I love having information. I love the process of researching and acquiring information. I love knowing.

I also spend a good amount of time trying to figure out new ways to exhaust myself.

So I come to the end of my Wilderness Travel Course with the Sierra Club. I loved school. I also loved heckling in school. Being defiant. Asking WHY? And, you know, LEARNING.

I loved my 2015 52 Hike Challenge. It was engrossing. Challenging. Let me tell you what I don’t much like: backpacking. I appreciate the reason, the “means to an end.“ I appreciate the science and design that has gone into the pursuit of such things. I really do. I was undoubtedly impressed (also: hungry) when one leader pulled out a Nalgene bottle full of CHERRY TOMATOES. (All I ever want at a summit is a salad bar and a milkshake)

But the next time I willingly put a 50+lb pack on my hips and shoulders to traipse to a spot where I sleep on a FOAM PAD will be few and far between.

I love variety in workouts — a huge reason I like hiking. It involves your whole body, makes you focus on where to step next, and sometimes, when you happen upon a field of blooming yellow flowers, you forget your heart is about to jump out of your chest.

The air. The views. I know. But also, my incessantly dirty fucking fingernails.

On our way back to civilization, a fellow hiking buddy of mine commented about how she needed to “toughen up” her feet — meaning the pads–because no matter what boots she wore, her feet always felt sore at the end of a trip. Meanwhile, I’m refreshing Yelp trying to find a spa pedicure place that has special open late on Sunday hours (note: not an actual thing). I want my feet to be as soft as a newborn’s face!

All of this really comes down to sleep: I am a fucking princess about how, when, where and with the use of what equipment I am getting my Zzzs. I’m a stomach sleeper, so there is no simple stretching-out-of-the-limbs on a bed of fluffy grass. Also, if you do that, you’re ruining the grass, go sign up for a WTC course so you can learn how to NOT DESTROY NATURE you plebeians.

But try, as a stomach sleeper, to nod off on a standard $40 roll-up foam pad. It’s like willingly flinging your torso at a metal stage barricade. THE CRUSHING, THE CRUSHING! So then I add some $70ish “self-inflating” mattress thing. It’s better. You know what it isn’t? Memory foam. I would marry the person that invented (or maybe perfected, who knows what the first iteration was like) memory foam.

Even in a state of complete exhaustion, I need multiple pillows or a beanbag, definitely a blanket dedicated to just my head, and something soft to press against my ribs. Right now it’s an emoji pillow. Before that it was a throw pillow my sister gave me that said, “Here lies the nap queen.” When I first camped, it was like, socks and mittens until I finally sucked it up and packed in the Nap Queen pillow. And an airline blanket. And travel neck pillow. And sleeping pills. 
But don’t get me wrong — I appreciate having the experience. I love the new vocabulary, the new tool set I have. I love HAVING it. I just don’t know that I want to USE it.

So I have to figure out what’s next.

Originally published on Tumblr