Lessons learned from Camping!

Every year we try to escape to the mountains for some family camping. The first trip of the season tends to be a bit of a circus because we either have an issue with the trailer (a 1988 pop-up – so LOTS of things to go wrong!), we forget something critical (batteries for the kids’ sound machine), or we get dumped on by a freak storm (in JUNE!). Because of the Coronavirus and campgrounds opening later than usual, I was already feeling less than prepared. But nonetheless, I was determined to make our first adventure this year a success. The following are steps that I took to try and make this the best first camping trip of the season:

  1. Plan – I almost always start my adventures with a plan. Typically, the plan will involve looking up the weather for our destination and packing accordingly, double checking that the kids will have warm enough pajamas and that we all have appropriate layers. I will also pencil out a meal plan so that as I grocery shop and then pack the cooler and crates, we have (somewhat) balanced and delicious meals. (Pizza is our #1 favorite camping meal – YUM!) This year, I took the planning to a new level and created an Excel spreadsheet so that we have an “inventory” of the food items in our trailer (catching a trend? Food is important!), the quantity packed, and can then check off items as we have used them. If we are going to a new campground, I will also try to become familiar with the area and any potential adventures that we haven’t tried before such as a new hike, taking a boat for the lake, or visiting a nearby landmark. 
  2. Prepare – Once we have our lists ready of what to buy and pack, we start the preparation stage. I like to pack as much into the trailer as we can ahead of time so that we have less shuffling once we get to camp. We use collapsible crates to pack the non-refrigerated items such as food, games, towels, etc. We also make sure the tires in both the truck and trailer are sufficiently aired, the lights work, and any loose pieces on the trailer (hello roof vent from 1988!) are duct-taped down.
  3. Execute – With lists, campground reservation, and necessary park passes in hand, we set off on our adventure and quickly discover how well we actually planned.
  4. Review – The review stage is probably as important as the planning stage. For example, I am adding to my spreadsheet a list of tasks that should be included in our preparations such as charging the battery on the trailer and turning on the tiny refrigerator before we leave so that it will be pre-chilled by the time we arrive at camp. In the rush to make sure we have everything packed, we seem to forget these steps and need a little reminder.

None of these lessons are exactly “rocket science”, but sometimes we forget the basic processes and need a gentle nudge. Plan, Prepare, Execute, Review – these are steps that can be applied to anything, including projects in your business or professional life. The Morrison team can be a great ally in helping you to walk through these steps with whatever project, big or small, you may be working on. We would love to join you on your next adventure!

About the Author

+Amanda Bullock is a consultant with Morrison, providing business valuations, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, and strategic planning), feasibility studies, interim controller services, recruitment, competitive grant writing and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category.  You can contact Amanda directly at abullock@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 212.

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