When Routine Errands Turn Into an Adventure…

I went shopping for some things on my day off today in preparation for a cabin trip this weekend. What I REALLY needed to get was some fuel canisters that I can use for both our one-burner backpacking stove and our fuel lantern, which I figured…

Bill Murray does not always speak the truth!

The first store I went to was (gasp) Costco. The only items I wanted to get there was some vodka and some hard seltzer. Done….no problem! This my first visit to Costco since before March (probably since 2019). I felt like a “brave little toaster!”

My next stop was Target. I knew they had battery-operated string lights, so that was my main “quarry.” But those sneaky bastards also managed to make sure clear vinyl shower curtains were hanging along the aisle that I walked (ooh I do need shower curtains), so I grabbed two of those. The shower liners in my husband’s bathroom and my bathroom are needing to be replaced soon (his is in more urgent need than mine). This is why I hardly ever go into Target – you wind up spending more than you intended!

Walked by electronics section, “Ooh, I do want more rechargeable batteries, I’m sick of using so many throw away batteries.” Done…got AAA and AA size, now all I need to do is charge them.

Stopped into the sporting goods section to see if they had the fuel canisters I needed, and they did not. So I moved on to the “seasonal” area, which had a bunch of cool Halloween decorations and candy. Found my string lights (orange), then spied some hand sanitizer in the middle of the aisle on my way to the checkout. “Well, I can always use that,” I told myself.

So I only had one more stop to make – find my fuel canisters – and go home! Wrong…one stop turned into four! First stop – REI? Nope. They had plenty of empty shelf space for my canisters, but no canisters. Meijer? Nope. Dicks? Nope. Desperate, I used 411 to call Bivouac, a camping store near the University of Michigan campus (I don’t have a smart phone). Managed to get someone on the phone to ensure that they had what I needed.

“I need a female canister, my stove has a male end and screws into it. Sorry if that sounds crass.” The clerk might’ve been laughing under their breath, but on the phone with me, they sounded nonplussed (what a pro). He asked if I’d hold while he checked their inventory.”

Match made in heaven! I brought the wrong type of canister for my stove on a backpacking trip before so I try to really know its “anatomy!”

Yes, we have them in all three sizes,” he informed me.

Woot! So I had to venture into the campus area of Ann Arbor. I parked a few blocks away on the street – probably farther than I needed to – fed the meter a few coins (hey did my part to help alleviate the so-called coin shortage) and went into the store to get my canisters. I felt like I was stalking the poor skinny Asian male in front of me as I walked down State Street – when in reality I was socially distancing myself from him! Normally I’d pass slower pedestrians, but…hey I’m trying to be respectful in these plague filled times!

Cashed out…and was on my way! Just to make SURE, I went in through the garage when I got home to check that the canisters I bought would fit my stove/lantern. They did…yay, I don’t have to return them!

I suppose you might be wondering why I didn’t just try ordering the fuel canisters online. Why? Because they’re flammable and have shipping restrictions.

Sigh…I’m glad I wasn’t “burned” by my own shopping list! I wouldn’t want to run out of gas before this year’s camping adventures are done. ⛺🔥

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