Gear Love pt.1

2 02 2016


Throughout a life of outdoor jobs and personal play, we get the opportunity to truly test gear in the realm it is claimed to be designed for.  Sometimes it’s obvious the gear was created more for a profit rather than to increase an outdoor experience; we take note and continue the search for something better.  This can be a circle that brings us back to the original beginnings of a category before “advanced” technology, fads, profits, and marketing got involved with the pursuit.  When gear was designed for its sole purpose of doing a job.  Merely a tool for a problem.

In my original thought of doing a gear post I did not want to just talk about a new toy, but explore the gear that has meaning in our lives.  Gear that is so perfect to you, you never question its job, or weight, or when the next model will come out.  It’s so perfect that you don’t know how it could be improved upon or would not care if it were.  A piece of gear can gain this attraction through multiple ways; either through form and function, shared experiences, or through memories of its past history.

Take pride in your gear not for what it is, but for what it brings.  Only a short time ago someone could only look at a mountain and dream about what it would be like to glide down it, look at a raging rapid and be terrified of the possibility of being in it, or see a sheer wall and wonder how to get to the top.

The following gear is stuff that is so fundamental to me that I don’t question its use.  Either through accident or research, it fits my needs so perfectly I hope I never lose it, but still have pride in someday wearing it out.

Think of some items you have a special attachment to and give a comment.  This may seem like a shallow exercise, but remember, it’s not really about the tool.

-There is no sponsorship behind my choices.

Fiskar Axe– Not your grandfather’s axe, but possibly better in every way.  I currently have two- one for splitting smaller stuff at camp and a long maul for bigger jobs.  Virtually unbreakable, very little vibration is transferred to your hands after a missed strike and the steel holds an edge extremely well.

Fiskars is most known for their orange handled scissors but started as a company in 1649 and are designed in Finland. They know how to make a great axe and I highly recommend to anyone.axe

Pink coffee mug– Made by Porter Products in Missoula, MT.  This mug has been with me for 9 years.  The personal French press allows me to make a single serving rather than an entire pot I can never finish.  It has a secret stash in the bottom for extra grounds so on road trips or at camp, all that’s needed is hot water for another familiar cup o’ Joe.  I think the color may be why I have yet to lose this loved mug and the reminder on the side tells it like it is.  “You Belong Outside.”


Smartwool socks– Good fitting socks are worth their weight in gold and often cost as much.  I got these socks in high school and even though they are now mere microns thick in places, I can’t bring myself to get rid of them.  Don’t you hate when you open the sock drawer and it’s full of socks, but none you want to wear?  That never happens when these are there.


Smoked Salmon– When you pull this out of your pack after an 8 mile climb to the top of a mountain, you are sure to be the most popular person in the group.  The protein will help keep you satisfied longer and the high sodium content will replenish what was just sweated out.  Plus- the trail pup loves the skin.



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