Thursday, June 03, 2010

Getting on the trail quickly

It usually takes me 15 minutes to 1/2 hour to get going in the morning.

Things I do to save time:
Rinse my breakfast bowl with a small amount of water and drink the water. No elaborate dish washing. Or I eat no-cook food or eat while walking down the trail.

Pack everything in the same order every day. Unpack everything and leave it in the same place every night.

I usually do not camp near water. That wastes time. Instead I bring enough water at the end of the day to get through dinner and breakfast.

I might brush my teeth in camp or I might do that on the trail instead. If water is scarce, I won't do it at all. Brushing my hair wastes time so I have a hair style that requires a minimal amount of that.

Hot breakfasts and coffee waste time. But they are nice luxuries. Campfires and picnic tables also waste time and cause you to spread your stuff around making it harder to keep track of and locate.

I save time on clothing by sleeping in my hiking clothes. No change of clothing means no time spent changing clothes.

I save a lot of time by not being sentimental about my camping location. This sounds silly, but sometimes it seems like people are simply reluctant to leave. Once my stuff is packed I put my pack on, take a really quick look (really quick because I haven't spread my stuff out all over the place) and then I just GO.

When you are hiking a long trail, you are on a hiking trip, not a camping trip. So while this list may sound austere and punishing, it is really just a set of things to do to help maximize the hiking and minimize the camping. Now that I hike shorter trails, I do not do these things as much anymore. I drink the coffee, brush my hair, camp near water. Different techniques for different kinds of backpacking.

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