How to Plan and Pack For a Trip

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A couple weeks ago some friends and I planned a trip out to Smith Rock. My friend Jon wrote a detailed email outlining exactly what everyone needed to bring. Check and done. Things were still forgotten. I neglected to bring Stephanie one of my spare sleeping pads, Jon brought his tiny Snowpeak backpacking pot which made cooking dinner for five people suck. I almost through an extra pot in my bag, but decided not too at the last minute. We took these minor blunders in stride and had an awesome trip.

The detailed planning reminded me of another trip I did a few years back with a bunch of my old high school crew. We were up late, heavily inebriated, and within a couple of minutes made the decision to go backpacking the next day in the mountains behind Santa Barbara. The seat-of-our-pants trip planning was awesome. In the morning as we shook off the hangover, Chris shouted: “What?! We’re going backpacking!?” We scrambled and within the hour everyone was packed and we were on the road.

There’s really only two ways of going on a trip. One way is where everything is planned out. Some people even weigh out everything to the ounce. The other option is the “oh shit, let’s go somewhere!” option. I don’t prefer one way over the other. I will say that the level of stoke when a trip is rapidly thought up and executed is a bit extra high. So there’s that.

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