The stresses of planning a big trip

Here I am, trying to study for finals (Biology, Chemistry, and calculus exams back to back), but all I can think about is my next big backpacking trip. I know, I’m a terrible terrible student.

It’s stressful at times, planning that perfect trip. This will be a group trip, so there is a certain pressure to make both epic, and doable for everyone in the party. That’s tough.

This dream trip is to travel to Colorado this spring for a week long trek. It’s been a dream of mine since I was a teen. I can’t wait. I get so excited just thinking about it. There are, however, many things to consider.

First, is the location. Wow, there are sooooo many. This alone is enough to make  your head spin. the more you look the more you find, and the harder it becomes to pick one. Colorado is beautiful. I want to see it all, but there is only one week to make it happen. Choice is key.

I’m not used to the climate there either, and the altitudes are really messing with my planning. In the Spring, around April, many areas are still fairly cold and covered with snow, especially at higher elevations. Often, the trails aren’t easily hiked, or even not passable without the proper snow gear, which I don’t have. Neither do those who will be traveling with me. We live in Tennessee you know. There isn’t a lot of snow here. My city practically shuts down with 4 inches of snow. So that’s an issue.

Also, planning involves finding good trails, water sources, supply points, calculating mileage, time spent on the trail, travel time, and backup plans in-case something goes wrong. On top of this, there is the car rental, travel plans, dates, coordination, etc. Wow. It’s overwhelming. And there are still those pesky finals, which don’t wait around.

Hopefully, in the end it will be worth the effort. So far my planning skills haven’t let me down. Knowing that others rely on these skills adds a certain level of tension. Probably, these tensions are overexagerated by my own need to perform per say, but that’s just how I operate.

My planning hasn’t let me down yet. Let’s hope it never does.

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10 thoughts on “The stresses of planning a big trip

  1. Hang in there honey, you just take care of those finals for now. We can figure out the rest later. Remember how stressed you were for Yosemite.You had planned if all out by yourself last minute including on the plane ride lol and everything turned out awesome. I don’t think your trip planning skills could ever fail you…you got mad skills 🙂

  2. Yo Michael, I totally know what you mean, the more people there are.. the harder it gets! I am actually planning a big trip myself with 12 people this weekend and I spent all week building this logistic tool to share the itin and path. I haven’t exposed this out yet to anybody but if you want to take a whirl on it let me know! http://imgur.com/yOUlb

      • We are going on the Ohlone Trail which is right hear near SF. Just a 30 mile trip with 12 people over 2 nights. I’m going to polishing it up and I’d love to send it to you when its ready!

      • That’s a large group!
        Does everyone get together and minimize what gear they carry?
        Usually we average around 4-8 people in our groups that we do. Sometimes more but it’s pretty unpredictable.
        Camp sites tend to be smaller here (TN) than out west. It creates some challenges.

      • So in terms of gear, I have created a tool on my website which allows people to sign up for the needed equipment. I.e. only 4 stoves, only 3 bear bags, only 1 poison oak soap, etc. I encourage sharing, kind of like patrol based camping. It’s great for people that like to minimize weight or for people that don’t have that gear in the first place. Win-win =)

        My backpacking sizes have been 8-17 this last year even though we’re doing 12-20 miles/day lately. and I definitely hear you on camp site sizes.. they are small hear to.. we have to scatter amongst many campsites or sardine in. I’ve discouraged people from bringing tents actually. However the hike this weekend, its going to get near freezing and possibly rain, so we will have tents and I’m pretty sure all the other back country campsites will be empty.

        I’m going to write a blog post about organizing the large group this weekend and post a viewable display of my tool also people can see how I used it! I’ll share it with you soon!

      • That’s great. It really makes a huge difference when you don’t have to carry excess. Less weight, plus between the group you have everything that you need.
        We pretty much always carry tents, but here in the east we get a lot of rain, and condensation alone will cause you to wake up damp at times.
        I hope you guys have a lot of fun. Post some photos. I would like to see them.

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