It’s interesting how much of civilization we tote along with us when our stated purpose is to escape it.
This become very clear to me during our recent camping trip. Now let me state up front, I am not advocating we all dispense with the conveniences of civilization when we decide to hit the road. Good Lord no. We have a small, hard top trailer with a bathroom and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve camped in tents on hard ground. It’s not my thing. Getting back to Nature doesn’t mean you have to suffer in a leaky tent in the process. I am quite content to have a roof over my head, a flushing toilet, hot shower, and a furnace.
What did strike me though, is how much of our food civilization we tote along when we go out into the woods. I’ll be up front with you, this was not a good Paleo eating weekend. Hamburgers and sausages with buns, marshmellows, chips, and non-Paleo breakfasts have made it clear to me that I need to plan better for the next trip. I suppose in a lot of ways it was a habit I had not prepared myself to face and in the lack of preparation I was undone.
When you think about it though, camping should be the one opportunity where we get to eat Paleo the most but the trappings and traditions we associate with it (at least here in North America) are not. Marshmellows and S’mores? Meat wrapped in bread? Potato chips? All of it is junk food we associate with the joys of camping but are probably the most un-Paleo things we could even look sideways at. And the hard part isn’t even that these are somehow necessary items, they are just habit and tradition that need to be changed. In that way, this weekend was very instructive to me. It’s shown me the things I need to change in another aspect of my life that I hadn’t delved into until now.
In my mind then, there are two take-aways here; one practical, one a bit more theoretical. The practical point is that I need to put more thought into the food that gets packed for our camping excursions. Leaving the chips and marshmellows behind can be hard when short term expectations are crushed but in the long term it’s for the better. There are plenty of things that can be roasted on the campfire besides big, puffy lumps of sugar.
The theoretical point is this. In camping, and all aspects of life, we need to think ahead and prepare for situations instead of trying to deal with them at the time. Unless you’re far enough along in your journey to have the resolve to work through situations at the time, you need to prepare beforehand for a favourable outcome. I know I’m not there yet. You may or may not be. What is true though is that it never hurts to have an action plan for when the marshmellows come out around the campfire or for any situation you’re not sure you have the willpower to overcome.
When we go camping again in August I think I’ll be better prepared to deal with all of this. I hope my marshmellow and chip binge this weekend hasn’t been for naught. Let it be a beacon for us both. Preparation is one of the keys of this journey. I’ll be prepared next time. Will you?