This is Part 2 of my Oregon camping trip. You can read Part 1 here.
“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright
I was definitely treading the.. heck, let’s face it. I was running up & down that divide!
Luckily, a neighbor was generous enough to offer part of his catch – a salmon filet from the season.
By now Molly and I had gotten down some routines.. “best practices,” if you will –
Simplify by Being Organized
When you’re running around amuck in the woods, it’s important to be organized.. There’s enough stuff to try and figure each day. A lot of stuff you take for granted – like going to the bathroom becomes a chore.
So, it helps to color code stuff, if you can. Stuff like having bags for specific uses – dry goods in one / utensils in another – comes in handy, so you can find stuff & not spend time looking for that bottle opener when you’d rather be enjoying that riesling while it’s still crisp and nicely chilled.
When we talk about a “sanitized cockpit” in aviation, we’re not talking about keeping hand sanitizer in your flight bag. Just like having clipboards for air charts and pockets for gear, you will appreciate how simpler life is when you compartmentalize.
Keeping perishables in the cooler not only keeps them fresh and handy, but you can quickly know if you’re running low on any items. Separating this from the dry goods makes sure that ingredients are the way you need them when you do.
Keeping a Smooth Camping Environment
In a lot of ways campsites become small towns in themselves. Trust is key – at some point you leave stuff out. So, hopefully you feel safe about doing so with your neighbors.
What helps to build connections with others is sharing information. Sometimes you’re the “expert” but sooner or later you need others. This applies to all kinds of resources, but information is the most handy social currency.
Within your own “village” it’s important to have self-sufficiency, yet you need to work together. Camping creates an environment that’s intense. The last time I spent this much time in such close quarters was my time in the military on a ship in the middle of the West Pacific Ocean. You learn the need to balance between keeping to yourself and connecting with others.
Part of self-sufficiency is re-use – Those paper bags for groceries then become kindling for fires. Having a “waste not / want not” mentality translates to how that plastic container may become a much needed water jug. Even though there’s more recycling and minimizing waste today, we forget some of these ideas in our “civilized” world.
What You Learn to Appreciate
Boy, do we forget some of the things we take for granted!
Bathrooms less than 150’ away
Running water that didn’t require pump
Showers – HOT showers!
Why did we pay for such inconvenience? To be honest this was an affordable way to be with Molly. There was no way that I could have afforded hotels for the time we spent with our limited budget. Plus, we got to know each other in ways that nothing else.
It does take a self-sufficient, capable gal – camping is definitely not for your typical girly girl. At the same time there’s a lot of guys who’d probably have a hard time keeping up with someone like that. I think I did okay. Well, at least average – if not a little above-average? (hopefully, this isn’t the same way we all think we’re above-average drivers..)
I’m still amazed that we did it – not just in the sense of surviving.. unfortunately, Molly got a sprained ankle, but that’s not too bad considering we spent so much time “out in the wild.” Hey, we didn’t get food poisoning, or any number of typical nasty camping ills like poison ivy, ticks, or snake bites.
Our relationship deepened.. something that nothing else can really take its place.