An adventure without a plan will cause the adventurer to become like a medical student on a ward round; lost and scared. But beware, over-planning is like a medical student at exam time; boring and with no friends. Planning generally boils down to answering three simple questions. Where to go, who to go with, and what to bring.
Where to go
The plan should start off with some awesome, exciting and completely unrealistic idea. This is immediately criticized by those boring people who know and love you. So, to appease this sad, hyper-cautious but well-intentioned group the idea is then taken and whittled into something slightly more reasonable. If in doubt about the whittling process, see the diagram below.
Who to go with
Most people say adventures with friends and family are the way to go. This will no doubt ensure good times with the people you love but an addition is necessary. Going with people who have more experience and more importantly more gear than yourself is never a bad idea. These wonderful people ensure that you don’t have to spend as much or plan as much, providing a kind of adventure insurance that keeps you safe, warm and happy. WMSS has spent a lot of time studying adventure group dynamics* and have come up with the exact ratio of friends to expertise to ensure a fun and exciting trip.
*WMSS has spent no actual time studying this
What to bring
You will need to PACK. There are two types of packers. Those who try to only pack the necessities, carefully weighing up the value of each item before adding it to their bag. This is often a good and efficient technique, but these people invariably forget things. Then there are those who pack everything and anything as there are so many useful items in their possession, all of which may come in handy. These people also invariably forget things but this may be less bad as they take lots of other stuff…
Other things to bring that are often deemed less important include; a good attitude, enthusiasm and an appropriate level of fitness and skill that matches the task you are endeavouring to undertake so you don’t perish on a mountain side. This may not involve much prep at all. For instance, most of us have walking essentially mastered but if you’re using a tent maybe learn how to set it up or if you have a cooker learn how to turn it on without being a fire risk.
So now you know the three important questions you can start PLANNING. Or better still, save yourself some time, money and possible disaster and just sign up to a WMSS trip.