Trailside style

It’s not just the pack, but the goofy hat, too.

I’m not sure of the pathology of this poor tree (probably an oak?) we found trailside last weekend, but that growth is distinctive even with the bark gone. If I had to guess, I’d say virus, but???

Since I never see myself with my revered and long-lived Mountainsmith pack, I often forget how different it looks from other daypacks—droopy-butt I think was the (endearing?) term once used. I just checked the Mountainsmith web page, and their lumbar packs—which is what mine is, essentially—are all shorties, and lacking shoulder stabilizing straps like mine. I love how this pack puts all the weight on my hips, with nothing on the shoulders. I can carry it stuffed with heavy academic books, and I mean heavy, and I feel the weight, but no strain on my upper body. Just as the pack was engineered!

Browsing the Mountainsmith offerings, if I had to replace my pack (knock on wood!), I might go with something like the Lily model, with important features like bite valve catch, hydration compatible with exit port, and key clip (in no particular order).

I used to think a hydration system was a little too, too, but, having tried it in the hot, humid, Deep South, I’m a total convert. I now use a Platypus set-up that’s like a heavy-duty Ziploc bag that I drop into my pack. The delivery tube is that whitish line on top of my shoulder strap.

The special charm of this photo (TY jcb): me and the tree, we’re both lumpy.


  1. kayak woman says:

    I LOVE that hat. And I think I remember that you sewed the side flaps onto it!

  2. Sammy says:

    Ah, yes, the wierd leetle flaps to keep the sun out of the sides of my eyes. A different kind of lumpiness!