30 August 2013

Up North. And How I Way Overpack.

My husband has this memory of when he was in high school and his youth group went to World Youth Day in Canada. It was just a few days-long trip, but this girl he knew needed TWO of those super-sized hockey duffle bags to fit everything. Whenever we go somewhere and I way overpack (which is pretty much everytime we go somewhere), I cry out in desperation: "I'm such an overpacker, but I don't know what else to pare down!" He responds, "you aren't an overpacker until you need a hockey bag for a weekend." But I usually think to myself, "wouldn't it be more convenient if I just had one large bag instead of four medium ones?"

We're going tent camping this weekend. Since we have a two-year-old, we're only on Tent Camping Beginner Level 1, which entails camping in the front yard of his parents' up north cabin. This way, if things go terribly wrong, we can just scurry inside the cabin and pretend nothing happened. Which we might need to do. Because there's bears and coyotes and stuff up north.

We haven't tent camped in a few years. And I suspect that I like the idea of tent camping more than I like actually tent camping. I guess we're about to find out.

And I think I overpacked.

But we're tent camping, ya know? And the ground is hard. So I'm thinking we layer up: foam mats, two unzipped sleeping bags on top of each other, us, piles o' blankets. And I do mean piles. Cause it's going to get cold at night and you never know when an extra blanket or two might help out. Plus, we've got three people, and we need to have enough blankets for everyone.

I mean, three a piece isn't too many, is it? It's a good thing I'm a blanket addict and have a bazillion blankets. Cause I think a half a bazillion is a good number of blankets to take when you're sleeping on the ground. I even gave away about half of my blankets when we moved to Florida four years ago, but this is how many I still have -

Not to mention the blankets on beds, the down comforter packed up until winter, and the box of boy blankets I bought before I knew Abigail was a girl baby. Acknowledgement is the first step in recovery, right? Anyway, back to camping.

So I tried to be very judicious when I was packing. Only one extra outfit for Abigail (in case of a blow out), no extra socks and shirts for me, only one book, the minimum amount of makeup I can get away with, no blow dryer, no extra sweat shirts. Then after I had everything packed and stacked by the door, I started to get annoyed at how much crap we have, so I went back through our bags again to clear out as much as I could. But seriously, I can't find anything else to pare down! We need warm clothes for morning and evening, t-shirts for the afternoon, respectable pajamas (since we'll be around other people), church clothes and shoes for Sunday morning, swim suits because the cabin is on a lake, Abigail's life jacket because they have a boat but no toddler-sized jackets. So now I have 13 bags. Ugh!

We'll leave today after Matt gets off work to go up north, which, for those of you non-Michiganders is not the upper peninsula. You see, this is the lingo those in my circle use:

If we didn't have to stop for Chica, it'd take us a little over 4 hours to get to the cabin from Matt's job in Lansing (where the "n" in "down state" is). I'm desperately hoping to get up in enough time to set up the tent before total darkness sets in. Cause nothing says, "free fast food in aisle nine!" to a bear like two people stumbling around in the darkness with nine blankets and a flashlight.

I'm not a fun person to be with on a road trip because I get severe motion sickness if I do anything other than look out a window. I can drive, but I can't sit in the backseat and occupy the car-weary baby for very long. I can't read, crochet, or even look at a map for too long. And I have to pee ever half hour. Seriously, pregnant or not, my bladder is way too tiny for extended car trips. My husband is the exact opposite. He never gets car sick, rarely has to stop and use the bathroom, and can handle being the driver for an entire day.

I'm pretty sure the kitties are going to be stoked for some alone time. They're a little play dated out.

Ugh! Now I'm off to pack all this stuff in the car (while Abigail naps). Wish me luck! And wish my husband luck. Cause he's the one stuck in the car with my micro-bladder for the better part of the evening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you -you're going camping! The last time I camped our tent poles came crashing down in a windy rainstorm (we were camping on the Homer Spit, and waves crashing in from the ocean were also a factor) and we threw everything back into the car and drove up a hillside in the middle of the night to pitch our tent again, in the woods, out of the wind, and into the ravenous maws of grizzlies.

I couldn't sleep because I couldn't get the thought of bears roaming through the camp out of my head. After a few hours I made my peace with God, prayed my Act of Contrition, and fell asleep.

Now I'm married with kids, and camping does not interest me in the least. Even Beginner Level 1.

But I'm ok with that, because I took my boys pine cone hunting the other day, so we spent some quality time in the great outdoors. If only there were apple orchards and pumpkin patches up here...TB