One of the parts of backpacking and camping I enjoy least is the clean up and packing up of gear after the trip. Cleaning the mud off everything, wiping things down, hanging up everything to dry, re-packing, and sorting through everything before sorting is not nearly as exciting as the trip itself. It’s so easy to put it off, let it ride, and decide to get back to it later. Relaxing and chilling sounds so much better, right?
Way back in the day my parents always reminded me of how important it was to put up the tent to dry immediately after camping in Scouts. Before I could do anything else I had to put up the tent in the garage or out in the yard to make sure it was dry. Once dry I’d then go out, roll I up, and pack it into the bag so it was ready for the next Scout meeting. Over my years of Scouting this became habit.
Today I started packing everything away, getting it ready for its next use, and making note of what to do differently next trip. It would have been nice to kick back and chill or work on a handful of other things, but that was what I needed to knock off my list before I moved on to anything else.
You know what’s weird? I really appreciated the process of doing that today. The sense of accomplishment was rewarding and it helped me get more excited for the next trip. With everything fresh in my head I was able to make a few adjustments in packing that I would have most likely forgotten in a day or two, only to remember after I’d already re-packed. I was able to listen to an audio book while doing it and the movement helped keep me fresh and loose.
Crazy how sometimes things in life seem like a chore while other times they are peaceful and relaxing. What’s the difference? My attitude. 100%. If I choose to see it as rewarding, the right thing to do, and remind myself of how important it is I’ll find it much more rewarding while I do it. Nice reminder of a great life lesson.