As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, this past summer I planned and organized 3 car camping trips and 2 backpacking trips from as early as February of this year. As much as I LOOOVVVE camping and backpacking, organizing those trips and coordinating everyone together becomes a pretty laborious process. It’s like herding cats. I now have a “NO INVITE” list of people that are no longer going to be included on my trips. Sorry, don’t take it personally – you’re still my friend! If you organize a trip, we’ll play by your rules. But when I organize a trip, these are mine.
I prefer to be a happy camper. Or a happy climber. Whichever.
In no particular order:
RULE #1: PLEASE DO NOT FLAKE
Unless you have an extremely good excuse (like someone dying, like you breaking a leg), please, please, PLEASE do not flake on a camping or backpacking trip! I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s hard to plan a trip when you don’t know how many people are coming. It affects cooking shifts, who brings what food, how to divvy up the supplies and the costs of the trip, car rides there, and just plain ol’ organizing fun activities. I take people’s interests and what they like to do into account when I plan my trips, so when people don’t show up it’s just hard to reorganize. I also try to make things simple so that no one else has to do very much, and I do try to ensure that the trips have enough people so that everyone has a good time.
RULE #2: NO WHINING
That also means complaining, being a “Debbie Downer”, and having an attitude about what we’re doing during the trip. Make the best out of the experience! Complaining when things go obviously wrong, or when things are sloppy is okay (sans negative attitude perhaps). As mentioned above, I try to take everyone’s feedback into account when planning these trips. The hard part is that people don’t always know what they DO like, but they often know what they DON’T like (when it arises, not beforehand). If you don’t want to do the activity that most of the group wants to do, you don’t have to do it. Not a big deal! We can split up and regroup later. However, if you really don’t like how the trip is going, it might have been a good idea to choose to not go in the first place.
I had to convince people to go to Horsetail Falls. Totally worth it! Reem and I were obviously all about it.
RULE #3: IF YOU GO ON A TRIP WITH ME, KNOW THAT I LIKE TO BE ACTIVE
Everyone has a different camping, hiking, or backpacking style. I’m not the type of person who does 20 mile days (I like to take photos and make stops at nice places), but I do want to make the most out of any location that I’m at. That means when I go backpacking through an amazingly beautiful wilderness area, I want to see new sights, climb mountains, swim in lakes, and go places. I don’t plan on sticking by the campsite all day long and sleeping, or just going swimming for an entire day (this only applies to backpacking. If we’re car camping, that’s okay). To me that’s just glorified picnicking. A day of rest is okay, but more than a day makes me sad. I also like to be active during the day (as opposed to only being active in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler). If you don’t like to hike or go swimming during daylight hours, you won’t want to go camping or backpacking with me. I also don’t tend to wake up before 7 or 8 am unless 1) it’s wayyy too hot to hike during the day, 2) I’m trying to cover some serious distance when backpacking, or – 3) I’m trying to see an amazing sunrise. See Rule #2 again.
An exception to the “no getting up before 8 am” rule