The three men prepare for the river trip over the course of the first four chapters of the book. They have to debate every decision, and this is why it takes them a long time. In the first chapter, they decide to go on a boat trip along the River Thames, instead of on an ocean or sea voyage, when they could get seasick. In the second chapter, they debate the advantages and disadvantages of camping out every night. They decide to camp out in good weather and to stay in pubs or inns whenever it rains, since camping out in wet weather gets too messy. In the third chapter, they make a list of supplies for the trip. They decide to use a boat with a canvas cover, instead of taking an extra tent to set up, which would require extra work and extra baggage. They decide what clothing they will take, and what would be appropriate attire for boating. In the fourth chapter, they decide what food and what kind of stove they will take. In all of these instances, they have to pare down their original lists to only what they will need and what is likely to work best on a boat. Then they begin to pack. J., the narrator, packs the equipment and the clothing. George and Harris pack the food hamper. Montmorency gets in the way while they do. By the beginning of the fifth chapter, they’re finally ready to get going.