Friday, July 9, 2010

Backpacking Preparations aka "Procrastination"

(This photo is unrelated to this post; I just know that people like to look at photos when they read blogs. I took this in Olympic National Park almost four years ago. Enjoy.)

I just returned home from an angst-ridden viewing of what may only be described as an epic, timeless love tale for the ages - Eclipse (aka the third Twilight film). Movie night was an early birthday gift from my friend, although whether or not this was truly a "gift" is probably up for debate.

In the morning, I'm heading off on a mini backpacking trip to the Cucamonga Wilderness. I figured that packing might be a good task to accomplish this evening, a perfect way to rinse away the ten metric tons of sparkly vampire schmaltz vomited out of the screen tonight.

But I am not packing. I'm writing a blog. And before writing this blog, I was laughing my way through this amazing website. And before that, I was eating some delicious Trader Joe's Irish Cheddar With Porter and Trader Joe's Original Savory Thins rice crackers, two things that were supposed to be part of my trail lunch tomorrow. Oops. I guess I'll be going to Trader Joe's in the morning. 

Oh yes, packing. 

As I am still mulling the lessons learned from the Yosemite backpacking trip two weekends ago, I don't exactly have high hopes for myself in this department. I'll leave the deodorant at home this time, but I'm still tempted to bring the playing cards (what if we get bored?), the newest issue of New York (it's thin, plus there's a crossword puzzle; see "what if we get bored?" above), and a tiny pillow (I sleep best when my head is cradled in a soft billow of fluff; easier to pretend I'm at home in bed instead of splayed on the side of a mountain, masquerading as bear bait). 

I am, however, very excited to pack my brand new sleeping pad, purchased last night at the Santa Monica REI. I nearly punched an entire parking structure in the face once I realized that a) it was $5 to park, even though I would only be in the store for maybe 20 minutes, and b) there were no available spots to park in the damn structure, even after circling around for 10 precious could-be-buying-overpriced-and-vaguely-unnecessary-outdoorsy-things-at-REI minutes. 

But I made it to the store, with 25 minutes to shop. I bee-lined for the sleeping pad section, wherein I proceeded to find every inflated pad marked "Women's," and threw them all on the floor, commandeering the entire back corner of the store. Then I systematically began a complicated process that involved flopping on my stomach, rolling onto my side, propping myself up on one elbow, kneeling, then rolling onto my back. I went through three pads before I realized I had an audience in an overzealous sales dude whose name I didn't register.

"Hi, I'm (insert generic sales dude name)! Can I help you with anything?" he asked as I gently spooned the generic REI Trekker Self-Inflating Sleeping Pad-Women's Regular*. Strangely, I didn't feel compelled to move or assume a less risqué position when answering him. "No, thanks - just getting a new sleeping pad." This, of course, served as an invitation for him to stay there and prattle on about each one as I systematically continued my testing. When I finally selected the Therm-A-Rest of my dreams (aka budget), we said our goodbyes (him, somewhat reluctantly) and I left with the slightly off-putting feeling that he got a whole lot more out of the exchange than I did.

Oh, right - packing. I'll probably just do that in the morning.

* This, along with many of the "Women's" options, was purple. I DON'T WANT PURPLE CAMPING GEAR.  Just because I have a uterus doesn't mean I want my tent to look like a goddamn sorority house.

What Would Ed Do?
Ed is a combination sherpa/pack mule/MacGyver. Ed could beat my pretend husband, Survivorman and that jokey Man Vs. Wild dude in a cage match, and is probably equipped to survive in the wild on nothing more than granite dust and slugs. But if he needed a sleeping pad, he could probably kill, gut, and skin a wild boar, then inflate its pelt for a good night's sleep.



  1. "...I was laughing my way through this amazing website.."

    Great, there goes my entire afternoon.

  2. Time well spent, I promise. Your work can wait. (Don't tell your boss that, though).