Last week, my family decided we needed to get away for a bit. We chose to take a quick camping trip for 3 nights. It was a great trip minus the heat, black flies and falling out of a canoe. However, I can honestly say, we have not mastered minimalist camping!! As we began the packing process, we really were trying to pair down and not take too much, yet somehow by the time our wheels hit the pavement, we had a full truck bed!
As we set up camp, I quickly realized that we had brought too much with us, yet also not enough. For example, we had everything we needed to shower, have a dance party with solar lights, and cook meals over a fire. We however did not bring enough blankets, bug bite creams, or shoes! I quickly realized on night one as we snuggled into our tent for bed, that it was about 20 degrees colder than we expected and I couldn’t get close enough to my husband to warm me. I kept picturing the scene from “The Revenant” when Leo DiCaprio crawls inside a dead horse to stay warm. I just wanted to be warm enough to not shake!
“I kept picturing the scene from “The Revenant” when Leo DiCaprio crawls inside a dead horse to stay warm.”
The next day, we headed out to take a lovely 4 hour canoe trip, that turned into a 6 hour canoe trip, and some very sore arms. It was such a fun trip! The kids were having a great time anchoring us down with a tube! Seriously, every foot we moved forward was like being at the county fair competing in the tractor pull! We later had to put it in the back of the canoe, once we realized our pick up person may send a search party if we don’t get moving!
“I could see myself practically flying through the air, feeling full on bird like majestic…”
We finally stopped for lunch at the perfect spot. It was a little sandy spot with a nice rock to sit on. After lunch, I decided I would be the one to push us off, back into the river. As I straddled the canoe with my good leg in and my bad leg stuck in that lovely sand we enjoyed so much, I quickly realized I was in a pickle and wasn’t going to make it out of this one unscathed! I was already in too deep, and as I tried to launch myself into the boat I could see myself practically flying through the air, feeling full on bird like majestic, just to realize I hadn’t actually gotten out of the sand. Instead I had pushed the canoe further away causing my straddle to be more like splits, and for my leg to hit the side of the canoe like a slingshot. I flew backwards onto my bottom, and immediately felt the rush of cold water over my body. As I quickly recovered and realized I was not actually hurt, (at least not as bad as that time I rode a mechanical bull. True story for another time!) I could hear the resounding laughter of my family. I ended up with a nasty bruise, but it was worth it to see my families reaction, and hear them poke fun at me for the next 2 days. Watching your kids replay a fall, is highly entertaining in some odd way, even if it’s your fall they are reenacting!
As our trip was coming to a close, we started packing up all of the gear we so carelessly packed. As I packed up the lights, the extra table, and the 3 rugs, I looked at my daughter with blood running down her neck. Blood Running down her neck! She had been bit 4 times by black flies. I never knew that such a tiny bug could cause so much bleeding! I again realized that, while I had brought so many things I thought we might need, I didn’t bring the right bug bite cream. My poor daughter took it like a champ, and we wiped up the blood and got her fixed up when we got home.
What I learned on this trip was that we don’t need nearly as much as we took, but we need to take care when packing and make sure we have the essentials to keep us warm, dry, and safe. While this trip had many bumps (and bruises), it was so much fun. We made a ton of memories and enjoyed just being together. The beautiful thing about minimalism is that while we may need to master our packing, we were able to take off for a trip without worry. We could leave on a whim, and not feel the pressure of life and daily duties. Our lives have been simplified so we can enjoy every minute. We can laugh at ourselves, and spend time in the moment. This is what I saw when we chose minimalism. This is the lifestyle I will choose again and again.
Live Simply Friends,