10 years ago, a hurricane knocked out power in my neighborhood for a little over two weeks. For a person spoiled by modern conveniences, that was the longest two weeks of my life up to that point. It’s both beautiful and scary to suddenly see the world around you completely dark at 7 PM, for the first couple of days anyway. After that, I started to realize just how much I relied on such silly things as electricity, running water, and TV and radio (for communications).
But, if I had been camping more than twice in my life up to that point, I just might have breezed through those 14+ days without much difficulty.
Here’s where I’d like to say that my time in the dark with no hot water put me through a forced boot-camp and since then, I’ve been ready for anything. Nope. In fact, until a few months ago, I wasn’t much better off. If you can believe it, I didn’t even own a sleeping bag.
I’m not trying to see how little I can survive on. But there is always this inner voice that nags you when you know you can do something better, and outdoor living is something I’ve never been too great at. I’m going to improve though, and be ready to move around and stop feeling so tied down to my home.
Here’s my basic checklist of the things and skills I’m working on. (If you’re an experienced camper/backpacker, feel free to laugh at all of these):
1. Learn to pack lightly and make sure everything I’m taking with me is important.
2. Make sure all of that fits into one bag (maybe one large bag, one small to start).
3. Learn how to prepare my own dry or sealed food and cook on a fire (properly)
4. Build my own camp stove.
5. Build/start a fire without a lighter or matches.
6. Sleep outside without a tent.
That’s my list to start with. My goal is really just to feel a little more confident for different situations more than anything; I want to be just fine if the lights go out, and hopefully feel a little more mobile.