You know how it is. You’re walking down the trail, ahead of your hiking companions, when you turn around and catch them in the act. Pointing at you, whispering, alternately giggling and snarling. You stop mid-stride to wait for them to approach, and they suddenly cease conversing, forcing weak smiles onto their faces as they get close.
“What’s wrong?” you demand, a hint of alarm in your voice. “Is there a problem?”
“Nothing,” your companions deadpan in unison. “Nothing at all.”
But, of course there is. And like a lightning bolt sent from Muir himself, it hits you.
You’ve done the rental thing. You’ve done the “I’ll just borrow a pack from my girl friend who’s eight inches shorter than me, or my guy friend who’s eight inches taller.” But those days are over, gentle mountain hiker/RTEF hopeful. Respectability and self-esteem are just one purchase away.
There are many advantages to owning your own backpack, of course. The obvious one is… it fits you. It should fit you perfectly, in fact. Your body shape is unique, and finding the right pack that slots in nicely over your butt and against your spine is a mission not undertaken lightly.
Another advantage is, you get to practice packing! Yes, it’s true, the art of stuffing and cramming your gear into a pack takes years to perfect, and it’s clear that you, yes you, need the practice. Owning your own backpack allows you to take a few minutes each day to fiddle, fuss, re-arrange, and re-organize your gear to zen-like levels of perfection. No more pots and pans clanking on the outside, no more pillows sticking out the top like an eleven-year-old running away from home. Practice while the kids are brushing their teeth, while your husband is watching basketball, or during book club. Practice, practice, practice.
“But packs are expennnnnnsive!!!!” I can hear you whining already. Well, look at this way. Just for one month, cut back on hair and nail products, beer and wine, and your children’s doctors appointments, and you’ll have more than enough coinage to get your very own load-hauling beast.
So, delay no longer. Get out there and research. Talk to your friends, get their advice, let them help you spend your money. The road to retribution begins today.
This RTEF Special Report is brought to you by Gregory, Osprey, and Arc’teryx.