I’m not really one to write about gear. Talk about it, obsess over it, over-analyze it, yes, but there’s something about personal blogs that feature gear reviews and gear talk that makes me nauseas. I didn’t start this to get free gear, free trips, whore myself or promote the continuation of our material culture that is leading to the degradation of our environment. Lest you believe I’m a total cynic about this sort of thing have yourself a read of Craig Childs’ piece of the “Buying and Selling of Nature”, and Dane’s piece about the “Elite” attitude of sporting becoming the norm. Although these pieces might not actually say much it is a pretty good jumping off point for the conversation of the amazing duality that exists between outdoor enthusiasts and the material “gear” culture that we’re so entwined with. We rely on our gear, it’s a huge part of what is enabling us to push our boundaries and find new limits. You’ll not be finding a thousand-word blow-fest about a mid-layer polartec hoody here, we can leave that for the “athletes” with pretty faces who’s job it is to sell things. Mostly themselves. What I do want to offer you is a glimpse at the gear I use, how normal and average it is, how it fits on the bike, and how easy it is for you to make the transformation yourself.
The impetus for this post is a recently published write-up of our Zion trip to my friend Ed’s site VerticalMinded.com. If you haven’t yet, check it out, it’s mostly a bunch of pictures but there’s a little bit of the insight and reflections that went into (and came out of) that trip. I don’t plan on re-posting it here but I thought I would instead include few things that I left out of that posting, mainly, a look into the gear we use, what we brought, and how you can do it too. In the hopes that others might follow suit, here’s a quick look into our panniers, our minds, our bags of gear, and why packing all of the same stuff into your car is weak sauce. Enjoy.