My pack fetish

I like packs. Always have. Yes they’re perhaps more deserving of care and obsession than other items of outdoor gear, but my appreciation and interest goes far beyond the strictly practical.

I bought this pack last week.  A Black Diamond Bbee.  While I was (until last week!) lacking in a nice perfect little pack (save the ’03 BD Bullet which M “officially” stole/adopted years ago), I was fairly swimming in packs only slightly larger.  But I saw it in Rocky Mountain Outfitter last Monday, got a good urge, found it deeply discounted (I was looking, of course, this was not a coincidence), and got it.   And am happy.

No doubt I’ll continue to buy more packs, sell more packs, and make more packs.  All in the name on enhancing my pack appreciation.  And persnickettty-ness.

I’m also not a big fan of lots of stuff, so in the name of keeping the basement only very and not extremely cluttered, I’ve got some stuff to move…

Also, feel free to share your particular gear weakness.  The more idiosyncratic the better.  (I also like shells (the Boreas in the above picture is really great), and trail shoes.)


  1. Gear weakness: running sneakers. As a former trackie, my track/XC spikes collection could have shod a high school team. Daily running shoes numbered in the teens, which makes for a nice rotation. Just started to cull the herd, ten years after any real competitive races.

  2. Gear weakness: Sleeping bags, packs and titanium bicycles. Add in the fact that Steph and I are into the same type of things and all of the sudden you need a fairly large gear shed.

    Sleeping bags: you never want to be cold….but you also never want to be too warm and carrying extra weight. I have my bases covered from -40d on up in 20d increments. I just acquired a Wild Things synthetic half bag for warm, wet summer trips.

    Packs: Running, cycling, skiing, backpacking, commuting. I do a fair amount of all of these and want specific things in a pack for each.

    Titanium bikes: I just can’t get enough. There’s 6 of them in Steph and I’s bike room…..and that number is only going to increase. It makes me really happy to know that these bikes will last a long time…..and any effort put into making them great will be enjoyed for a long time.

  3. Gear Weakness: Hiking skirts – comfy cotton ones for short jaunts and days with 0% chance of rain. Short, super-fine wool for summer days in the mountains, medium length and weight wool for cold winter or wet shoulder seasons in the mountains, long synthetic for dry desert days, or any hike with the possibility of prickly bushwacking. Plus skirts with slits for hot days and without slits for windy days and days on the bike. I think I currently have five skirts in active rotation and I see at least three areas for improvement (a.k.a. more skirts!!!)

    Special Bonus – hiking skirts are the one piece of gear not likely to be stolen by The Mister. (Except when floating, even boys will envy a nice sarong on the river).

  4. Curious–how do you resolve the tension between excellent gear and giving money to Clarus Corp (formerly–now, Black Diamond, Inc.) and Warren Kanders?

    I don’t mean any judgment by asking that question; it’s just something I’ve been trying to work through lately as well.

    1. I don’t! Judging by the Bbee, the quality of construction and design hasn’t gone down, and I’d like to think the same good folks are still designing packs in SLC. But that doesn’t make it any less unctuous to know I’m backing “those guys.”

  5. Would any of your selling pack work for my biking? 11 YO Blowfish is long in tooth. I like it don’t love it, mainly would like a better belt. Don’t need more room.

  6. Packs here too. I’d like to get it down to owning three but can’t seem to keep it below six… and nothing out there is 100% perfect for me. I’ve slashed every single pack I’ve owned with my seam ripper and a pair of scissors.

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