After you’ve picked a good route, picked a good partner, done all the relevant research, and built the best list you can, the only thing left is to make sure you don’t forget anything.
On longer trips this is rather important, and can be surprisingly difficult. If all you leave behind is your spoon, little harm will be done. Forgetting a piece of technical gear, or shorting yourself on food, can have a more serious impact.
For any trip longer than four days I add up my calories. All of them. Going hungry is the insecurity I’m most prone to pack.
A week or so out, I pile everything in a place I’ll walk past often. This visual reminder keeps the details in the forefront of my mind, and makes it more likely I’ll keep reexamining the depths and remember anything I might have thought I packed, but not. As I write this, I’m pretty sure it’s all there. Now I just have to drive 17 hours south, and hope lots of skiing and carry loaded packs around the neighborhood with stand up to day 1; a big, rough, technical descent from rim to river. I’ll be gone next week and most of the week after.
As a housekeeping note: I’ve been experiencing a recent influx of spam designed around the current WordPress filters. To keep it from piling up in my absence, I tightened said filters quite a bit. If you’re not a semi-regular contributor here you may be caught in the moderation queue for a little while, and if so I thank you for your patience.