Friday, June 2, 2017

A Good Pack

When I was in high school a new store opened at the Lehigh Valley Mall. It was called EMS and it sold all the coolest backpacking and climbing gear. I was a lifeguard in the summer and worked at a rock climbing gym in the winter and this was a dream come true. I bought this inexpensive canvas rucksack back then. I remember having it loaded for day hikes with my Golden Retriever mix, Murray. I remember filling it with some bouldering gear and my climbing shoes to bum with friends out on the rocky ridge by our high school. It's been with me ever since. It came to college with me. It bummed around the art campus until I felt it looked too shabby and out of place with the tech-pack phase that was going on then. The teal I loved looked embarrassingly weird. I threw it in the closet.

Then I moved from college to Tennessee, and it came along in the U-haul. After that it came on hikes in the Smoky mountains. From there it moved with me and my Siberian huskies to Idaho, and then Vermont, and now to this farm in New York. I just found it last week hanging and covered with dust in a storage area.

I washed it. I sewed a patch on it. Now it's my summer bag. What always has the essentials for a day on the job around here: first aid, water, sunblock, bug spray, snacks, wallet, etc. It's like a purse but the kind you can strap to your body and get lost all morning in the forest beside.

Why share this? Because I was looking online for a new backpack before I searched for this. I stopped shortly after seeing what the newest trends were. Now packs come with all sorts of water bladders and built-in rain covers and enough hooks and ladders to keep a filing clerk happy. What I needed was something to hold things. And it no longer is exciting or fun to buy new when you can take care of what you already have. It's how I feel about the farm. It's how I feel about a lot of things. And I'm proud of nearly 20 years of service from a good pack.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jean Richards said...

This is the 2nd time today I am reminded of an old saying I learned when I was just a teenager, "Use it up, wear it out. Make it do, or do without"
I've had moments of "oh I just HAVE to have the newest/latest/trendiest... whatever. Without fail, I've regretted just about every one of those purchases.
So I try to remind myself of this, of just what you were talking about in this post, so I remember to value what I have/what I can actually use. Those things I never regret because reusing something that has already proven it's worth is way more satisfying every time!

June 2, 2017 at 5:57 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I also like to find my old things and give them new life. An all purpose bag is great to old all those things that you will need, and might need too.

June 2, 2017 at 9:37 PM  

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