Too Old For That Shit

July 23, 2015 § 2 Comments

Well, I suppose it had to happen eventually. I just thought I had a few years yet before it wouldn’t be worth it anymore.

I’m talking about my rustic camping trip on the weekend. We had a couple of nice fires, a great meal and a good sit by the lake.

But the rest, well the rest absolutely and unequivocally sucked monkey balls. Unserviced used to be an adventure now it’s just a pain in the ass.  The yahoos across the lake used to be fun now they’re just fucking annoying.

We had rain most of the night Friday, even had to abandon the fire at 8:00pm and a severe thunderstorm the following night. All told, out of the 48 hours we were gone we got maybe three hours of sunshine. I also only got 7 hours sleep the entire weekend while BFF got about 24.

I was cold, I was damp, I was exhausted and I was sore from unloading and hauling all of our gear down a very long, steep, poorly maintained, hand dug staircase to the not quite level shack. I spent the entire weekend secretly dreading having to haul it all back up.

Mostly though, I was bored. (See above for how much sleep I got compared to my companion.) I had no idea just how prevalent Netflix had become in my life. Old shows, new shows, movies and documentaries…oh, how I love thee. I did bring a book and thank goodness it was decent and I almost finished it.

In the end, it seems I’ve outgrown my fondness for the rustic experience. Perhaps even outgrown my love of camping altogether. All I could think about while shivering inside my thick sweater and flannel shirt desperately trying to start a fire in a wet pit was a fancy hotel room with a kickin’ hot tub, room service and my laptop.

Nature, it’s been a blast but I think I want to start seeing other environments. Really, it’s not you, you’re awesome…it’s totally me.


Going to the Cottage

July 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Really, it’s an unserviced shack in the middle of very dense woods in Western Quebec. Woohoo, can’t wait!

I’m an “old fashioned” camper, I prefer the rustic experiences of my childhood to today’s modern “glamping“.  We will have no running water or electricity and have to rely on batteries, kerosene, propane and ice for our basic necessities. I’ll spare you the potty details. 😛

This post is about packing the cooler.

I have recently come up with a way to maximize space and efficiency while at the same time saving myself some of the headaches of depending on a portable box of melting ice for our perishable food items.

 frcoolerThis is one of our smaller coolers, perfect for me and my girlfriend for the weekend. Anything bigger is a waste of space and this one, tightly packed, will keep the food colder longer.

So, if you’re new to camping or just want a better way to store your perishable food items here are some easy steps to packing a cooler for maximum convenience and minimum hassles.

1) Make a detailed menu plan including snacks. It took me years to figure out the necessity of this step. Mostly because I was so busy making other lists and organizing the kids that when it was time to head out we just threw a bunch of stuff in the cooler and tossed ice on top.

When I say detailed, I mean down to how many eggs per person per day you’ll need. It’ll save you room and prevent the need to cool food you won’t be eating. The easiest way to do this is to figure out how long you’ll be gone, how many meals you’ll need, how much each person is likely to eat and account for snacking.

2) Take only what you have determined you’ll need (from Step 1).  Don’t bring a whole brick of cheese or tub of yogurt for two people for an overnight stay. This is such a waste of precious space in your cooler and you run the risk of food turning, particularly if the weather is really hot.

Either buy individual portions if they are available and just toss a few in the cooler. You can also parse food out in food safe reusable containers. You don’t need a whole cupboard of *Tupperware for this either.

containersThese reusable food safe products are affordable, sturdy and can be found in almost any grocery store. Just make sure they will fit in your cooler and that they stack well.

3) Freeze as much as possible to keep the necessity for ice to a minimum. Melting ice can wreak havoc in that the water often easily gets beyond basic packaging. Soggy wieners or soaked cheese anyone?

I personally prefer to precook and then freeze items like chicken, stews or soups (in the reusable containers) for the cooler. They keep the other foods cool and at the same time saves on the cooking. Frozen water bottles and juice boxes also work as great ice substitutes.

4) Finally, practice stacking your containers for maximum space allowance. This may sound silly but it’s so worth the time to make sure just how many containers will fit and still allow space for things like fruit and eggs.

If you find you have enough room you can even fill an empty container with water and freeze it. This will act like an ice pack with the bonus of providing both drinking water and an empty container for any leftovers.

Happy Camping!

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