A forum thread once asked what “rituals” people have before or post-trip. Perhaps a particular place to have a pre or post-trail meal? Or maybe making specific calls to check in, or what-have-you.
Since it is almost always Joan or myself on these trips, we have no rituals, but we seem to have a pattern.
We often have three-day weekends and a reasonably flexible schedule. Most of our free time revolves around backpacking (with a short campout the night before) or car camping/hiking trips during the colder months. Our recent trip this past weekend and following our ritual this evening brought back the thread idea.
Here’s our “post-trip ritual ” –
SUNDAY NIGHT: Unload the truck, shower, wash clothes, restock the “pantry tote” (always contains dried and canned food, drink beverages, etc.), empty water jugs, and clean/dry gear.
~~~ From our old place, the gear sprawl is much better organized now!
MON-WED Research trip via maps, online resources, guide books, and even the odd academic journal for clues to arc site locations. Plot out trips on Gaia GPS or CalTopo, import tracks to our phones, and look at print maps for a more expansive view and potential driving conditions. Print out maps if we don’t have a commercial overview map.
Thursday or Wednesday – load up packs/gear; I load up the truck with appropriate equipment. As mentioned, even backpacking, we will camp out a night, so we always have a basic camp kit in the vehicle, and it never hurts to have extra food and water out here.
If anything, the extra water, and “pantry tote” let us pivot and turn a dry backpacking trip into a camping trip or exit early and go camping. (Happened in “The Maze.” We left a day early and went to the free but dry camping that allows access to the fantastic Horseshoe Canyon unit with its famous panels)
Cooler loaded up for both Thurs or Friday evening and post-backpacking trip goodies (cold drinks, fruit, etc.).
We always do a weather check, as driving on muddy backcountry roads is no fun!
Thursday or Friday Evening- Sunday: Camp and backpacking. Drive home. Repeat.