aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

A minor rant

One of our new Assistant Scoutmasters called me over at the Troop meeting tonight to see if I could help with his son's new backpack. Son is a brand-new, barely eleven-year-old. Dad wanted to make sure it was fitted to him properly and he knew how to adjust it, pack it, etc.

I almost fell over when I saw what Dad had gotten Junior. He'd bought a top of the line, internal frame pack. Oh dear, I thought, here's another of them. I mean, people buy these complicated things that are much, much harder to pack than a simple external frame pack -- because they're cool, or because the salesman says it's what all the serious packers are carrying, etc.

But wait! there's more! Not only was it an internal frame pack, it was a technical pack -- you know, one of those torpedo jobbies used to free-climb Devil's Tower and such. There is no bloody way this kid can be taught how to pack this to any good effect. I mean, a technical climber's pack is all one big hollow sack. Very unforgiving: you've got to know exactly how to pack these things, and keep them very tight, to use them properly.

Dad probably bought the top of the line pack. The salesman at J.L. Waters or wherever must have seen him coming, with "Sucker" written all over his face. The sad thing is, given that the pack is basically just an open duffel, Dad could have bought him a duffel bag with carrying straps and done Junior as much good.

The right gear is what you need for each task; not the most expensive gear. Having too much to handle is just as big a mistake as having too little to do the job.


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