This is the motto for Therm-a-Rest pads, a line of products from Cascade Designs.
I can't believe somebody hasn't noded anything here yet.
This is a true story.
It was raining. It always rains when I go backpacking. I don't complain, however, I'm used to it by now. So is everybody else. Comments about the weather are kept to a minimum, as the line of hikers start the climb up the side of the hill, overlooking the Susquehanna River and 22/322. It's almost dark when we start, since everyone had work or school commitments. We agree to sleep for the night in a designated camping spot, barely two miles from where we started. It's still raining when we arrive, and silently the troopers file out and begin to setup their sleeping quarters for the night. A few mild curses ensue, but 15 minutes later, everybody is attempting to sleep quietly. All of us fall asleep with the knowledge that tomorrow… tomorrow, we shall be packing wet.
Despite rain flies for the tents, pack covers for the backpacks, and rain gear for the person, backpacking in the rain will inevitably lead to anything and everything you brought getting wet, in some way or another. If it's not soaking wet like your socks quickly became, it is damp, and needs to be aired out as soon as possible. Tents packed in a wet or damp state must be aired out as soon as you get home or whenever the rain stops, whichever comes first. Many a tent has been lost to several months of mold and mildew, caused by improper handling. This is key. There will be a test on this at the Pearly Gates. Trust me.
Hours later, we've rubbed the sleep out of our eyes, changed underwear, and hiked 6 mile. It's a beautiful day, perfect for hiking, and the hike to our current location was marked with many breath-taking views of fall scenery.
It was also a beautiful thing to watch as our group rolled into camp. Somebody rushed for the outhouse; everybody else laughed. Not at his urgent need for relief, rather that there was actually a roof over the shithole. Everybody secretly cursed their luck, realizing the extra weight of the trowel was unnecessary baggage that they just carried 8 miles, over very difficult, rocky terrain.
Quickly the group set into motion, like the trained professionals we all pretended to be. Tents shot up while I fashioned a lovely clothesline that was soon filled with socks, sleeping bags, Evan's dead body, and other damp apparel. Soon everybody has everything done that must be done (see above), and they turn to other small tasks, like refilling their water bottles and of course, relaxing.
"It is so much fun packing with these guys.
They are so good at it.
We all take our knowledge for granted, it seems, but we are really good at this."
This I ponder as I eyeball the perfect spot for the nap I am about to take.
Therm-a-rest pad in hand, I have noticed a peanut shaped rock, 3 feet high and 7 feet long, with a perfect width for myself and my pad, even featuring a slight downward slope, for the true, outdoor recliner fit and feel. Better yet, the sun has found a gap in the canopy above, which sheds a warming light over the rock.
This pad even come with directions: "Save the soft places. Sleep on rocks."
If only Everything could be this easy.
Minutes later, I am drifting farther and farther away from where I am, lost in complete comfort. My tired feet suck in the warmth of the sun and my back revels in relaxation. "Mmm, this feels good. I could live here." An eternity passes. And I am rudely awakened by a challenger to my throne.
Arrr, matey… let the games begin!