That title! What a mouthful!
I’ve got a short story, I wish I’d headed the advice of that title. Instead of a story and photos of a fun kayaking adventure I’ve got a story of a wasted trip. And it applies as well to other activities, read on.
The weather looked great, so I changed my other plans and decided to go kayaking. Of course I did some planning, I found a good launch site on Google Maps and picked a creek to explore. So after checking email and a quick breakfast I grabbed my bag of ropes and straps for the rack on the car, loaded the boat and took off. So far so good.
After a stop for gas, and lunch I arrived at the launch site, a small state park on the Severn River near Annapolis. To my surprise there were two kayaks on the beach, and after a short look I spotted two paddlers eating their lunch on a picnic table on the far side of the park. They were some friends I hadn’t met yet, they belonged to the same kayaking club as I did. One of them offered to help me unload the kayak and carry it the couple hundred feet to the water. Help always makes the task a bit easier, so I accepted his offer.
So far things are going great. I headed back to the car to get the rest of my kit. No! it wasn’t there. Let me explain, I keep my PFD, Bilge Pump, Paddle Float, Spray Skirt, etc in green net bag. In short everything I need to have before I step into my kayak was still hanging in the closet back at home. In the rush I forgot to bring it. I always wear my PFD, and when I’m in open water, like crossing the Severn River I wear my Spray Skirt – I consider these two items as necessities. The result; we carried my kayak back to the car and I headed home, about 1 hour each way wasted.
Being prepared isn’t just for Boy Scouts! Other times I’ve headed out to find some Geocaches, after downloading the list of caches I wanted to look for, then forgetting to load that in to my GPS, and other times I even headed out without good batteries in the GPS. One other time I was on a brand new bicycle, road to a picnic and head a flat tire on the way back. That time I hadn’t yet moved my patch kit from the old bike to the new bike – well it was on the first ride!
I haven’t completed it yet, but am working on a checklist, With better planning and preparation I would have enjoyed the good weather that afternoon instead of driving 2 hours with only lunch to show for it.