Rachel Gross, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montana, recently presented her research into how consumerism shapes our experience of wildernessthrough outdoors gear, in particular.
What's your oldest, most trusted piece of gear?
What's your latest, greatest piece of outdoor equipment or apparel?
Eric Love: I have an L.L. Bean fleece that I got when I was 18 and I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail with it. Then I rode across the country with it on a bike, and I still use it today. I'm 41, so I've had it for 23 years. Scrapping the tent: Probably my tarpa cuben fiber tarp, as opposed to a tent. It's super rad—totally waterproof and super lightweight.
Kaya Juda-Nelson: That's a great question. I have this old, really misshapen pair of fleece pants that I've had since I was 10. They still fit me. Through all the washings, they've become really misshapen and shrunken, but they're so comfortable, I still wear them. Fit to scale: I bought this really awesome climbing pack from Patagonia. I've been climbing for five years, and I'd never bought myself a climbing pack that actually fits me.
Steve Nelson: My oldest piece of gear is a Kelty frame pack, a yellow one. I bought it in 1977. It's 40 years old, and it still works great. I still use it, and people laugh at me. They laugh at me regularly. Warm gift: I think the latest, greatest piece of gear is a merino wool base layer that Kaya got me. It's absolutely great for cross-country skiing.
Nathan Wise: I've got a Mountain Hardwear bag I've had since I was a teenager. That's been a good piece of gear. I use it all the time. A Snuggie? It's a brand called Poler, and they do some really interesting bags that have open bottoms and armholes in them that you can wear and cinch up around your waist. You can sleep in it if you buy a big enough one, and in the morning you just cinch it around your waist, throw your arms out—it's got a hood on it and pockets—and go out to the campfire.
Asked Wednesday morning at Black Coffee Roasting Co.