Yes, that is a picture of me paddling my car into the ocean, or at least trying to. Where did I get the paddle? Oh, I keep it in my car. See, it’s one of my Adventure Totems.
Now what the devil is an Adventure Totem!? Well, some of you may have encountered Writing Totems before; you know, a magic little trinket you put on that inspires you to write, that you build up a good writing association with.
Well, I do the same thing, but for adventures. Maybe it’s going hiking at a lake at 2 a.m., or exploring old coastal ruins in the fog, or maybe it’s heading down to the Maker Faire at a moment’s notice. I like adventures! I’m prone to kidnapping my friends and spiriting them off to goodness-knows-where. It usually ends well. Usually. “What does an Adventure Totem look like?” you might ask.
In my experience, it pays to have a few of them around, especially in one’s car. Various Totems have come and gone over the years, but here’s what I’ve currently got riding around with me:
- Paddle: My most beloved and useful Adventure Totem. A machete for bushwhacking, a walking stick for hiking, a weapon for zombie-fighting, and, of course, a paddle for when I get stuck in traffic.
- Small Human Skull: Where did this even come from? Useful for set-dressing when making giant spiderwebs, and/or bartering to trolls.
- Combo Compass/Sextant: Perhaps less useful in the days of GPS, but nonetheless comforting to have on hand. Also, it’s very shiny.
- Bag of Binary: It’s a plastic bag filled with zeroes and ones. Excellent for decision-making, hacking, or other forms of analog-digital shenanigans.
Now, how do you know when something is an Adventure Totem? Usually, it will just kind of show up mysteriously. Often it’s something that someone else had lying around. Generally they don’t have an immediately apparent purpose, but sooner or later? You’ll be incredibly glad you have it on hand.
What about you guys? Do you guys have any Adventure Totems? What would go in your dream Adventure Totem Kit?