From the Road: Favorites, pt. 3 - The Little Things

Have you ever been frustrated because even though it seems you are dieting properly and working out plenty you still aren’t getting the results you want?  Chances are you aren’t paying attention to the little things - the extra bites here, not enough rest there, one too many cheat meals without realizing it, too many days off...the list goes on, but the point is, it’s usually not the big things that get you, it’s the little things.

Have you ever been frustrated because you can’t get your living room to look as put together as your friend's living room?  You’ve even matched all the big pieces.  Chances are, the reason you can’t pull-off the look you are wanting is because you’ve neglected the little things - the little pieces that pull it all together.  The accents.

We can probably look into many different situations and point out the elements or things preventing someone from feeling, looking, accomplishing what they want are exactly those things - the little things.  We neglect them.  They seem unnecessary even a nuisance at times.  But in the end, it's the little things that make all the difference and take a good experience and turn it into a great experience.  

We feel the same is true with adventure and camping.  So we wanted to take a moment and write a blog on the little things that made all the difference for us:

Coffee: For us, coffee is not a shot of caffeine to get us through the morning.  When we are at home, coffee is an experience.  We used to do what many do: buy pre-ground coffee, set up a typical coffee pot that burns from the bottom, and set the timer and drink the result.  But part of the #artofslow is learning how to turn ordinary things into experiences, when we do this we are living ordinary well, and this is how we approach coffee.  As an experience.  This process is even more difficult while camping, but in my opinion, even more worth it. So, here’s what we did:

  • Coffee beans: We could have bought instant or even pre-ground, but we didn’t.  We brought whole bean, and not just any whole bean, we brought Cuvee whole bean.  Why Cuvee?  Obviously quality and taste.  It’s amazing coffee, our favorite here in Austin.  But even more important to us - ethics.  Grab a bag and read the back of it.  Then drink some.  
  • Grinder: Obviously an electric grinder wouldn’t work, so we needed to buy one that was built for the outdoors.  We purchased a GSI Outdoor Java Mill.  Yes, this even adds more work to the process, but it actually made the coffee experience even more rich, you become part of the process.  Every morning, I woke up about 5:30, set out all my needed equipment, measured out the amount of coffee it would take to make two cups (but I made one cup at a time), set the setting, and ground the coffee to perfection.
  • Jet Boil: Simply stated, when it comes to camping, don’t leave home without a Jet Boil!  We used this little guy for oatmeal, hot chocolate, and of course, coffee.  
  • Aeropress: Then we used an aeropress to make single cups of coffee. We started out with a french press but it broke shortly into the trip.  Single perfect cups of coffee were the result of the aeropauses.  Cups of coffee that made the morning, well, pretty much, perfect.   Made the birds sing a bit clearer.  The pine trees smell fresher.  The cool breeze more crisp.  These single cups of coffee acted as the points of singularity for each day.  It took me an average of 45 minutes each morning to make both cups, and every single day it was worth it. 
  • Coffee Cup: We each had a Howler Brothers Camp Mug.  Everyone coffee drinker has their favorite mug.  This has become ours.  The coffee much was like the exclamation point at the end of the sentence

Resting and Reclining: There are many ways to do this: in a camp chair, on a rock, unrolling a blanket and laying down...OR, hanging a kammok between two trees and reclining while suspended between heaven and earth - the wind below and above your body.  Feeling one with your surroundings.  Don’t take my word for it.  Get a kammok.  Hang it.  Grab a great book.  Done!

Clothes: Listen, there is nothing wrong with wearing a good pair of jeans and a normal t-shirt while hiking through mountains and streams.  Absolutely nothing.  But, we learned the difference between regular street clothes and clothes specifically designed for adventure and outdoor life.  We were geared up in Kuhl and Howler Brothers clothes.  We love both of these companies, and they made the journey more comfortable and allowed us to be more movable.  To read more about partnership with Howler Brothers, click HERE

Snacks: We’ve mentioned this a lot, because they really matter.  They matter a lot.  For us, our snack of choice is the Epic Bar.  They are not bars that deliver a quick sugar high, but deliver real lasting protein and energy to a body that has been working hard.  We won’t spend a lot of time delving into it, but if you want to read more about our partnership with EPIC click HERE. Or better yet, go buy a few bars.  Try Elie’s favorite, “The Pig One

These are the little things that made all the difference in our trip.  We would love to hear more about the little things that have made a huge difference for you and your adventures.  Use the comment space below to let us know!