Old Dog, New Tricks


I like to climb in the mountains, which often means leaving the house before dawn, which means packing everything the night before to save time in the morning. This includes food. Often, I'll make a tasty sandwich, or box up some leftover chicken, or maybe slice up some salami and cheese, and I'll stick it all in the refrigerator, ready to go.


The problem is that human brains don't function at 100 percent at 4:30 a.m. I'm lucky to hit 30 percent. More than once, I've driven off and left my carefully packed lunch in the fridge. It's bad enough when I remember halfway to the trailhead and have to stop at Conoco to buy a "turkey" and "cheese" "sandwich." Much worse is remembering lunch is still on ice when you're halfway up a climb.

But now the solution has been revealed. Last weekend, two skiing friends, Bart Miller and Lisa Seaman, told me they always put their car keys under their lunch, inside the fridge, before they go to bed. They'd literally have to move the lunch bag out of the way to get their keys and leave the house. This idea sounds incredibly dorky, like writing your emergency contact number on your forehead with a Sharpie before venturing into the backcountry, but I'm still going to try it. It may not guarantee that I'll grab my lunch along with my keys, but if I blow it that badly, I deserve to go hungry.