We all have them don’t we?
Items of gear that are used and abused, battered and bruised, but we can’t bear to throw them away.
They have buckles missing, broken zips, fraying fabrics and leaking holes – deformities that render them in need of an upgrade.
To the beloved owner however these imperfections become quirky characteristics.
And DIY repairs can patch up any major flaws, ensuring the devastating prospect of the bin is avoided for the foreseeable future.
But why do we go to such lengths for our favourite items of kit?
We do so because they are trusted comrades.
They are solid performers who rarely, if ever, let you down. They fit snugly, work properly and keep you warm, dry and on the right path. In other words they do their job.
You are used to them and they are used to you. You’re a good team.
But most of all – as the sentimentality kicks in – you’ve been through a lot together.
As a partnership you’ve reached mountain summits, braved storms and conquered challenges.
To throw away the kit would destroy part of that bond and tarnish some of those memories – so you keep the gear.
Or at least that what I’ve done, especially with my rucksack.
The cheapo Karrimor bag has a broken buckle, a zip that catches, pouches that invariably eject their contents, a lack of space for all my gear – and I love it.
I love it because it’s comfortable, like it has moulded to my back after all these years, and because it’s lightweight, durable and I know where everything goes in it.
I love it even more because it’s been a constant on my adventures in the great outdoors, both at home and abroad, and been by my side through so many great (and tough) times.
As a self-respecting outdoors enthusiast I really should invest in a newer, sexier rucksack – perhaps an Osprey Talon.
But I’m not going to. Sentiment and loyalty are trumping logic in my decision-making process.
I love my rucksack and that’s that.
Maybe no-one else thinks the same. Maybe I’m coming across as a Scrooge who won’t fork out for a new piece of kit.
But I bet other outdoorsy folk feel similarly sentimental about their gear – don’t you?