Hiking packets

I have a set of hikes I want to go on this winter, but it’s going to be difficult going on all of them if the weather continues so erratically. Weather Underground is normally fairly accurate, but lately, when the forecasters promise sun, we get rain; and when we expect clouds, we get sunshine. Like today.

If the weather breaks, I then have to scramble through my books to see which hike I want– am I up for a tough one or an easy one–and directions to the location and and since most of the hikes are at least an hour away, and the sun sets at 4pm, I lose the opportunity.

Being a geek, and therefore fussy and tweaky, with a love of organizing information into bit buckets, I devised a system of hiking packets: manila envelopes, each containing referential material (description of hike, location and driving directions, and any trail guides) about a specific hike. These envelopes are then marked with their region, difficulty and length of hike.

Now, when the weather is right, depending on the amount of time before sunset and my energy level, I grab one of the envelopes, pull out the direction sheet for how to get to the location, grab my cameras and head for the car.

No more dithering. Better yet, I won’t know which hike I’ve grabbed until I open the envelope, so each trip will begin with its own small adventure.

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