|Warning, shameless Ernest Hemingway name dropping ahead...|
I'm 33 years old, the father of a 7 year old, and married to a woman who received a double lung transplant a few years ago. Unlike Hemingway, I tend to feel guilty about going away for a long weekend to someplace without cell phone service, leaving them to fend for themselves. I'm sure that without me there, the dogs will run away, the house will burn down, and they'll both die of starvation by Saturday night because I wasn't there to order a pizza.
"The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them."
This quote of Hemingway means so much in so many different ways. The only way I can trust that the dogs won't run away, is to give them the chance to do so, and then see that they don't. I have to put trust into my wife that she is a wonderful mother, and will make sure that they are fed, clean, and having fun while I'm gone. She's never let me down.
When I get it in my head that I want to go to the woods, it starts with weeks or even months of planning, a month or so of buying "essential" gear like the special backpacking stove that I REALLY need because "Look! It can charge my cell phone!", followed by a few days of packing, unpacking, repacking, remembering that the sleeping quilts should be on the BOTTOM of your top loading pack, unpacking again, and finally repacking and throwing the pack in the damn car before you realize that you put your cell phone in the bottom of the pack, and you aren't leaving for 2 days.
But what really throws a wrench in the mix is the final 24 hours before I leave. I tend to ask my wife 4,000 times if she's OK with me going, because I feel like she secretly doesn't mean it when she says "I'm fine with it, just go so I can have a weekend to myself with Shelby."
So, how do I finally get up, get out, and get going without just calling the whole thing off?
“The shortest answer is doing the thing.”
|Look at him. Just enjoying being out, without a worry in the world.|
What about that gear I just had to buy? Well, I generally find that having that stove that charges my cell phone, is more trouble than it's worth when backpacking. It's heavy, noisy, finicky, and I don't even have cell phone service. Sure, it boils water faster than a regular wood stove, but then again, so does my canister stove. I use the gear once, and then it sits in my basement, only used sparingly for a "change of pace".
"The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without"
"My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way."
|No special notebook, no typewriter, just pen, paper, and time.|
This post was never intended to be a technical "how-to" (although the title may be a little misleading). It's more of a philosophical mind-hack. But, if you want a quick checklist to summarize, here you go:
- Don't worry about what others will be doing. Trust them completely and honestly, and enjoy your weekend.
- Plan your trip, smartly and simply, but don't obsess over things that really don't matter. JUST GO, and enjoy your weekend.
- When you're finally out there, reflect on where you are, what you're doing, what you're carrying, and if you really need all of that gear to enjoy your weekend.
- When you feel like you've got it all figured out, write it down for future use, clear your mind, and just ENJOY THE WEEKEND.
- See the words in all caps? There is your ultra simple, handy guide to "Just go, and enjoy the weekend". You never know when you'll get another chance.