OK so I apologise for the obvious title of this post – however the point is one to still make. Planning time is critical – the old adage “Not planning is planning to fail” is one I should live by more often. Recently though I failed in this and take my story as a cautionary tale…. I was caught up on the wrong things and forgot the basic planning…
I have had a weekend trip away planned for a while – the dates, not the trip specifically. A trip to the iconic Blue Rag track in the Victorian High Country (more to follow on that once I get photos sorted). It was to be a full family weekend getaway, camp one night somewhere in the wilderness and get in some solid 4WDing and fun along the way. A slight snag was in the works and I failed to plan adequately for it.
Usually when we camp we take a big single pole tent that takes about 5 minutes to set up, and then another 15 or so to get bedding etc organised. This time I had thought to take swags, a double and two singles. As the date drew closer it became apparent how much room these take up – I could fit both singles in the back of the car, and the double on the roof, or the double in the car and the two singles on the roof. Neither was a great option, but I have a roof rack designed to handle the gear so it wasn’t a problem. This little bit of the logistics impacted much of my other planning so much so that when we got to camping I realised I’d missed out on quite a few things.
The KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) is the way to go. What I should have done was get all the basic stuff sorted out: food, cooking stuff, bedding and then played with the different bits and pieces. It didn’t help I planned for a much colder night than we experienced but I’d rather have blankets and kick them off, than be exposed and frozen. There was an undeniable amount of stress around the trip too – the organisation of many aspects were not handled well. The small things that didn’t work compounded to make the trip much more difficult than it needed to be. Long story short – no deaths, but more fun could have been had.
While we reached our goal which was the trig point at Blue Rag, so much could have been better. Here are a few things for me to remember next time:
- Divide components of camping out and plan each to succeed e.g:
- cooking and eating – right utensils / enough gas / paper towel / rubbish bags
- sleeping gear – sleeping bags / pillows / bedding
- clothing and other bits and pieces
- car stuff – spares / where things need to go
- store gear more intelligently – there are lessons to learn each time we camp and a written record is useful
- label gear with a sticker. If it gets used, rip off the sticker. If not – don’t need it for next time.
None of these things are earth shattering, but combined it can negatively impact things… and it did. We camped next to a creek and it was magnificent – but I only had one towel between four of us. And while I’m all for a simple set up, still need the basics all covered – particularly with a 3 and 7 year old. They seem to need more stuff than adults do. I was caught in the trap of having my focus on the wrong things. Its easy to get moving in the wrong direction and end up stuck on the wrong things. The old expression that small things make up big things is true. Take the time to plan those small things and the overall picture will come together. A lesson for me to remember!