Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care a lot about that may not necessarily have serious implications for politics or social justice. Although any day is a good day to write about our passions outside of social issues, we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun.
Spring is here! Although Chicago had an incredibly mild winter this year, it’s still exciting to have the weather warming up and flowers start to appear along my walk to work. My winter was a little darker than usual due to working overnight full time and spending a lot of my time in classes and studying, but the winter classes and weather have passed.
I love spending time outdoors when I can, and spend much of my free time fantasizing about camping trips and hiking excursions. The lead up to spring is often full of spending time looking at hiking gear, planning camp food, and searching for fun places to get out of the city. In recent years I haven’t gotten out as much as I’d like. The combination of work, school, and family responsibilities has kept me from camping more than two or three times a year, and kept me from any serious hiking for several years.
This year I don’t have any more free time than I have in the past, but I do have a slightly more predictable schedule, which helps enormously in planning. I also have a few more friends who enjoy this kind of outing, so I have planned weekends away with friends, with partners, and by myself. I’m particularly excited to explore new state parks and try out some new gear, including my new hammock which I hope will be a lighter alternative to my backpacking tent.
In the long run, I’d like to start doing some more serious hikes, possibly starting with the 160 mile River to River trail in Illinois. This summer, though, I’m going to test my newer gear, work on freezer bag cooking recipes, and just get out of the city as much as I can.
As spring and summer advance, keep an eye here on Frivolous Fridays (and any other time I feel like it) for reviews of gear, vegetarian backpacking food options, and maybe some pictures of pretty places I get to visit. Hopefully I will only encounter the fun kinds of bears.