The holiday hangover

posted Jan 6, 2016, 9:53 PM by Paul Wagner
There seem to be lots of conversations these days about what people received for holiday gifts,  particularly if they have to do with backpacking.  What did Santa bring you?  And was it what you wanted?  And what's the next thing on your list. And...

We're always a bit overwhelmed by the focus on equipment when it comes to backpacking conversations.   If you visit some of the forums that focus on backpacking, more than half the posts are on equipment--and in some cases it's closer to 90%.  That's crazy, if you ask us.  You don't need lots of expensive equipment to go backpacking.  In fact,. by visiting your local thrift stores, we bet you could get outfitted with perfectly serviceable gear for less than $100.  P's first backpack, when he was twelve years old, was a large pair of his dad's pants.  True story.  And when he was in high school, he backpacked about 40 miles into SEKI with a friend, using a cheap exterior frame pack that you could certainly find on ebay for $10, a synthetic sleeping bag that was supposed to be good down to 20 degrees, and never came close to that, and a tube tent that cost $4...and maybe cost $6 today.  He hiked in Converse All-stars, wore jeans and blue work-shirt, and had an absolutely great time. 

So don't sweat the gear.  If you don't have the latest pack, the coolest clothes, or the most expensive sleeping bag, you can still have a great time backpacking.  In fact, we don't have that stuff today, and we hike somewhere around 100-150 miles a year backpacking in the Sierra, and seeing amazing places,  Which is even better than owning really cool gear. 

What did we get for the holidays?  Well, we got a couple of freeze-dried meals, and P got an extra bottle for his water filter.  That's about it.  We're happy with what we have, and what we got.  We also got time with our lovely daughters in son-in-law, which was better than any backpacking trip.

Which is what the holidays are all about anyway.