With the weather in prime condition and the mountain snow leaving, we’ve been burning up the trail. You think we’d be experts at getting ready for our weekend explorations but we actually suck. We continue to forget food, clothing, equipment, sunscreen, you name it. Megan had a freak out moment on our previous hike when we couldn’t find the chocolate chip cookies she made the night before (they were actually hidden in my H2O sleeve, oops). It doesn’t help that our brains are fogged up from waking at 4 AM in the morning to beat the risk of lightning on our hike. So to help you avoid forgetting that savory piece of chocolate or your lucky pair of hiking undies, I’ll lay out how to prepare during the work week.
Monday – Thursday needs to be spent researching and planning. Use 14ers.com or whatever weather/hiking site you like. If you work at a computer, I’d recommend just leaving that site up cause you’re going to hit it at least 10 times a day checking the weather forecast, drooling at recent trip reports, and scouting out which mountain is most optimal for the weekend. You could start laying your gear out now but that is risky. No wife likes tripping over your crap and she will be sure to let you know that. Forgetting important gear is better than getting nagged all week. Better wait until Friday night to pack.
Friday after work, go to the grocery store and load up on your favorite munchies. Bars, smoothie materials, fruit, jerky, whatever floats your boat. My new favorite thing is to have a cold coconut water waiting in the car – just don’t forget to bring a cooler otherwise it’s pretty gross. Sorry but you’ll have to skip the gym and booze tonight. No hike is fun after a day of 5 x 5 back squats and you’ll probably be drunk driving considering how early you have to wake up. This is also the time to prep your gear. Lay it all out on the floor so you can quickly tell what is missing. I had to create a checklist to ensure I don’t forget stuff. I’ve already overlooked my hiking poles, buff, and SD card for the past few hikes.
Now it’s time to get to bed. Watch something funny or brainless to relax yourself for sleep. Avoid intense shows like True Detective or GoT.
On Saturday, when the alarm goes off, throw on your hiking clothes, whip together your breakfast and coffee, and hit the road. The hours of driving to the trailhead are pretty brutal that early in the morning. Ideally you will have a good Pandora station or an audio book to listen to. Once you’ve finished your outdoor excursion, put all your gear up and throw those stinky clothes in the washer. That way, you’ll be setup for perfection on your next trip. After a shower, take a quick 1 -2 hour nap if time allows. Then you can hit the breweries and celebrate your accomplishment.
Sunday is the day of rest from adventure. This can be your “GTL day.” Feel free to hit a WOD, bike or finish up that laundry. We’ve been enjoying an end to the weekend with Jazz at City Park here in Denver.
I think it is OK to update the conditions reports from your trip on 14ers.com but don’t you dare start planning another hike. Save that for Monday fool.