I like gear. I like the notion of things that are made for specific purpose.
I was walking down the street yesterday with the bike rack for my car hanging over my shoulder. There are a bunch of long, blue straps on the rack with little metal clips on the end, and they clanged together very satisfyingly. Similarly, installing the rack on the car involves a lot of clanging and unraveling the straps and putting them in place, and that kind of technical movement feels good.
Carrying my tool bag is like this too. The tool bag is comparatively recent. It was only 4 or 5 years ago that I had enough hand tools to warrant having a bag for them. Inevitably all the tools are in there haphazardly and clanging around, and it’s very heavy, and when I get where I’m going and set it down with a very satisfying thud, that feels good.
And finally, camping. Camping has more gear, I think, than any other project. When I first started going it was very simple: tent, sleeping bag, water bottle. But camping is like collecting baseball cards – there’s always more. Now there’s different tents to choose from, pads for under the sleeping bag, different kinds of cooking tools. Not only does it clang around, it takes up my entire car.