It's kind of interesting how folks get ready for a trip. Is it a big trip or little trip? New area or familiar ground? Have you been paddling a lot or not at all? Using your regular gear or need something new? Are you too busy to prep or do you have some free time? How do you like to eat/pack on trips in general? The same trip can lead to lots of different preparation strategies.
In a couple days I'm headed to the Lost Coast - a stretch of northern California where the land is too rugged for the Pacific Coast Highway to actually follow the coast. It's a short but possibly intense trip - 75 miles of rugged, exposed coastline that none of us have done before. I'm excited for the trip but I've been busy at work, recovering from a sore shoulder and a couple rough whitewater trips and in general have other things on my mind. So my preparations have been rather minimal - a little virtual scouting on Google Earth, rustling up camping food from the kitchen cupboard, grabbing my standard gear. I'm sure I'll be fine, but hardly my normal thorough preparation.
View Lost Coast in a larger map
Luckily some of the other folks are doing the heavy lifting on this one - figuring out put in and take out locations, getting permits, beta from those who know and making sure the group has the requisite camping/eating/repair/safety equipment. And to a large extent they will enjoy the trip more because of this prep - which itself is fun to do for many of us. But I'm looking forward to getting out there and leaving everything else behind - the best part of a paddling trip is that once you've launched the preparation is over and you just do with what you've got.
I'll be using my SPOT to post our nightly location. Anders has the full tracking feature on his SPOT so you can follow our progress real time HERE.