Guidelines: Rainy Packs

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By Simon Ambit

A few weeks ago, my three young boys and I loaded up our packs and headed for higher ground. We had planned the overnight trip for about two weeks in advance, so the boys had time to list everything they “wanted” to take. When they realized that this list of items would not physically fit in their packs, they whittled it down to what they “needed” to take. The good news is, this list of items fit into the packs. The bad news is, there was no way they were going to be able to carry that amount of weight up the mountain. So, the list was scrutinized a third time and manageable packs were attained.

Parking at the trailhead and beginning up the base of the mountain, it was clear that we were walking in a storm and I wondered about postponing the adventure, but the boys were overflowing with energy. The packs seemed to fuel them, not slow them as I had thought. They did a great job and we were making good time, hoping to get to the summit before the storm did. However, we didn’t reach our desired location before the sky began to sprinkle.

We quickly found a spot to set up the tent and managed to get all gear and bodies inside the tent before the thunder clapped its intentions and the rain really began to storm down on us. We spent well over an hour inside that little vinyl house telling jokes, listening to stories and laughing at the silliest little things before the storm broke.

Between storms, we were able to get briefly out of the tent and prepare dinner before the sky began to rain again. Back to the tent we returned for the rest of the night. Just before bed, I was wondering how the boys would recall this trip, and due to all the rain, I had my concerns.

As we knelt together in the tent to pray before bed, my oldest son, aged 10, said, “Thanks for letting us come on this fun trip and have a fun time.” I was surprised and taught by his words!

I don’t think those three little boys gave a second thought to the rain. To them, it was not a hinderance, but an adventure to be conquered. I smiled and welcomed the pitter-patter of water upon the rain fly sheltering our tent.

The next day, we cooked breakfast, used elk calls to chat back and forth with a curios bull elk and eventually headed off the mountain for home. It was a splendid time, an inexpensive yet priceless trip for me. I am grateful to share times like that with my best little buddies and I am thankful we didn’t turn back and postpone.

May we learn to enjoy the rains that moisten our plans at times. Time with friends and family doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be time. Life is good, enjoy the adventure!

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