Preparing to go on an adventure like I've never done before is both a daunting and exciting task. Tomorrow we set out for a backpacking / camping trip at several national parks and the question is still in my mind "do we have everything we need?" At the inception of this vacation, I bit off way more geography than I could handle in the allotted time frame and had to make some really tough decisions on cutting out several major portions of the trip much to mine and others chagrin. It's kind of like trying to please everyone and instead pissing off the whole bunch. Try to see everything on a tight schedule and it will be neither relaxing or enjoyable.
There have been several debates on the provisions necessary for the ecosystems we will be visiting. Do we have enough water vessels? What about bears, mountain lions etc? How much is enough first aid supplies? Some people online say a bear bell is sufficient to ward off most wild life but I sure would feel better with a can of bear mace at minimum and a gun would just be comforting all around. I can assure you that I have a shit load of knives, way more than are logical to bring: a Bear Grylls survivial knife, an underwater rescue knife, a quasi-butterfly knife and the latest member, the Bear Grylls Parang. I had a SOG fixed blade as well but was informed I was being an idiot (in the kindest way possible) after purchasing the parang so the SOG is staying behind. A quick promotional side note: the Bear Grylls Parang is FUCKING AWESOME!!! It's wicked sharp (I think I could honestly chop someones arm off in one swipe) and it looks cool not to mention that it's only like $40. The parang rightfully elicited "you are 12" and an eye roll when I said I was going to strap it to my back because "it's badass".
While shopping for food supplies this evening, the excitement started to hit me. This is going to be a fantastic adventure not just because of my companion and the natural beauty but because it's going to be devoid of many comforts. I expect that some days all I will eat is a can of black eyed peas for lunch with a can of soup for dinner and as weird as it sounds, I'm delighted. As we assembled all the provisions, it started to dawn on me how much of our everyday conveniences we take for granted. My hope is that distancing myself from normal society and cutting down on comforts will help bring a new perspective, a refreshing for my spirit and open my mind further.