When I opened my laptop, there was Half Dome in Yosemite as my wallpaper. What a trip that was in September of 2014 with my hiking buddy, Randy. I want to do more trips like that for sure. Yet, on my mind right now, in contrast, is the next day hike with my Honey. No one can confuse an epic week in the rugged back country of Yosemite ending in a climb up Half Dome with a day hike in a city park…but somehow…in the dreamy ether of my mind I can see how they both satisfy the poets soul within this adventurer. I need the epic, difficult and huge to challenge me and cause my adrenalin to surge. I need the calm casual heart warming moments with my Honey on the trail even more. I can’t give up either but I am sure that time with her is of higher value.
Lists are important-
I actually sat down to tell you about lists and how important they are to us when the picture of half down triggered a mental moment to muse. But I digress…lists, lists, lists. My Honey likes them and wants me to make one for each trip. I’m not inclined to make a list naturally and I have struggled with it and fussed about it for a while but I have made a decision—if she wants a list, I’ll give her a list—it’s one more way to keep her coming with me.
As I have worked out the idea in my head—how to make lists for her—I have realized that I like a packing list for a hiking adventure.
Why a list?
- It gives a framework of what we are actually going to do.
- It allows me to sit and think through what we will need for each task or fun activity.
- It gives her enough information so that she knows what to expect from the trip.
- It lets her know what to take.It gives her a sense of security that we will not forget something important.
- It protects me from being embarrassed because this Boy Scout turned Soldier was inadvertently unprepared.
- It helps ensure that there is no unnecessary misery or discomfort.
- It helps ensure we have the goods for a good time.
The basic categories I include in all lists.
- Warmth—what do I need to wear from head to toe at each phase of the adventure.
- Light—what do we need so we can see.
- Fire—so we are able to start a fire in any condition.
- First Aide—so we can deal with an emergency and a splinter.
- Food—so we have meals and trail snacks.
- Navigation—directions and equipment to the trail and on the trail.
- Hygiene—clean up for the body during all activities.
- Water—what do we need to stay hydrated.
- Memories—what do we need to make and record special memories.