Now that summer is finally in full swing, most of our weekends and some weeknights are spent traveling to rodeos, attending friends’ weddings and camping. When my partner and I first started dating, he often made jokes about me and my “snack bag.”
Those of us who spend a lot of time in the sun might understand the importance of having cool drinks and snacks available. For those long days on the road, I’m able to bring not only my preferred snacks and drinks, but also save money and have healthier options.
When it’s 100 degrees F out on a Saturday in July, the only stop with the horse trailer is for fuel and gas station snacks. After a few weekends of only drinking Busch light from the community cooler and eating the salty snacks available, I decided to bring my own treats to stay hydrated and nourished during those long weekend days. (Have you ever been “hangry” on an especially hot day? No one has fun!)
The night before we leave, I’ll be cutting up my fruit, packing my bottled water and making sure my ice packs are in the freezer. My camera and my snack bag are the two things I bring to every rodeo, roping, camping trip or car trip longer than three hours.
You can apply the old Boy Scout slogan, “Be prepared,” to any aspect of your life. Whether that’s making sure you have your checkbook, having a full tank of gas and a fully charged phone, grabbing a rain coat, or leaving on time, being prepared can take many different routes. Aside from these short-term preparations, you can also work to prepare for retirement, transition the farm to the next generation or prepare your farm finances for higher input costs.
I’ve often been told that I have a very “Type A” personality. I live off of my planner and to-do lists. My clothes are pulled out and ready the night before. I’ve checked the driving route three times. And my weekends are planned a few months out.
My partner is exactly the opposite with a go-with-the-flow personality. I’ll ask about our plans a few days in advance, and I might find out the time he wants to leave. Other times, I’ll discover at 11 the night before that we’re helping family friends brand the next day.
No matter where you fit on this spectrum, is there something you can plan ahead and be prepared for?
Of course, in agriculture we often have to prepare for the unplanned. A steer getting out of the pasture, a tractor getting stuck in the field, rain falling on the day you wanted to spray, a dog who needs an emergency vet trip, or any other of the thousands of unplanned things that can happen without warning. I might not ever actually know the full plans for the day, but I can always prepare for what I need.
While many plans often go awry, take a few minutes today to plan and prepare your “snack bag.”