The Outdoor Runway

Watch out!  School is creeping up and soon will overwhelm you with its demands.  Go outside while you still can and take one last trip before summer ends.  Once you enter that brick building, you enter a fashion show with the halls moonlighting as the runway.  We’ve all seen the back-to-school commercials with the students jumping up on lunch tables and desks to show off the latest trends in fashion.  I’ve noticed that even trails have their own runway of sorts, so when I went out a few weekends ago I decided to scope out the brands I saw people wearing, to take a poll on the more popular ones.  I included myself in this pole with my Osprey Women’s Sirrus 24.  A great pack, by the way, with an attached rain cover that pulls out from a zippered compartment in the bottom.  With the afternoon showers Colorado is famous for this rain cover has saved my gear a time or two.  Plus, the side pockets have adjustable straps to secure whatever goes in them.  Like a DQ Blizzard, I can turn my pack upside down (and even shake it) and whatever’s in my side pockets stays put without so much as shifting a quarter of an inch.  If I feel like it, my pack is even hydration compatible.  The back panel keeps my back from sweating too much, and so when I take my pack off for a break I don’t even have to smell myself.  I included a picture to help you visualize this greatness.  (Plus, I just really love purple.)  Before you can ask, I do remember to buckle it in the passenger seat when I’m cruising to the trailhead in my car.

OspreySirrus24

Anyway, back to the tally.  I saw a couple other Osprey packs, a Deuter pack, a Gregory pack, a couple DaKine packs, Lowe Alpine packs, The North Face apparel, Under Armour apparel, Marmot outerwear, Outdoor Research rain jackets, Patagonia baseball-caps, and CamelBak water bottles.  This nicer gear isn’t too expensive and it lasts.  In the long run you actually save money.  Not to mention, the brands take care of you with great warranties.  The day I upgraded my gear was one of the days where I actually made a smart decision.  I used to hike in old sneakers, a beat-up backpack with a broken strap tied to a buckle, and a free water bottle from some sporting event.  A year later I saved money and spent the extra, but not unaffordable, amount to upgrade to better gear.  Totally worth it!  I didn’t freeze, my toes didn’t ache, and my back wasn’t sore at the end of the day.  So, this year, walk around campus with a JanSport, High Sierra, DC, or other great schoolbag.  Don’t break your back when there’s no need to.  In cold weather pull on a Columbia, Merrell, Quicksilver, or other cozy jacket.  Sit in the coffee shop downtown wearing a prAna, Horny Toad, or other durable button-down shirt and soak in all of those envious looks you get from others.

Don’t wait as long as I did.  Upgrade your equipment today.  Backpacks

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