The time has come for me to retire my faithful old friend, the Goonies backpack. It’s so old that it carried my books across several campuses back when I was a student – both college and high school. It was strapped to my back the first time I tried to climb a mountain.
It helped me conquer the Mount Flume/Liberty loop, the most challenging hike I’ve experienced to date.
But there’s no denying that the time has come.
You really shouldn’t be able to read a newspaper through the thread-worn bottom of your pack. And I don’t think a corduroy Jansport backpack with a few modifications was ever really intended to be used for mountain climbing. Or for multiple decades.
It wasn’t an easy decision, but my trusty old buddy has been replaced by a three liter camelbak pack with padded shoulder straps, as well as waist and chest straps to help distribute the weight of the load. The sleek, narrow design is less of a hindrance when climbing, and the water tube leading from the bladder enables a drink without stopping for a break, which is a bonus, but I’ll miss hearing other hikers shout, “Goonies never say die!” in passing. It was almost like having a mascot with you on the hike. Now with my new big girl pack, it’s like I’ve grown up a little more. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll get a patch. Or a sticker 😉