Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on some content about the night before craziness that can occur before a multi-day river trip. I'm trying to solicit ideas that help avoid or alleviate the chaos of planning and packing.

What I have so far...

1. checklists...
2. working backwards from what will kill you (if you forget) vs. what might just make you uncomfortable
3. Containerizing your gear...(is that a word?)
4. Not drinking so much when you are packing...

Are there other ideas out there?
 

·
Shapp
Joined
·
1,870 Posts
For a long trip, I usually have everything packed and ready to load in my garage a week before. Then I have time to think things over for a week and remember what I forgot, but also to think things over to remove some items from the stack that we really don't need to bring.

What also really helps is after a trip after everything is cleaned up and ready to sit a bit, pack it back up as if you were leaving for another trip. Then there is lot less looking around and repacking for the next trip, whenever that may be, in 2 weeks or in 2 months.
 

·
Plunk your magic twanger!
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
My approach has been to clean and pack as much as possible two weeks before. Load the the truck in the week before and hitch it up when not needed. Grocery shop and pre-chill the coolers two nights before. Buy liquor. Make food. Have everything ready to throw in last minute and get so drunk I don’t know at the ramp if I remembered everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
On my way home from work, I like to get my wife something nice. Like a cup of soft serve or some flowers. If she’s happy, she does all the thinking and she helps with the packing the night before the trip.....Then I can blame her later....hahaha

Two weeks before a trip... man you need more rafting in your life to keep you busy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
168 Posts
Only invite experienced boaters that you personally know from previous trips.

Checklist or not, it's always "that guy" who screws things up. It's gonna be "that guy" whose truck or trailer fails enroute because he didn't have time to do maintenance on it before the trip. And it's gonna be "that guy" who gets food poisoning from a truck stop vending machine because he didn't plan on leaving so late and nothing was open after midnight. And, of course, it's gonna be "that guy" who discovers that he's missing some critical piece of equipment at the put in because he waited until the last minute to pack. About the only thing you can always count on 100% of the time from "that guy" is an excuse because he's got an endless supply of those. You simply can't help "that guy" get his sh-- together so don't invite him in the first place. Problem solved!

I realize that's not the answer you're looking for, but it's the only way you can know for certain that you're not in for a sh--show at the put in or anywhere else along the trip. Personally, I think it's always fun to invite some new faces along, too, but I try to make sure they are outnumbered by folks I know I can count on. The longer the trip, the more important this becomes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
Always dial the group gear you’re responsible for first. Pack the clothes and shelter you’ll need to survive next. Remember the survival rule of threes. Then start drinking your beverage of choice and start packing the other stuff you want to bring. If you forget something while you’re drinking, it won’t hose the group and you’ll make it down the river.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,173 Posts
If you're the TL, delegate group gear and meals so everything's spread evenly among the group. And, yes, checklists - they save your brain for the important things.

-AH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
screw checklists and all that sissy stuff. take a couple of bonghits of colorados finest weed and pull out all your stuff into the driveway. then do a few more bonghits and spend about 20 minutes staring at it all, absorbing the river vibes it gives off, and start trying to figure out if you really need all this shit. if you forget something important, dont worry, your still going to have a lot more stuff than powell had when he ran a lot tougher rapids than you'll be going on. then do a couple more bonghits and start tossing all your shit into the truck. this allways works for me.
 

·
Never enough free time
Joined
·
345 Posts
I try to have everything done at least two nights before so that the actual night before is chill...because you always need one extra thing, be it another pack of batteries or whatever. Of course it almost never actually happens that way but since you are mostly done, the little things stay little things and don't snowball on you.

This way, the night before is spent just dinking (or drinking) around and not starting your trip stressed out. I do keep a note pad handy for those random thoughts that occur when checking the trailer tires one more time or double checking the lights on it, like do I really have the right size wrench to get the spare tire off of the trailer?

And when the particular river allows it, I like to get there a day early so I have time to deal with whatever comes up while there is still time. On a trip last year, I literally had a buddy forget something medically necessary and he had time to drive out to cell range and have one of the late comers go by his house and pick up the thing. That could have been a mess on the river if there wasn't time to just slow down and think while sipping cocktails in a lawn chair the day before launch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,207 Posts
I too try not to wait until the night before... not that it works that way often. But I have most of my stuff compartmentalized (containerized :)) and it's usually straight forward. Mostly the night before requires lots of beer and staring at the rig, I always remember little things when doing that and it basically knocks me out so I can sleep.... without liquid medication I'll usually not sleep (due to excitement, not anxiety). It's the same for all trips, hunting, fishing, whatever. The night before I leave is usually spent drinking and reliving past adventures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I am a type A trip planner, love drinking beer in my garage, and look for excuses to not do work at work.

Making the list at work is a nice escapism where I just get to think about trips. I like to drink in the garage for a weekend before the trip pulling absolutely everything out, repacking, then double checking everything on list. I like re-packing everything before also because I remember exactly where everything is and don't have to rifle through everything on the river to find the zip ties.

By the way, you forgot to pack batteries.

I don't trust people not to forget something. I spent a very leisurely two weeks yard'icking (luxuries of being a teacher) prepping for a grand trip; my wife started packing at two a.m. the day we left for Flagstaff. Fortunately I had assumed that would happen. Always assume someone is going to be "that guy" and hope no one is.

Also a big fan of heading to the location a day in advance for the reasons mentioned by others above. Last year for a trip of 20+ we realized at the put in that we forgot means of making coffee and fortunately had that spare time to go to Wally-World. It also means more cold beverages by the river the night before the launch instead of panic.

Checklist, checklist, beer, repack. And don't forget the batteries.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
I'm a big list guy too, but most of my stuff is already packed up and ready to go... sleeping bags, tents, chairs, air mats, coffee pot, etc never leave the dry bag or the boat.

I'll still open up every dry bag to make sure stuff is there, even though i just checked it last week.

Typically, I try and be at or near the launch point the night before. It makes it funner for the kids too, because they're excited as well. Plus leaving mid day the day before is much easier on Dad. It gives me a morning to wrap up any last minute details, and I'm typically tapping my feet in the driveway waiting on everyone else before it's all over.

First trip is May 17th and I can't wait to get out of the driveway!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Cross your fingers that a bachelor party doesn't show up at Corn Creek CG after dinner and then proceed to party heavy and loudly all night keeping you up.


And double cross your fingers that as your group heads down river that you don't end up camping in the same vicinity with said group.



On the up side, as you progress down river you will share stories of the "tiki torch group" with other groups and all will triple cross their fingers that you won't arrive at the take-out at the same time.


Otherwise, check lists, extra lighter, and back-pack water filter as back up.


have fun!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
I've found that keeping all your rafting stuff in one spot helps tremendously. I'm lucky and have a large area in my garage dedicated to all my gear. Checklist are OK, I have them, but most often times I have a mental check list of starring at all the gear and seeing what I'm missing. I love prepping a trip in the garage and loading it all, while drinking beer of course. I generally start packing about a week before the trip, but I always forget what I put into the boxes so now I started taking photos of the dryboxes contents before I load them in the trailer. For the most part packing is all second nature now. For me the meal prep and food planning is the biggest and most time consuming part of it.


One year I did forget the plates though. Luckily it was a small trip and we ate off the lids of ammo cans, frisbees and anything else that worked.
 

·
Plunk your magic twanger!
Joined
·
1,266 Posts
“Two weeks before a trip... man you need more rafting in your life to keep you busy”

You misinterpreted my routine. I don’t pack for trips on my days off. My weekends are day floats or overnight Westwater trips (which happen pretty automatically with the group I float with) or winter camping or skiing...

The evenings are short after work during the shoulder seasons so I do start packing for longer trips early. It works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
If you have the luxury of a trailer, it helps immensely with getting your stuff ready ahead of time. Makes a great place for your raft to be, while your sitting there drinking a beer and contemplating things a week or two before the trip.
 

·
Never enough free time
Joined
·
345 Posts
Final thought from me, in addition to written checklists, which are more of a sanity check after I'm mostly done, I think of gear in separate activities.

Do I have what I need to row the boat safely and perform a rescue? Do I have what I need to sleep warm and dry? Do I have what I need to cook food and clean up? Do I have what I need to poop? etc. After that pretty much everything else is a luxury.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top