“My skis are more than just pieces of steel, wood and fibreglass. They are tools of escape. A medium for personal expression. A way to conquer my fears and share incredible experiences with my friends.” -Candide Thovex
Every summer I’ve been in school I’ve ended up moving from one crappy house to the next slightly less crappy house. And every year it’s the same. I have to purge a bunch of weird college acquisitions: strange clothes, random bike parts, couches, ex-girlfriend belongings, you know, the usual. I like being able to travel with all of my belongings and be minimalist within reason. The annual hoard-purge cycle has left me very reluctant to spend money on possessions, shying away from materialistic behavior.
However, I also avidly pursue activities that require a substantial amount of gear. For reference, there were 8 bikes in our 3-person apartment at one point earlier this year. If it’s outside, I want to do it. Because of this, I even get paid to write about it, as seen here: Best Backcountry Skis of 2017-2018. Everyone loves new gear; it gives you another reason to go do something, and can maybe make up for some of your inexperience. Looking like you know what you’re doing is half of it.
More importantly, gear can provide experiential and social wealth. This is how I justify purchasing skis, bikes, etc. Thanks to these investments, I am privileged to spend time having breathtaking experiences with some of the greatest humans on the face of the earth. If not for the CU Freeskiing Team, I may have never met these incredible individuals whom I trust with my life in the backcountry.
Next time you’re thinking about buying something, consider its potential positive impact on your life. Will it allow you to experience things you couldn’t before? Could it lead to new explorations with new people? Like any other human, a carpenter needs tools.