Have you ever been so excited to try something new and then so spectacularly failed at it that it’s giving you PTSD at how bad you were but then you want to try it again because you can’t just fail like that because you never fail at things?
That was me this past weekend when O and I went backpacking. It was 100 percent my idea and 100 percent my failure.
To be fair to myself, I’ve gone camping a number of times. So living in the wild doesn’t bother me. And I’d like to think I’m strong for my size—like I go to Barry’s Bootcamp, that should count for something, right? But no amount of Trader Joe’s snacks or offline map downloads could have prepped us for the three biggest pitfalls we encountered.
First, the keys got locked in our rental car, which set us back two hours and meant we had to hike to our campsite in the dark.
Then, I didn’t know that I had to use a women’s backpack. I borrowed a men’s one, which apparently distributes weight differently (women packs distribute more weight to the hips). The pack wasn’t fitted, and after a mile, I felt like my back was going to give out.
On top of that, the next day, there was a sudden windstorm that put our tent at risk of blowing away and turned my hands numb. With all my back pain and my miserable mood, exacerbated further by Anthony’s Bourdain death (I was crying most of Friday), I made us turn back and drive back home. We made it 7 miles in total.
I feel so bad about giving up, especially since I had wanted the weekend to be quality time and a cool new experience. But I guess I finally reached my limit, at least in that moment. But it also makes me want to try again, albeit with better weather conditions, a backpack that actually fits, and after enough time has passed so O doesn’t hate me anymore (shoutout to him for putting up with me for all that time).
I had made this giant batch of granola to sustain us during our trip. Since that was cut short, it’s now sustaining me through afternoon hunger pangs and evening cravings. It’s got a bajillion different types of grains and seeds, adding a ton of nutrition and making it look pretty. You can eat it plain and be satisfied, which makes it perfect for camping (…oops). And even though I failed terribly at that, at least I have this recipe out of it, which is something right?
Do any of you have any recommendations to prevent me from dying the next time I go backpacking?