Friday, July 18, 2014

Prep, Plan, Pack

I know you’re anxious to get out into the wild but attending to the three “Ps” comes first.  Good preparation, packing and planning make for safe and successful wilderness trips.  While we will carry a satellite phone and Forest Service regulations require regular check ins, we need to be our own 911.  Personal gear has already been packed (reliable rain gear, layers (no cotton) and Xtra Tufs top the list, don't forget camera and art kit).

Food is our next priority.  It’s true, I eat way better when I’m on an outdoor trip than I do at home!  Eating is an all day affair, hot breakfast to get us going, first lunch to keep us going, second lunch to keep us happy, hot dinner (with local embellisments as available) and chocolate, what more could one need?  Everything gets repackaged, either to eliminate packaging redundancy or to put in resealable bags.  Wow there is a lot of packaging!  It’s ideal to buy in bulk when possible.  I rarely ever eat as much as I think I will, except for the chocolate, but a litte extra garlic mashed is efficient back up in case we get stuck a few extra days.  (it’s always a good idea to plan for that possibility.)

Karisa and Nick have already delt with many more requisitions, protocols and check lists.  There’s just some FS paperwork and getting up to speed on flight requirements for me to do.   Only thing left is to collect group cooking gear, tents, med kit and folded up kayaks (more on those soon), paddles & skirts and pack up the truck for tomorrow’s flight out.  Then I get to do a little more exploring in Petersburg.

 Wild edibles that may spice up our outdoor cuisine include salmonberry.  Unfortunately we are a bit early for some of the more delectable berries like thimbleberry and blueberries.  The lower image features Wrangell Narrows emptying into Frederick Sound.  Fishermen in Petersburg are haunting the harbor waiting for the spring salmon run which appears to be late this year. The ubiquitous Cow Parsnip in the foreground decorates the edge of sea and shoreline throughout the region and is very showy this time of year.  The last shot is of the FS bunkhouse compound where I stayed both before and after the trip.  This is where seasonal rangers and volunteers are housed... very comfortable, even if I am having trouble with daylight showing up at 3 AM.  It is the summer solstice and nights are short around here!

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