then put a can of chili either on the stove or also on the fire. Once both are heated up properly, you put them in a bowl with the chili over the potatoes. It’s a very filling and nutritious meal, perfect for the hungry paddler!
I’m doing a lot more too, but it mostly comes down to jumping up and down on the spot and waiting for the weather to cooperate.