This is the type of text exchange I have with my husband on a regular basis:
(That’s me in blue. I’m an outdoors pusher.)
This was my 38K foot question to the husband-unit on a flight home from a business trip. It was Friday. I landed at 10AM, home by 11AM, Michael was home at 12:30PM and we were on the road by 1PM.
Michael talks ALL THE TIME about getting out of town as fast as possible. And it’s for a reason: He powers through his weekdays in the SF video game industry (Fun fact: He was one of the original team members on SimCity!), and his sense of work/life balance comes from his ability to get the F* out of dodge on a dime.
When my husband gets to the mountains, his entire demeanor changes. His face lightens. He breathes deeper. He is a new person as soon as the air turns fresh and the drone of traffic falls away. There is nothing better than seeing his face brighten up with the suggestion of a last minute overlanding excursion.
There is a strong element of planning and prepping with every new overland journey we take. But when spontaneity strikes, we use the following guidelines to seize the moment, load up and explore!
1. If You Fail to Prepare…
At the end of each trip we take inventory of what we used, what we discovered we needed, and what we can cut from our 3 Plano cases.
Once we have everything on a list, we execute on it. We don’t wait for the next scheduled adventure. We always have the core essentials on the ready.
For example, our dry foods plano will *always* have spaghetti, sauce, and packets of parmesan. We know we have one solid meal option with our outdoor kitchen setup wherever we land.
I also keep a duffle bag fully loaded with clean outdoors clothing. When we get home, we wash our dirty gear, and it goes right back into the ‘adventure’ duffle. No running around trying to find the merino wool shirt or the green adventure pants Friday afternoon. Just grab and go! (I swear, Michael would live in those pants if I didn’t immediately pack them away.)
We aren’t perfect at this! Sometimes we grab from the pantry to restock the cases; however, we’re conscious that the more we do at the end of a trip, the faster we are able to launch into the next one.
2. Stay On Your Maintenance Game
I HATE wondering (and worrying) about anything technical or mechanical while overloading in the 1996 FZJ80. I am the one scheduling oil changes, tune ups, tire/brake checks, WHATEVER. We stay on maintenance when we’re grinding pavement so we don’t have to think or worry when we’re off-road. And the last thing I want to ask just as we’re pulling out of the driveway is, “Hey, when was the last oil change?”
3. Familiar Routes
Spontaneous trips = Familiar routes. We know the ins-and-outs of the Slick Rock Trail in Lake Alpine, CA and the off-road camping sites available along the trail.
When we take off down the spontaneous trail, we KNOW the terrain and final destination. Spontaneous trips aren’t for new trails. We allow plenty of time for planning and research before hitting a new region.
4. It’s the Spice of Life
When asking each other what we’re going to do on a Friday night, we always have the option of shaking up our
scenery and driving away from the crowds! Having the ability to pick up and go reminds me to seize my time and make the most out of life. And it’s always fun to watch my husband reconnect with his deepest passion: the outdoors.
Make the time between your spontaneous ‘YES’ and getting outdoors as short as possible! It doesn’t matter what you do to be on the ready for adventure. Have a pre-packed bag, have a case, have several cases, have everything, have nothing, do your thing, but always remember that adventure is only one ‘YES’ away. Only always.