Backpacking and camping don’t have to be a complex orchestration of gear and travel. A campsite could be in your neighborhood. A camping trip could be tonight.
We typically think of backpacking trips as involving the following activities:
- Jot down a gear list
- Visit a store for supplies
- Assemble the gear and supplies
- Pack the gear and supplies
- Repack so everything fits
- Drive to a park/trailhead parking lot
- Pay park entry fees, camping fees, or both
I tried to simplify my backpacking trip yesterday. After the rain stopped at 4 p.m., I quickly identified the gear I would pack (5 minutes). After dinner, I packed as quickly as I could (~15 minutes).
Here is how I simplified my backpacking trip --
- Limit the time I allocateded to identify the gear list. Freeze the list. Here is the list I identified in my 5 minutes:
- Tent (tent, rain cover, stakes)
- Sleeping bag
- Air mattress
- Ground cloth
- Clothing for 43F -> 31F
- Book & kindle
- Water bottle
- Flashlight, headlamp, solar light
- Pack only what’s on the list. Don’t overthink the gear list.
- Eat at home, or on the way. This will eliminate the need for food, teeth brushing, cookware, stove, and fuel.
This advice is so simple it seems trite, but how many of us follow it?