It seems silly to spend so much time planning to be spontaneous. I mean, isn’t that oxymoronic? Spontaneity by definition implies a lack of planning. Just go ahead and do . . . whatever. As a matter of fact, that’s what I always thought I would do — start walking, and see what happens. After all, that’s what The Peace Pilgrim did. And she survived for decades living a totally spontaneous life.
There was only one time in my life I was truly spontaneous. It was the first years right after I met Jeff. His very presence in the world made the world feel friendly, and I felt comfortable taking chances. Over the years, I settled back into my worrisome self. Our lives became constrained by his health, our finances, and various matters beyond our control. He told me once it bothered him that our shared life had destroyed my spontaneity — but he never understood that he was the one responsible for whatever spontaneity I had developed.
Well, now that he’s gone, I am determined to be spontaneous once again to honor him and to honor myself, but I am discovering that it takes a lot of planning to prepare to be spontaneous. If I have everything I need for emergencies, if I have shelter, bedding, food, water, and a way to carry it all, I can just take things as they come without undue stress. Take chances (within reason. I will never be one of those who lives for risk.) Most of all, I’ll be able to enjoy the journey.
At least, that’s the plan.
Meantime, all I do, it seems, is research. There are an incredible number of resources on line, and I could spend the rest of my life researching the adventure of a lifetime (or a lifetime of adventures), but I am at the put up or shut up stage. Put up money, that is. As I mentioned a few days ago, I got my tent and backpack.
Yesterday I ordered a solar charger for my phone, specifically, a Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme 5V and 12V Solar Portable Charger, Yellow (Because the yellow was $10 cheaper.) It supposed to charge larger electronics as well, so although the reviews all mention how slow it is to store the charge, I’m hoping it will do just fine for my phone. I’d hate to be somewhere with a signal and have no way to send in my blog! And besides, I have a GPS, on my phone, and can get various apps that will tell me where I am and where I should go. (Apparently, these electronic services don’t take the place of a topographical map and a compass, so I still have to learn how to do things the old fashioned way.)
I also ordered a Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System. And a PStyle. (Why should men be the only ones who can urinate standing up?)
Finally, I ordered Sierra Designs Backcountry Quilt 800 2-Season Sleeping Quilt and a Big Agnes, Insulated Double Z, NAVY, REGULAR WIDE sleeping pad. No claustrophobic mummy bag for me! The quilt is only rated for two seasons, but the warm sleeping pad and appropriate clothes will add to the comfort zone and make it usable for a third season.
I still have to deal with emergency supplies, clothes (cotton clothes are supposedly killers for hiking, and that’s all I own), and dozens of other things, but I think I’ve got the major items covered.
I’m sure this is all as boring for you as it is for me, but what the heck. It’s all part of the adventure.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.