As Lady Suzanne mentioned in her blog the other day, I took off this weekend to the woods and to participated in a pre-1840 Mountain Man Rendezvous. It’s basically a group of old boys shooting muzzle loading rifles, throwing tomahawks and knives, open fire cooking, and primitive tent camping. Throw in a little “white lightning” and ale and you’ve got a recipe for one hell of a weekend.
Thanks to Sir James of Taylor for the photos:
Above: Sir Bowie blowing the crap out of a target in the deep woods.
Below: Yes, Sir Dayvd, I was running around in the woods with my "hawk"
(no animals or humans were hurt in the making of these photographs)
Now, you wouldn’t think that a man primitive camping would need much – maybe his gun, powder, lead balls, patches, a knife, a hawk, a little food… Yes, you would think that. But, Lady Suzanne can attest to the fact that I packed more “essential” items than an army on a month-long march, including, but not limited to: Gun, black powder, extra powder, lead balls, extra lead, patches, cleaning supplies, a tent, tent poles, tent stakes, ground cloth, rope, a dutch oven, a skillet, three cups, cooking utensils, spices, a cooler of food and ice, eating utensils, a lantern, candles, flint and steel, matches, a pipe and tobacco, beer, whiskey, two sets of clothing plus extra, bug spray, sun screen, a journal, reading glasses (I can go on and on).
Yes, I needed and used a lot of items, but I have to admit that I left 75% untouched. To make a long story short, I’ll never joke about all the stuff my girls pack when we go on a weekend trip.
So, what’s the lesson? I thought I was being prepared like a good boy scout, but I was breaking the old KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. History is littered with stories of pioneers who ventured out to new horizons packed down with so much stuff they ended up tossing most of it just to lighten the load to survive.
It’s true, all other things being equal, simplicity is almost always the best approach when it comes to getting positive results. So, the next time I head out I will ask “Does it matter? If so, how much does it matter?” K.I.S.S.! (unfortunately, I probably won't learn the lesson so easily).
Sir Bowie “Squire no-neck Bowie” of Greenbriar