The Day the Gear Took Over
I would like to freely admit to being one of those wives who said she “Sure honey, I completely understand why you need to buy another backpack” but in my head I was thinking “WTF, you can’t possibly need another piece of gear. I’m already tripping over your other 3 backpacks”.
Now I want you to know that I made sure that was not said out loud because after 20 years of marriage I know whatever makes my hubby happy is worth it. Seriously if he thinks he needs more gear then by golly he needs more gear. Who I am to protest?
Now it’s a good thing I have most of my “interesting” conversation inside my head because they could get me in all kinds of trouble and I would be eating my own words because
I am now… a gear junkie. Yes, I admit it. It’s a disease and there should probably be a self-help group for it but I have definitely caught it. It has not reached the final stages yet (which I’m sure is the case with my husband) but I definitely have the bug. It slowly creeps up on you too. You don’t even realize you have it until one day you are tripping over your own 4 backpacks and you realize you have gear for a few hour hike, an overnight trip and a week long visit to the backwoods. You find that it makes more sense to have a whole drawer from your clothes dresser full of your “small gear” so it is easy to find and doesn’t get lost. Who needs a drawer for shorts and capris anyway? Is your closet really for hanging clothes and keeping dress shoes? No, it is not! It is great for storing sleeping bags and backpacks at a comfortable temperature so your gear stays in top shape.
I know other gear junkies out there completely understand what I am talking about. The part that makes it hard is I used to laugh about it. I would think “how much gear can a person seriously need” and now I know. You can never really have enough gear! Ever!
This realization happened because I started spending more time in the woods with my husband. He is always prepared for everything (I’m not joking either, he is seriously ready for stuff to go down). We would go on a hike and I would say I was getting hungry (thinking maybe we need to go back home and make lunch) and he would pull out a little stove and pot and cook me up some lunch after serving me some hot coffee. How cool is that? Who can resist being cooked a meal in the outdoors while comfortably sitting by a fire while the birds chirp and you smell fresh hot coffee (now close your eyes and visualize yourself in this scene)? Well, I started saying how nice it would be if I had that too and wouldn’t you know it. Our favorite Amazon boxes would show up in the mail with presents for me. Who can resist a present? Not me, seriously I love getting surprise stuff in the mail. The only problem I have is I’m cheap and the good gear costs money. It’s good gear and it is hard to make and its quality stuff but that still doesn’t stop me from being thrifty. So my solution to this is to inherit my husband’s old gear when he gets new stuff or make it ourselves (which is a whole different adventure I will share later). It is still good gear and it still has life so my pile of gear grows. But I have to admit that sometimes the new stuff is better and I want it too (which my husband never says “no” too). Like I said, it’s a disease and there is no cure. So let me share some helpful information with other wives or husbands. Don’t fight it like I did or secretly laugh inside your head.
Just start right out getting the right gear and get out in the woods with your favorite person. Having the right gear makes being in the woods so much more enjoyable. If you sleep comfortable and warm all night long you will never want to go home. If your feet feel good after a full day hike then you can enjoy the awesome view you found with your favorite person. There is nothing more enjoyable then falling asleep under the stars next to a warm fire with you best friend. Well I can think of a few more things but I will let your imagination take over from here.
Founder of the Self Help Group
“Put down that Gear”
(I wrote this almost 5 years ago and so much has changed and so much has stayed the same. Now I spend my days making quality outdoor gear out of waxed canvas and I enjoy contributing to all the other gear junkies out there!)
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