Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's not you, it's me

Dear backpack, I think its time we sat down and had a serious talk. I can't believe how quickly time has passed. I remember when I first saw you. In fact it wasn't even in person, I'll admit I heard about you from a friend and stalked you online. You looked so sleek and light, how could I not be impressed? I debated for ages whether or not to reach out and actually meet you. But I wasn't happy with only online glimpses so I hit the road and met you in person. I'll admit I wasn't disappointed, I took you home right then and there.
Like any new relationship I had a few reservations, but that's normal in a new relationship. Now we've been together for close to 2 years, that's pretty impressive don't you think? I've put you through a lot and you've held up like a champ. You stuck it out through short  and long adventures. The PCT was definitely rough. We were together everyday for over 4 months and things got a little intense. You held up like a champ the times I overloaded you (7 liters of water may have been excessive), I never took it personally when my collarbones were bruised or my back ached. I'll admit I was rather upset when your netting ripped, and then the elastic cord ripped as well so early on but you held it together after that. Even when that rodent chewed your shoulder straps you held on, admirable effort really.

But I think I've reached the tipping point. It started near Crater Lake on the PCT, I started to get a bit of a heat rash on my lower back. No big deal, a little bit of Vaseline and a few more pack breaks and it all should have been alright. Only it wasn't, my back got worse, I changed shirts, I even washed you little backpack with a garden hose in a valiant attempt to get all the ingrained sweat and dirt out. I started balling up bandannas in a vain attempt to put some space between us. The thing was you didn't work with me at all, that soft cushy back panel that I used to love was not playing nicely with my skin. My back got redder and started bleeding, this was not good. My little stop gap measures held out all the way to the border and I did manage to get the bleeding to stop but this was not a good sign for the long term. I'll admit it after the PCT I pushed our problems to the back of my mind and we took a break. You hung out in the closet and I moved on. Bu then summer rolled around and there you were, my good old reliable friend. I loaded you up and even on just a short trip I noticed my back starting to get a bit hot, but I pushed my concerns aside because you were my good reliable backpack. I couldn't toss you to the wayside like that.
Then I hit the ruby mountains and I knew we were in trouble, I recognized the signs early on. My windbreaker was immediately balled up in the small of my back and we stalled the issue for the whole trip but that's not a solution little backpack, its just not enough.
I'll admit it, you have some competition out there. There is your slender little sister over at ULA, no cushy back panel to plague me on that one. Or your other cottage industry cousins, that gossamer gear pack is awfully seductive. But I know relationships take work so I'm willing to work with you just a little bit longer. Lets try the washing machine, and if that doesn't work little backpack then I'm so sorry but we may just be over. Its been a great ride but not everything lasts forever. We'll always have the good times to remember right?

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