Don’t overcomplicate it. Just get outside.
Nowadays, whether it’s a trip around the world or a night in the woods, everything seems to need to be labelled, defined, and properly accessorized. But not so long ago, we (WE in this case ranges from a version of OLBETSY from 1-10, to my wife, dogs, or cats, and usually good buddies) simply went camping. It was defined by distance and duration, and followers were the buddies in your rearview mirror who were driving along with you.
We’ve gone over land and over sea, as far north as the Yukon, a marathon to Vancouver, and on more than one occasion, trips across the entirety of the Great White North (that’s Canada by the way, and to be fair, it was actually spring/summertime, so only one snowstorm). We’ve traversed much of the USA, getting stranded at ferry terminals, and searched at border crossings.
We have tented, trailered, and hotelled (that’s a verb now apparently). Sometimes we brought extra gas – more times we ran out (Seeing a local siphon gas out of his lawn mower at midnight in outport Newfoundland just to get us back on the road was particularly humbling). Paper maps got folded wrong, written on, and misplaced at inopportune times. Heads got butted, lost, scratched, and in one case blown. We’ve overheated, gone off-course, and gotten stuck in a snowbank. Sometimes simultaneously.
On most of these
misadventures we’ve been ill-prepared, underplanned and under-funded.
But THAT is what made them all so memorable.
The accessories, technology and preparations all fade into the background, as we fondly remember the places we’ve gone and the people (and pets) we went there with.
So as we prepare to embark on a new adventure, I need to stop and remind myself that all the “stuff” which seems so important leading up to a trip quickly fades into the background as soon as that first new road (or non-road) reveals itself through the windshield. Don’t get me wrong. The next story will begin my checklist, some mods, and to-do’s and I certainly don’t need to rough it as much as I used to (nor do I want to).
But I’ll always be sure to prioritize what’s outside my rig, rather than what’s inside, once the adventure gets underway.