When I think of traveling I can’t help but conjure the images from old movies when porters for the “wealthy old woman” load trunk after trunk of gear into a car that is two sizes too small….Piles of leather bound boxes strapped to the back of an old Duesenberg . What on earth could she be taking with her? Are the facilities so primitive as to lack running water? Or a stream?
Somewhere along the line I was taught that “light is right”. To me this means take the bare minimum of gear and find multiple uses for each. The end result is much lighter packs, much faster movement through the woods and less damage to my carcass. In my experience, this applies to all manner of travel.
But what to do with a week at Boy Scout Camp? The set up is similar to a car camping trip without the RV. You are going to be in camp for an extended period of time.
The answer is what you see above. The breakdown is pretty simple as it follows closely what I take on a full-on backpacking trip with the addition of reading material and electronics. To make this pile, I followed the same methodology as I do for every trip…and it does not include consulting any pre-made, one-size-fits-all list.
To create my mental packing list, I mentally work the trip two ways: House and Step-By-Step. This allows me to, usually, not forget anything essential.
By House I consider all the rooms of a house and make sure I have them in my bag. For example, House = Tent/Ground Cloth, Kitchen = Stove/Utensils/Food etc. By working through every room of my house, I am covered for how I am going to live.
The second method I use is to mentally walk through every step of the trip, starting with what I am wearing as I walk out the door. Do I have the keys? How about gas? Do I know how to get to trailhead and do I have the map? I walk this thinking though to the moment I return. By doing this I can mentally see what I will need for each event along the way. This also covers the items not associated with a house…like fly fishing gear.
Make no mistake, I have forgotten important gear before. In these instances, you make do with what you have. Consider Les Stroud manages to spend 10 days in the wild without any gear. If he can do it, so can I.
The lesson here is that my two methods for packing for the wilderness (or any trip really) serve to keep my gear load to just the things I need.