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9 Signs You’re an Old School Backpacker

Fads come and go, but you've been a backpacker through it all. Here are a few signs you're a diehard dirtbag.


  1. I’m kinda lame I guess. I buy 30-year old Holubar and REI down bags for my family’s car camping gear. They’re probably good down to 20 degrees now and not as light as the current crop of down bags. But they set me back less than $100 a piece. For backpacking, my 20 year old 2-pound Moonstone bag still keeps me warm to around 10 degrees.

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  2. steve-c

    Ok, how many of you saw the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and your heart jumped when he pulled out the Jansport external frame backpack. Back in the day, that was the ultimate in external frame packs. I remember as a Boy Scout, admiring that pack the way a car guy admires a Porsche. I thought it was a thing of beauty.

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  3. steve-c

    This article made me smile. I got most of them… I was going to REI with my dad when it was in a warehouse where the City of Vanport, Oregon was once located. He would tell me the story of Vanport getting wiped out by a flood every time we drove there and the story never got old because I got to be with my dad in his element. His co-op member number is so low, that he gets serious street cred (looks of awe, really) when the REI associates see his original card.

    I now live near Indy. I think I know where I’m going on my lunch break today. Not because I need any gear…but because I miss my dad. (He’s doing great BTW. The outdoor life-style has served him well. He is in his 80’s and he and mom just got back from a multi-week trip to India).

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