I am going on a camping trip to Algonquin park in one week. I have been camping a number of times in recent years but this is going to be quite different for a variety of reasons. I am going with a completely new group of people and instead of being able to just sit by and let others do the food planning I am going to be running that particular show myself. This is somewhat more difficult than it usually is for my trips because instead of plans to do short paddles with lots of resting we are planning to run light and do long trips with punishing portages. That means we really want to do every portage in a single go, which means I have to shave off every kilo of material I can. I don't want to cut it too close though as I don't actually know how much food people need being as I haven't done this before.
I want to try this new thing of running lean and pushing ourselves really hard. I think it will be fun! Not that running leaner than the last few years will be difficult - people brought cases of beer and literally double the food we needed on the last few trips and I *know* we won't be doing that. However, it is a difficult balance to strike between having extra food so we aren't hungry and miserable and having too much weight and having to change our route dramatically to actually be able to complete it.
Right now we have a two pretty easy days and two punishing days. Thankfully both punishing days have much shorter routes available should we realize that we have greatly overestimated our carrying capacity, paddling speed, or moxy so even if we have to audible to easier routes it won't totally wreck the trip. I know that Naked Man will put up all kinds of fussing if we end up needing to chicken out on the hardcore route he has drawn up for us, but I suspect it is better to to at least admit that it might happen ahead of time rather than get in over our heads.
It is odd, the way I view this in my head. I am not actually looking forward to punishing physical exertion, but I expect it will make me a happier and better person in the long run. Getting away from technology and connectivity every so often is a good thing - it grants perspective. As Calvin's dad would say, suffering builds character, and we all need more character, right?
Worst case is that we have a terrible time and I get some more ideas for Disasters that can happen in my new game Camp Nightmare. I can't lose!