I’ve got a 2 week long ritual.

I begin this ritual before every backpacking trip by gathering up all my camping gear. It takes close to the entire 2 weeks for me to find everything that I “put up” – so that I’ll remember where it is next time – after the last trip, but that’s not why I start so early. I need an outlet to release some of the excitement. Otherwise, I’d be completely distracted and unable to focus on anything else.

Tent from this closet, sleeping bag in that closet, water filter and headlamp over in that drawer, and there’s always an assortment of “gear” riding around in the back of the Jeep. With every piece I find, I regain a little focus. It helps me to remember things like: tying my shoes, stopping at red lights, bathing, going to work, my children, changing my underwear, etc.

A major aspect of this ritual is making sure that everything will STILL fit in the backpack and experimenting with new arrangements. There might be a way to stuff one more thing into that not-quite-big-enough pack. That’s why the backpack is ALWAYS the first thing I get out.

Well, I pulled the pack out the other night and began marveling at just how freaking many pockets and compartments are on the thing. I unzip them one by one making mental notes of what I can store in each one. And then I unzip the last one and found a surprise.

Yep, that’s the trash from a lunch that was eaten in the Andes Mnts. almost 1 year ago. After I got over the initial shock and “ick” factor caused by the crusty, dried jelly on the napkin, I realized that I can remember eating that lunch while sitting in a lush, green field on the side of some foreign mountain (Notice the writing on the juice box. Anyone know what it says?). Turned out to be quite a nice surprise. Made my day actually.

I think I’ve got a new ritual now. Every time I return from a trip, I’m going to make it a point to leave something in the pack that, when found, will remind me of my previous adventure.

Do you have any goofy rituals that you perform?


3 Responses

  1. Pura Vida… how cool- that phrase is really popular in Costa Rica too!

    That’s a cool ritual… I hope you guys have lots of FUN!

  2. Hey, when are you guys leaving? And do you take last minute guests?

  3. We leave June 1st. Are you serious about last minute guest? There may be an opportunity.

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