Every year I go camping with a group of friends. It's always in the spring, some time in late May or early June. We rarely choose the same weekend every year (regularity would probably be anathema to the experience), but this year we chose Memorial Day weekend. We go to Umbagog Lake in Errol New Hampshire for this experience, always reserving a remote campsite, frequently 10 or more miles from where we put in with the boats. We came home Sunday, because it's good to have a day of recovery after a weekend away camping with Ian.
Ian is like a catalyst, spurring us on to greatness, or insanity, as the case often is. Never intentional, but something always happens when we go camping, and often it's well out of our control. No one is to blame when gale force winds hit us sailing on a lake or when the weekend is suddenly hit with a torrential downpour. This year was no different than any other, and we discovered that you can indeed induce carbon monoxide secondary combustion in a campfire (more on that one later, probably in another post once I get the video cleaned up and online).
This entry though, will be about ... The List. The list is the method we use to make sure we have everything, and that nothing gets duplicated needlessly. The list would also be much more useful if we ever actually looked at it. As that last statement implies, we didn't. There were a number of things we forgot to bring with us, such as bowls (nothing on the "menu" required bowls). Wait ... I used the word "menu" in that last sentence. To say we have a menu would be a bit of an overstatement and imply that there was a plan. There wasn't. We had food, and rather a bit of it (we eat very well on these trips), but nothing resembling a menu. As such, in the spirit of spontaneity we looked at what we had available and made something to eat which would have been much easier with bowls. This brings me to the next highlight from this year; it's in the box, in the truck.
A new addendum to the list, we now have it's in the box, in the truck. Several times throughout the weekend we found ourselves looking for things that we should have had with us, but didn't. Of course Jim, who's camping box was left in his truck back at the base camp, had everything we needed, if only we had brought the box. We frequently take a lot of stuff with us (no, we're most certainly not roughing it), and as we looked at the (ludicrous) pile of gear making the trip, it was (wrongly) determined that we did not need to take the box with us. Certainly we had everything duplicated elsewhere in the vast array of gear we were already taking! I'm sure you can guess how that went. Next year, we'll be taking the box (almost a guarantee that we won't need a single thing in it). I'm sure that will lead me to another topic, Dangerously Overloaded, but I think that's probably an entry for another time.
There are many stories about camping with Ian; some funny, some a little scary and some which were downright dangerous. Over the next few weeks I am going to try and remember as many of those stories as I can and put them down in this blog. Possibly for entertainment, and possibly as a warning. I haven't decided which yet.