All My Bags Are Packed…

I spent much of yesterday with my list getting everything ready for the trip. It took most of the day as usual. This is important, because I always forget something anyway, and the trick is to have some sort of backup plan for every crucial item. For example, I’m bringing my trusty MSR water filter/pump, a veteran of many a back country trip. Just in case, I pack a tiny bottle of iodine tablets so we can treat our water safely. I’ve carried that little bottle around with me over the years, and thankfully have never had to use it. I’d rather have it than not.

After this year’s Wilderness EMS course at NMU in Marquette, I spiffed up my first aid kit too. I had some left over antibiotic from a tooth problem a while back, and also brought a cravat in case of a fracture. Again, I’ll probably never use them, but I feel good having them along. That is the trick with backpacking. When you take your first step off the trail, you’d better have what you need for the duration of the trip, because there are no stores down there. But if you took everything you think you’ll ever need, that first step might be the last because you’d have 100# on your back.

I’m doing the food a bit differently this year. I bought a book called Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe that stepped me through some good recipes and the proper technique to dehydrate them at home. I made a couple of batches for regular meals first, then dehydrated some and rehydrated them at home. They were good, and not so salty/fatty/expensive as the store bought freeze dried stuff. Plus there is less packaging going to waste too. I used ziplock vacuum bags. The vacuum part worked poorly for me, but the bags themselves seem pretty robust, which is a necessity on a long trip.

food.jpgI always lay everything out on the table before I put it away in my varmint-proof containers. This time, as often happens, I looked at the food and thought, “will this be enough for 2 hungry guys for 5 days?” I’m sure it will be because I’ve gone over and over this. But still you wonder. We’d survive in any case, but I’d hate to take the edge off our enjoyment by having insufficient food along.

I’m taking a cab to the Baraga Pines Convenience Center this evening, where I’ll catch the bus to Lansing. From there I’m being met by my brother, who’ll drive us to East Lansing where we’ll catch the Michigan Flyer bus to Detroit Metro, where we’ll catch a shuttle to our hotel. Next morning, the shuttle will take us back to Detroit Metro, where we’ll hopefully catch our plane and be on our way. I’m pretty excited.

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