For a camping trip, the most essential planning is in the route and destinations, maps and guides and permits. The packing is the easy part, I’m reminding myself. Those basic needs, food, clothing, and shelter, are all that I need to really prepare for. There’s a philosophy that we could just fill a can with trail mix and continue to eat until we’ve reached the bottom, the signal for turning around and heading home. It will be cold, so besides pants and shirt I’ll pack a hat and coat; and the tent was pulled from its shelf with a faith that all the poles are bundled in the sack with coherent fabric to stretch across and make a temporary home. There’s comfort in the simplicity of it all.

But it will be nice to have a book to read at night. And, also, a headlamp to read by. And maybe some ice in the cooler and cans of beer for thermal ballast. Come to think of it, if we’re bringing the cooler we’ll have capacity for fruit. Maybe a pineapple. And I wonder if it’s too much to bring an extra pillow — this is vacation after all. And camp chairs, and some firewood. And so long as we’re going to the trouble, maybe marshmallows.


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