The Night Before: Preparation, Procrastination, Perspiration…

My journey begins tomorrow. Holy fucking crap. All the months of dreaming, saving money, bragging to friends, toying with potential routes on Google Maps; it all comes down to this. And do I feel prepared? Of course not.

Today is my third day of being officially unemployed. You would think that I would have used that time productively but my attention-deficit brain seems determined to make that impossible. Even as I type this I can’t help but occasionally open a new tab to check on my Facebook, or glance up at the TV where muted CNN anchors debate the merits of Trump’s new ban on Transgenders in the military.

Nevertheless, I have managed to do some things in the past few days. I’ve finalized a few lodging agreements, set up this blog (I apologize, by the way, for the woefully uninspired layout. Is it obvious I didn’t major in web design), and managed to squeeze in a few last hangouts with my Madison friends.

But mostly I’ve been packing, packing, packing. Stocking supplies for a trip like this can be tricky; you want to be prepared for everything without loading up your car with too much clutter.

With that in mind, let’s see what I’ve got:



Being well-supplied with healthy, shelf-stable foodstuffs will help one avoid the necessity of resorting to fast food, which will cost precious time, money, and physical energy. Of course, I’ll probably end up eating a certain amount of fast food anyway because I’m an undisciplined pig, but even so I’m fairly proud of the collection of grub I’ve got here.


On the top row we have an assload of V8 and bottled water. Below that we have a few giant bags of dried apricots & figs, ~15 cans of tuna (with packets of mayonnaise to accompany them), peanut butter (which I’ll probably eat straight out the jar… yum!), some fresh fruit, various power bars, some beef jerky, homemade breakfast bars, protein drinks, and a few jars of homemade protein granola with almonds. The breakfast bars and fresh fruit I’ll have to eat in the first few days, but given how delicious they are that shouldn’t be a problem.

After I took the above photo I realized I forgot a few things:


Here we have still more protein granola with almonds (I really love almonds!), as well as six peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (these, too, I’ll have to wolf down in the first few days. Somewhere in the depths of my psyche a remnant of my 7-year-old self is chomping at the bit).



During this trip I’ll likely be camping, hiking, sightseeing, and doing all sorts of other activities which require a diverse set of provisions. Here’s a partially-complete picture of such essentials I’ll be bringing:


Working from left to right, we have a sleeping bag, sunscreen, toilet paper, a first-aid kit, binoculars, a handheld light, duct tape, Zzzquil (to help knock me out when I have difficulty sleeping in tough places), Anti-insect wipes, a one-person tent, and some plastic baggies. Oh, and there’s also a big Road Atlas down there too. Hey, you never know, technology might fail me and I might have to rely on State Farm’s good ol’ cartographers. Of course, if such a thing happened this blog would not get updated, and you would have no idea whether to attribute its stoppage to a technology failure or my laziness. I guess I’m just going to have to preemtively blame the technology!



There’s no doubt about it: at some point during this trip I am going to stink. Daily shower access is going to be impossible; I might be forced to groom myself in gas station bathrooms and, I really really hope, in a river. Seriously, I have this bizarre fantasy of bathing in a river somewhere in the American wilderness; hopefully the opportunity manifests itself at some point…


Pretty basic stuff here; towels, baby wipes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, little bars of soap/shampoo, body wash, mouth wash, my contacts, hair gel, and nail grooming stuff. Of all these I think the baby wipes are really going to be clutch; I’ll be traveling through a lot of humid climates, and often times when one is desperate a few baby wipes can serve as a passable alternative to showering.



Ahh, now we get to the fun stuff! A road trip isn’t a road trip without an extensive catalog of music to accompany it, and in the down time literature is an absolute must.


Here we have a nice collection of words and notes on various formats. There’s my Nook E-Reader, some audiobooks from Frugal Muse in Madison, some real books (most of them also from Frugal Muse, I think), my CD case (with several dozen volumes therein), and my MiiO digital music player that currently holds ~40 gigs of music. Seriously, it’s going worth the entire trip just to be able to sit in a car and listen to this shit for hours on end.


As I sit here typing away I think about the things I still need to before tomorrow. They’re a lot of little things, but they’re things nonetheless. It’s going to be a long, frantic night and I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to be able to sleep. Might have to dip into some of that Zzzquil a bit early…


Good night, ghostlings!

5 thoughts on “The Night Before: Preparation, Procrastination, Perspiration…

  1. AAAAH, GET IT! I’m excited to read this (so don’t take on my blogging habits, because I suck) and also to see you at the end of next month. 😀 Safe travels, comrade!


  2. J

    My will to live is being renewed as I read this blog. I highly recommend buying a cheap small gardening shovel at an Ace in case you don’t have access to a bathroom while camping — bury that sh!t and protect the water out there.


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