Call me Sisyphus.
Damn it if I haven’t found myself at the bottom of the same hill I was trying to push my personal boulder up five years ago. Here I stand again, staring up at the huge task looming over me—the need to get organized at home so I can get out and do what I love without constant frustration.
When it comes to adventurous travel, it’s a huge buzzkill if it’s an ordeal to find your gear and get out the door. You’ve got a massive self-imposed obstacle to even getting out on a trip, much less enjoying it. Yet here I am facing the need to set up the systems that remove those obstacles. Again.
It’s an investment with a big return, though. It reduces the mental overhead it takes to just go do cool shit. At my tiny loft in Roswell, I was successful in creating smooth systems that got me on the road to adventures. My hydration pack and hiking poles were on the coat rack by the door, ready to go at a moment’s notice. Camping bins and gear were ready to throw in the car. My motorcycle cases were packed with essentials and ready to ride. My camera pack was always loaded and ready to roll. You get the picture. I was a lean, mean, adventuring machine. It was fantastic. Getting those systems in place took a good bit of effort. By putting in that effort, though, I had removed a lot of obstacles from the road to adventure.
The chaos of life
Having trickled my life to Nevada over the course of two years I’ve failed miserably in creating those same systems here. Part of that failure is living in two places with gear split between homes. It’s tough to remember where your shit is much less manage it well in that scenario. Another part is the melding of households in Nevada with my dear man. It’s a big project to orchestrate when you’ve got two-adventurous-people’s-worth of stuff to sort through. You also might have noticed I travel a lot. Rectifying my adventure gear mayhem requires being home long enough to take on the project. And actually doing it when we are.
Clearly I still get out and have great trips, in spite of the chaos. The behind-the-scenes preparation is the makings of an adventurer’s horror story, though. Piles of boxes and bins in no particular order. None of them with much rhyme or reason to their contents. Many of them partially spilling their innards out onto the garage floor from previous efforts to find something. Outdoor gear is now co-mingling with motorcycling gear. And motorcycling gear is spilling over into tools and other garage flotsom. Need a tent? Look under the drill press. Where is the camp stove? Maybe in the bin over the engine oil. Where are the motorcycle tie-downs? Try the third box down behind the stack of shovels and rakes. This is our life of late.
I’m usually amped up and grumpy by the time I get on the road simply from trying to get packed and out the door. Or once I do finally get on the road, I’m missing a piece of gear I needed and didn’t realize it wasn’t packed. On a recent camping trip with George, I failed to pack the tent stakes. I forgot the fucking tent stakes! Then there’s gear maintenance that I’m not tending to because I don’t have a system in place for doing repairs. Sure enough, it catches me off-guard the next time I’m out and I have to scramble in the field to fix or work around issues.
Recreating the magic
It doesn’t have to be this hard and it’s a problem of my own making. The good news is that it’s a problem I can fix. Now that I’m not living in two places with my belongings scattered across the country, I think I finally have the bandwidth to get my shit together and stop making excuses. It’s time to stop screwing myself over. That means removing obstacles I’ve created for myself and instead creating grab-and-go systems that make adventures accessible. Whether it’s hiking, camping, photography, or motorcycling. Whether it’s a day trip, a couple of weeks, or months-long—having gear at the ready sets me up for a great adventure. AND I have everything I need.
I love being on the road. I could be perfectly happy as a nomad and not be tied down to one place. But since I do have a home base, it needs to facilitate my top priority in life—exploring the world around me. That means it’s time once again to slow down, reset, purge, organize, and remove obstacles. Once again I have to push the rock up that damn hill.
Adventure on, friends!