Backpacking Command Control

 Guest post from Trail Dame Sandi Adams

  Generally the command center begins to take shape 7 days out…

First, a corner, expanding quickly to the corner chair and creeping over the end of our bedroom. The spreadsheet has been printed with the highlighter nearby. A nearobsessive affair with the weather channel begins. Backpack has been emptied and slowly expandsas things are added and checked off the list. Ethel, my zero degree Big Agnes sleeping bag, goes in first, followed by my tent and footprint.

My new treasure, the Exped 9 down mat sleeping pad is next. (Homage to the eternal challenge for adapting my sleeping system to my old bones and cold nature.)

Next, a stove and fuel are tucked in the crevices. My tinypersonal kit, face wipes, Vaseline, contacts case, toothbrush and paste are slipped in the mix. (A far cry from the usual menagerieof items needed to put this 52 year old together!) Meals are packed in individual bags carefully labeled with a sharpie, needing only boiling water to turn them into delicious treats on the trail. 

gear is wedged in a front pouch. Two days of clothes and layers, extra socks, (always pack extra socks!)
and a zip lock crammed with mittens, a hat, and jacket in the event of cold finds its way into the pack. The top pockets share the ten essentials and snacks along with my beloved Freshy Freshetteand trusty trowel. My tervis mug, (keeps hot things hot and cold things cold!) hangs off the outside of the pack next to my super long spoon and a pink bandana.

When it is all said and done, a pack weighing about 30-35 poundswill take the place of the spread. My life for three days will depend on its contents… I think that is what I love the most.
The simplicity. The challenge to strip off the
desires and distractions
of the day to day. Down to 35 pounds of basic survival. To go where many choose not to go and see what many never see. Iconsider it all blessing to strip down and walk off and enjoy the peace and closeness of beautiful creation.   Did I mention I leave Friday?
“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration. “
Ansel Adams

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