Cooking, Packing and Cramming it In

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I keep learning about backpacking. Today is no different. JoAnn, Carryn and I have waited and waited and changed plans 20 times in the last two weeks. We somehow thought that we could plan 10 days out, but the weather keeps changing. These dang monster storms have really been playing havoc with our plans. But … as of today .. it appears that we are set. We are hiking the Wild Azalea Trail in Kisatchie! Woohoo!!!

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Photo by Pack and Paddle in Lafayette

The drama wasn’t over, though. Our backpacking teacher told us what to bring for meals on our weekend hike. But, we’ve been trying to figure out how much food to take. We got adventurous and decided to try some new recipes and, by the time we shopped for a bunch of hard-to-find ingredients and made them, we realized that we didn’t have the right equipment to cook it on the trail, or we had too much food. I spent about 24 hours working on food – shopping, cooking, dehydrating and packaging. I need to take a lesson from our male hikers on this one. Don’t be creative with food. Just go buy some backpacking meals and be done with it.

About the time that my head almost blew off from dealing with the food, I got busy making a checklist and pulling out all of the items for my pack. The stuff covered the floor, and I did not see how all of that was going to fit in that pack. I managed to shove it, cram it, re-organize and squeeze it all in, but when I got on the scale, I saw that it weighs 37 pounds without the water. Katherine says I need to be no heavier than 40 pounds with water. I don’t know what’s going to have to go, but something will. We will camp close to the car tomorrow night, so I can re-arrange things I guess. And, I can always leave my camp chair if necessary. It’s nice to have, but it’s not mandatory. Ugh …. 

I was getting really frustrated this morning at the amount of time this was taking, and I realized that I’m just going to have to count on packing time as part of the adventure. I want that part to be over with so we can get going, but I need to learn how to enjoy that part, too. At least it was kind of fun having three-way calls with my hiking group to plan what we are going to bring and how we are going to manage this point-to-point hike. And we are all trying to “cram it in” right now. Well, not Carryn. I texted her to ask how heavy her pack was, and she replied “four pounds”. She’s not packed yet.

Poor Ashok has been bored out of her mind today. She’s actually been bored all weekend. The rains spoiled her Christmas on Graveyard Island, and, ever since I got back, my attention has been elsewhere. Every now and then I ask her if she wants to go camping in hopes she’ll understand that I’m packing for a trip. But I know she doesn’t understand. It’ll all be a distant memory for her tomorrow when we head out.

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This time tomorrow night the work will be over – well except for the fun work. We’ll be camped out under the stars, sipping hot chocolate and laughing about how much work it was to get to that moment. Carryn and I had a “test” camp out at my brothers’ island awhile back, but this will be our first real backpacking trip on our own. There’s no telling what will happen. Katherine better keep her phone charged. We may need some emergency instruction.

I’ll say hi if I can, but I won’t have a computer until Saturday evening. I’m certainly not  carrying this thing! Have a great week!

 

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