So we’ll admit it, where the Two Hungry Hikers hail from, Northern New Jersey, is not the first area you think of when you think outdoor adventure. Boulder, Moab, Salt Lake City – sure. Seattle, Washington; shoot, the entire Pacific Northwest, even… but Morristown NJ? No.
Its been wonderful to discover, that given our proximity to New York City, we are still surprisingly close to true wilderness experiences. In an hour we can be in the Poconos of Pennsylvania or grab a section of the famed Appalachian Trail where it passes through the Delaware Water Gap. In two or three hours, we’re rock climbing the world class cliffs of the Shawnagunks, or hiking deep into Catskill Mountains. Four or five hours? Take your pick! The high peaks of the Adirondacks in upstate New York or try Vermont’s Green Mountains and the Long Trail, or even legendary bouldering at Coopers Rock in West Virginia.
Lucky for us there are so many options close at hand. Not so lucky, we have never ending busy schedules just like any other working schlubs. Thus, we have become adapt at “The Quickie” or the ability to plan, pack and execute a trip at a moments notice. After all its amazing what 48 hours in the outdoors can do for your peace of mind. For us, daily commutes and the never ending “to-do” lists make the ability to quickly shrug off the confines of the working world and get outside Essential.
This summer we had the opportunity to flex our “Quickie” muscles when we discovered we had no plans for the long 4th of July weekend. So with the Panther Mountain Trail in the Catskills beckoning us with promises of great vistas, better camp sites on Giant Ledge and with the anticipation of a great overnight – we quickly leapt into action.
First stop the Gear Room. As we gather our tent and bags we imagine ourselves in that “pre-kickin’ butt” montage sequence from every action movie you’ve ever seen. The one where the hero is pulling on bandalaros of bullets, sheathing a huge knife, and locking, loading, and holstering every weapon imaginable, all while tying a bandana around their head. That’s pretty much how it is when we hit our Gear Room, with it’s rows of back packs arrayed by size across from a pile of sleeping bags, ranging from 0 degree up to 36. Stoves, fuel, guide books, maps, water filtration, cook kits… all found quickly in the gear room and stashed in our packs.
However, the real reason we can up and go with packs on our backs at a moments notice isn’t the mountains of gear but it’s the contents of our Pantry. The time that would have been spent in the supermarket and then repackaging at home is eliminated by keeping a solid basic Pantry; a selection of dehydrated and freeze dried items for dinners, packets of condiments filched from the bagel shop, granola bars in the cabinets… If you want to get out quick simply keep a small selection of these pack friendly items in your pantry and you too can experience the joy of The Quickie!