The contents of the author's gear box.
3. READY-TO-GO MENU
Rather than trying to make every backcountry sojourn a culinary orgy, create simple and straightforward two-, three-, and five-day menus that are easy to shop for and package. Again, you can adjust as you see fit, but the idea is to reduce the friction of planning and packing to an absolute minimum.
4. FOOD BOX
The food box is a second clear plastic container that you store excess backcountry food in. It provides a rolling stock from which to provision your trips. Like the gear box, it has a manila envelope taped inside the lid with copies of shopping lists for your respective menus. When you are getting ready for a trip, you simply grab the most appropriate shopping list and head to the grocery store with the kind of laser-like focus that will have you pointed toward the trailhead pronto.
The contents of the author's food box.
For this system to work well, it is important that when you return from a trip, everything goes back in its place. You clean and restock as necessary. That way, the next time you open up your calendar and see a little daylight, getting ready to hit the trail will be virtually effortless.
6. RETHINK TIME REQUIREMENTS
In addition to getting your house in order from an organizational standpoint, it also makes sense to reassess just how much time you need to pull off a successful and rewarding backpacking trip. A while back, I was talking with a friend who has a family and a demanding job. After he had described a litany of very cool trips he’d taken during the last year, I asked him how he’d been able to get out so often, given the obvious demands on his time. His response? Overnight trips. So if you have trouble knocking loose for more than a day or two, head out anyway. You might be surprised at how much satisfaction you can pack into what seems like only a handful of hours.
All the gear a backpacker could want, in easy reach.