Wednesday, July 05, 2006

wild things: being prepared

I will never ever get used to the idea of those early-day departures, when the last family member says ‘bye and disappears for another long spell, until the next visit.

To cheer myself up I focus today on addressing my food and sleep needs during the forthcoming camping trip.

Can we resume a search for the perfect sleeping bag? – I ask Ed. We are now only two days away from our departure. The last time we looked was back in April – with no success. Ed thought I should be governed in my selection by weight and price, I thought I should be governed by color. We did also agree that it should keep me warm. No bag satisfied all the above.

At REI, I am overtaken by panic shopping. Forget (for the moment) about sleeping bags. Let’s get back to the eating issue.

I purchased Annie’s packets of mac&cheese at Whole Foods. But we need a big pot to boil water in.
I have a pot. It holds probably a cup and a half.
Annie’s says you need to boil the mac in 6 cups of water!
Maybe we need different mac and cheese. Or, look at this:

Madison summer 06 149

We are heading into the wilderness with only one pot that boils only one and a half cups of water at a time? What happened to the rip roaring fire with a nice hefty pot suspended over it and potatoes roasting in the embers?
You do not light campfires these days.
No pots? No campfires? Okay, fine. I will use this opportunity to lose the handful of pounds that joined me in southern France.
You can’t diet on a camping trip.
You can’t camp with a pot that boils only one and a half cups of water at a time.

At least there is success at the sleeping bag front. I love the pale pale green cloth with a touch of orange inside. I’m not too crazy about the idea that sleeping bags are described as mummy-shaped, but I will try not to think about that as I am lying there in the wilderness among savage beasts and poisonous plants. The bag feels cozy and soft – a great place to hide with my sorrows each night if sorrows there be.

Madison summer 06 145
testing bags on the REI floor

At Willie Street co-op, we shop for the essential snackie foods. Ed tells me we need about a half a pound per day.
How about dried papaya? I ask
How about trail mix? He asks
How about mango bits? I ask

You get the feeling that there are some very different taste buds going out camping together in a couple of days.

No lattes, no wine. No computer, no shower. Freeze dried salmon and one and a half cups of boiling water per sitting.

Camping sounds fun.