Into the WILD: remembering your journey

A broken wireless internet card has been all that’s between me and a few postings here lately. So this post will be a little down & dirty on formatting. But it’s been a busy few days nonetheless. Yesterday, I found my journal from the wilderness trip that I did in college, complete with a grocery list of the food supplies that thirteen of us carried into the woods for two weeks. For your enjoyment, I’ll reprint that list below. Besides the obvious humor in peeking back in on my newly minted adult mind (I left home for the trip on my 18th birthday), I truly enjoyed refreshing the inspiration for what eventually led me down the road to this blog. You see, even though it was a very important time in my life, it wasn’t until I read my old words that I remembered the daily excitements of it, no matter how hard I’d tried to remember. Reading ten pages of foods I wanted to eat when I got back to civilization, listed as I sat alone in a field of blueberries on my two-day “solo” at the end of the trip, was as entertaining and revealing as any life lesson I could hope to relate from the experience without aid of a book.

What does this have to do with off-grid living, you ask? By keeping a journal of my progress throughout that trip, I created a living document that I can return to multiple times in life, that others can also use, should they have the opportunity, to inspire and learn a lesson or two about the experience. Of all the myriad papers I wrote in college, this first one, the one I wrote for myself, is the most relevant and important to me. When you start your walk away from the grid, or even just a new project along the way, you have a prime opportunity to keep a journal of your activities. It’s easy to wonder why you bother when taking time from your day to write something down that already happened. This is normal. The gem of journal writing is best recognized after that journal has sat in the back of your closet a few years, and you honestly can’t remember who your inspiration was when you were (insert age here). That’s when the refresher course can save you having to make mistakes over again because you’ve wandered off your path.

Solarious is my off-grid energy journal, which doubles as a repository of great ideas and inspirations I see along the way. No doubt, I’ll be looking back at this great experiment in alternate living one day with similar emotions as to the trip in college. Of course, this is a different forum from an 18 year old’s diary, and personal details are necessarily a bit more brief here. But the point is that when you have that day (and you will, we’re all human) when you wonder, “How the heck did I get here? Why is this so important to me that I’m willing to forgo thirty minute showers, an Escalade, and Big Macs?” you’ll be able to go back and talk to yourself from a more rational mindset and check yourself back into the program. Unless you’re superman and you never have doubts or forget anything, in which case, stop reading now and start saving the world. The rest of us hapless humans need people like you on the case!

Here’s the grocery list (for 13 on a zero-impact trip of 2 weeks) from Project WILD: (1=can, mostly)

1 sweet peas
1 maple syrup
1 butter
2 tuna
1/2 bagels
Bag rice
3 blocks cheddar
1 strawberry jam
2 spaghetti
3 tomato paste
1 lima beans
2 bags prunes
1 smoked eel
1/2 bag peanuts
2 blocks monterey jack
Bag cous cous
Bag refried beans
3 boxes graham crackers
2 packs pesto sauce
4 cans tomato sauce
3 bags pita bread
Bag veggie chili mix
Bag grits
Bag animal crackers
Bag oatmeal
2 beanie weenies
11 bags cocoa mix
Bag banana chips
1 pineapple
Bag macaroni
Bag granola w/ raspberry
1 fishsteaks
2 pinto beans
1 mayo
Bag tang
1 soy sauce
Bag cream of wheat
Box rye crackers
1 english muffins
7 oranges
2 bags dates
1/2 bag raisins
bag pancake mix
1 apple butter
1 sardines
1 hot sauce
1 black beans
3 cans carrots
1 peanut butter
1 can mandarin oranges
bag jell-o
1/2 bag apple rings
1 spice kit
Bag pretzels
1 dijon mustard
1 green beans
13 pop-tarts
Bag plain granola
Bag mashed potato mix
1 onion
Bag apricots
1 marshmallow fluff
1 “mystery can”
11 packs spiced cider
1 vegetable oil
1 honey
1 honey mustard
3 slices bread
Bag powdered milk
Bag tortillas
Bag fruit punch mix
Bag lemonade mix
Bag brown sugar
2 cans corn

And iodine for water

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: