Cruel taskmaster driving us to shed pounds
Apparently it wasn’t enough to lose 15-20 pounds — the weight I’ve lost since retiring two years ago from a desk job. Now I have to lose more.
Steve gave us the ultimatum last week. For this summer’s Algonquin canoe trip, we’ll be making portages of a mile-and-a-half and three miles. A portage requires two trips, one with a canoe and small pack, another with a large pack. Which means the longest portage will involve six miles of lugging boats and gear over rough terrain and three miles returning for the second load.
Ken and I sweated off three pounds each just thinking about it.
Dumbfounded, we looked to Steve for answers. What could we do to pack lighter? What creature comforts would we be forced to do without for eight days in the wilderness?
“Your chair, for starters,” Steve said.
It was as if he’d driven a tent stake into my heart.
“It’s bulky,” Steve said. “And heavy.”
I was willing to admit it was bulky, but I never thought of it as heavy. When I got home after our planning session I defiantly weighed my chair, all the while snorting under my breath, “Heavy? Heavy, my ass.”
Eight pounds. OK. It’s bulky and heavy.
I immediately went online, looking up bushcraft videos on how to make your own chair. There were several — each one equally absurd — on fashioning a camp chair using sticks and a blanket. I concluded that the effort required to make one at each campsite would outweigh the demands of lugging my eight-pound chair over miles of rough terrain.
So, I’ve decided to resort to surgery. In fact, all three of us have. Steve, Ken and I will undergo cashectomies and spring for lightweight backpacking chairs.
Then I’ll put my eight-pound camp chair out to pasture — where I can sit in it, drink a beer, watch the sunset and wonder about why I just shelled out more than twice what I paid for my first car for a lousy backpacking chair.