Gear Heads

posted Feb 20, 2013, 8:44 AM by Paul Wagner
When it comes to backpacking, there sure is a lot of talk about gear.  We can't think of a single backpacking forum where there aren't many more posts on gear than there are on trips and adventures. That strikes us as a bit strange.  It's a bit like musicians talking about their instruments more often than the music they play--a crazy idea.   The equipment is a tool to get you out on the trail and having adventures.  The point of the whole thing is the time on the trail.
M looking down on our campsite...yep--it feels almost straight down!©
That's M at right, looking down on our old tent at Lyon's
Lake in the Desolation wilderness.  See how small the tent is?  That's about the right proportion...
Equipment is not main character in this movie; it plays a supporting role.  And everyone knows that a good supporting actor never steals the scene from the star.  It's not about the shoes (Jordan), or the bike (Armstrong), or the backpack (M&P!). It's about hiking the Sierra. For every post about a new backpack or a upgraded stove, we'd like to see five posts about a great hike, a wonderful destination, or an effective technique for the trail. 
That's not going to happen, of course.  But we are happy to note that on THIS blog, and on THIS website, the philosophy, trips reports, and adventures outnumber the equipment pages by about ten to one.  Which is as it should be.
Don't worry quite so much about which sleeping bag is the best,  The best one is the one you sleep in when you are out on the trail. And if you are lucky, you will sleep amid towering trees like the ones below...and know that you and your equipment are only a very small part of a much larger world.
The shadows lengthened again...
Our campsite at Seville Lake in Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park.