“Let’s just buy a bunch of meat and we can barbecue”; A suggestion that has likely been offered up in one way or another in the planning stages of every great expedition in human history. Why? Because as humans, we love convenience and when has scurvy or gout ever stopped a good adventure? So naturally, that’s exactly what we did when we decided to head out on a boy’s camping trip in Algonquin Provincial Park.
James Cooke had the HMS Adventure when he circumnavigated the globe and Neil Armstrong had the Apollo 11 when he went to the moon. These may seem vastly different but they’re similar in that they are both purpose built craft, designed for the terrain and equipped with enough storage for everything needed on the trip. So naturally, in keeping with this logic, we would haul our cache of red meat into the woods in the back of our friends 2016 Subaru BRZ.
“Relax, I can put the back seats down…” was the repeated assurance we were given, though I think it became more of a comforting mantra as we got further and further into the game of Tetris that was packing the car. We were a six man crew spread between the BRZ and a Ford Fusion. These numbers resulted in a shockingly huge pile of luggage at the bottom of my driveway on departure day.
You either have to be Survivor Man or have deep pockets to have a small amount of gear. The former heads off into the woods with nothing but a shoelace and chewing gum while the latter promises gear that’s small enough to smuggle into a prison if you have enough cash. Full disclosure, I’m sure there’s a way to pack light on a budget, but we missed the mark and when one man showed up with a Rubbermaid Roughneck container, he almost became the first casualty of the trip.
After about an hour of serious weight shedding and an unhealthy amount of foul language for a Friday morning, it looked like we were ready to set off. The Ford filled up nicely as you would expect, however, the BRZ was a different story. I wasn’t sure if we should drive it or put it in some sort of contemporary art exhibit. Confidently, and unequivocally, I can tell you that a cooler, a tackle box and two twelve packs of beer, fit in the car comfortably. Past that, let your creativity (and your boundaries) run free. Pillows pushed up against all 4 windows, backpacks behind the seats and everything in between. I reached for my wallet at lunch and came out with a fishing rod. This was Pandora’s Box.
Four hours later, after almost having our tarp go airborne, catching my coat from flying out the window, my spine contoured to the seat, and a couple odd looks from passing cars, we made it. The next logical step? Crack a bevy and find a good spot for the grill. Did I just tell you an entire story about packing? Perhaps, but the main takeaway is that we made it work, we got there in style and we had a few laughs along the way. Don’t ask about the adventure that was re-packing the car after a weekend of drinking and no sleep.
I don’t think this summer has gone quite like anyone imagined it would, but I hope you’ve done your best to make the most of it. Personally, I’ve found a lot of value in just laughing with loved ones. Even though we have to keep our distance we can still make jokes and that helps you handle a lot of heavy stuff. So, don’t forget to find the humour in the little things and carry that with you even when we do go back to “normal”.