Just Too Complicated!

My wife and I just came back from a road trip to Utah. March is supposed to be a fairly mild month in regards to the weather. Since it is early in the year, most Federal and State parks are usually not that busy. There is an old saying that making assumptions makes an ass out of you. Well as you can guess neither of these assumptions turned out to be true or accurate.

While I am far from being the most traveled individual out there, I am still fairly well versed in all types of travel. I have even written a book on travel, which I just published a second edition of. So when I talk about traveling anyone listening or reading my book should pay attention to any advice I give. It will most certainly save you money and much anguish.

This update will only be available on my blog and will not be included in my travel book. Unless I eventually publish a third edition.  🙂 This update will be short but nonetheless germane to the subject of travel.

There is a very popular rule out there, and that is the “kiss” principle. It stands for keep it simple stupid. I have been guilty of violating this rule or principle on numerous occasions.  In my defense,  since vacation time is limited along with the necessary funds, I try to get as much as possible out of my trips.

The problem is that the more things you try to cram in your vacation the more thing that can go wrong. My wife and I are avid photographers. I also used to be into scuba diving. Both of these hobbies are equipment and gear intensive. It also only takes one missing key element to totally derail all of your plans. On one trip I forgot my dive computer, since I was using a air integrated and hoseless system. I was out if luck. I still went scuba diving. But now I had to rent gear, and the gear I had brought was now superfluous. I ended up storing the bag of scuba gear at an airport locker.

I am writing this update in my wife’s SUV. We are on a two day road trip to Arizona to see the spring super bloom. This event happens only a few times each decade, so we are quite excited to be out taking photos of this momentous event. This time it was my wife that forgot something. She forgot her spare camera batteries. Luckily we were only a few miles away from the house when she realized her mistake. So we turned around and went back home to get them. When we got home I remembered a few other things that I had not packed. None of these were indispensable, just nice to have items, so no harm no foul.

There is one way to prevent forgeting travel items and that is to have a check list. The problem withthis system is that none of our vacations are the same, we are always trying new things. So making a list is problematic at best. What we usually do is query each other to check if we brought everything. This is not full proof, especially if your partner is not familiar with your hobby and therefore does not know which questions to ask,, ie the missing dive computer. My wife is not a diver.

My wife an I usually utilize multiple types of shelter, like various types of tents or we may even sleep in our van or in motels, hotels or hostels and airbnb,s, so planning and packing for these trips can get quite complicated. If you find yourself doing these type of trips, all you can do is be as thorough as possible. You also need to plan as far ahead as possible. If you have room lay out all the gear you will need for each activity on a table or even floor. Once you do this walk your way through each item and visualize what you will need to complete it. By breaking up your itinerary this way, it is easier to make sure you have everything you need. If you just pack everything as you think about it and try to pack for the whole trip all at once, you will certainly forget something important.

The more complicated your trip or plans the more moving parts or gear that will be required. With each new activity added to your itinerary the more thorough and careful you will need to be in your planning and packing. Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Work as a team. Good luck in your travels. I have to wrap this up because I am missing the scenery as we zip along Highway 93, and my wife is getting cranky.

This is an update on the road trip that we are currently on. We just spent a night in a hotel, because we were unable to set up our tent in the desert because the ground was like concrete. Since we like to camp we have a total of five tents. Three are for backpacking or solo camping. The other two are for car camping. The first of these two car tents packs small enough so that we can do bus tour camping as well. Yes that is a thing out west. The last one is a four season canvas tent, with heavy duty metal and canvas cots. Since most tent stakes are not very strong and bend easily in the hard desert soil. I bought steel rebar ones for these two tents. They are heavy, but who cares we don’t have to carry them very far.

The problem arises is that you need a heavy hammer to pound these stakes in the ground and a prybar to pull them out of said ground. So I thought I would be cheap and use the same heavy duty hammer, actually a short handled 2-lb sledge hammer and prybar for both tents. Even though I checked to make sure I did not forget anything, I forgot those two items. By the way I also use these two items in my workshop.

So no matter how hard I pounded those stakes with a rock, I couldn’t pierce the hard soil. Thank goodness we found a cheap motel in Kingman. But this required us to backtrack 13 miles. Now we have to drive those 13 miles again, talk about a Groundhog Day like experience.

This little anecdotal account of my recent travel helps to show that no matter how experienced you are at something, you can still mess it up. LOL one good thing that came out of this is that we found a good Mexican restaurant and we got a good night’s sleep. We also took a lot of golden hour photos of various Route 66 points of interest in Kingman. So when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I always try and take negative experiences and make something positive out of them. Being flexible when you travel makes all the difference in the world on whether or not you will enjoy yourself.

Well it is time to pack up and hit the road.