Friday, February 1, 2013

Adventure Friday: Becoming a Gear Head

I've been learning how to ski this winter, mostly at Andy's insistant persuasion. First thing in the morning, before we get to the mountain, I'm pretty poor company. A typical Sara monologue sounds like this:

"It's too early. Can't we sleep in?"
"I never get to sleep in."
"Why do I always have to get up first?"
"I don't feel good."
"Why do I always have to make the coffee?"
"Wait, I need coffee."
"We never go snowshoeing. When can we go snowshoeing?"
"I miss hiking. When can we go hiking?"

Once I'm on the mountain, my competitive side takes over and I start having fun. Sunshine and pine trees help, too. Skiing just isn't something I typically suggest of my own will.

Until recently.

Sunshine helps

Andy surprised me with a pair of my own skis this week, and suddenly all I can think about is skiing. I can't wait to try them. I'm excited to see how they feel, and I'm excited to challenge myself. They're longer than the rentals I've been learning on, and I'm anxious to see whether I can finally break the habit of leaning back. (Or the habit may break me.)


Sometimes I forget how much of a gear head I really am. After all, I only have two bicycles, three backpacks, four types of technical fleece, four different hydration systems, one camping hammock, and one pair of snowshoes. That's not a lot, right? Ugh.

The key to most outdoor adventures is minimalism. Whether you're carrying a week of supplies in a backpack or pedaling up a steep incline, less is often more. So why is it so easy to accumulate (and fall in love with) gear?

Or, really, why do outdoor hobbies multiply and expand?


  1. Sweet skis! If you want to break the "leaning back" habit just remember to keep your hands in front of you (where you can see them) at all times. It really works! (Take it from a skiing maniac) Good luck with your newest piece of gear.

    1. Thanks, Linda! Great tip. My biggest problems occur when I go imto a "death crouch" on steep terrain. I'm excited to keep skiing and learning, though!

  2. Reminds me of this Portlandia sketch:

    I love the minimalism versus consumerism thoughts. I often find myself wanting just one more item: "that new bag will help me stop consuming so much!" when I really don't need that one and it's actually part of the conspicuous consumption it pretends to defy.

    But this case is different. You need a backpack on long hikes. You gotta stay hydrated. You need skiis to ski.

    There's something amiss in complete anticonsumerism (this MNN article addresses it elegantly):

    Loving your gear is okay, I think. It's even ethical. :) Enjoy your skiing adventures!

    1. Sarah, I love that Portlandia clip! Haha. The water bottles on a carabiner did me in.

      I like your point about balancing minimalism with a love of gear. I will definitely check out that article :)