A Thin and Treacherous Line

The morning before Bjorn and I left for our hiking trip, we loaded up the car with a trunk full of crazy gear. Here's what we packed:  

  • Hiking backpacks - gorgeous colorful things with a pocket every where you look, straps for your shoulders and for your waist, a little bag attached to the top that you can remove for use on a day hike, and zippers all over the things so you can access different areas of your pack when it's all full.
  • Sleeping pads - ones that fold, ones that roll.
  • Sleeping bags - crazy cocoon feelings things that have a hood so you can get all snug and only have your face exposed to the air; I've never slept in anything warmer than this guy.
  • Nalgene Bottles - as discussed before; every color imaginable pouring out of every cupboard in the house.
  • Fire Starter - One of these guys with combo flint and magnesium action going on.
  • Pots and Pans - Lightweight minimalist design, perfect for your pack.
  • Whisper Light Stove
  • Hiking food - Dried fruit, cheese and crackers, almonds.


And this list, in all it's glory, is still just a small percentage of the gear that lives at Bjorn's house.  There are also tents and climbing gear and boats and cross country skis and down hill skis and trailers and trucks and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can't even remember, let alone name.


Bjorn's family is serious about their outdoor adventuring, and they've assembled a robust tool chest to support their passion.


For Bjorn's family, and for this guy, owning a fancy Patagonia jacket is probably a good idea.




For me, though, most trips to Patagonia are a purely consumerist adventure.


I really don't need anything they're selling.


The line that runs between shameless consumption and sensible tool acquition is thin and treacherous.


That purchase you're considering - is it going to move you and your work forward? Is it going to push you? Stretch you? Enable you to work harder, to be braver?


Or are you a kid in a candy store, buying something sugary and sweet?


You're the only one that knows the answer.