Friday, February 6, 2015

A Small And Useful Surprise


Photo Florentine leather courtesy Flickr user fi_chince
The dull weeks of January are a good time to scout the Great Big Hiking Co-op for promising innovations. I make many mistakes but the winners really pay off. 

Sorting the contents of a drawer last week, I ran across a high-tech ziplock storage bag that has turned out to be an efficient and featherweight substitute for a wallet. The thing has a lovely hand and is just the size to hold the smallest high-tech ballpoint from the Co-op, a few membership cards, and some folding money. The texture and transparency makes it easy to find what I’m fishing for in the murky depths of my bag, and I can see what I'm looking for in a flash. Using the ziplock is only slightly more elegant than pulling money out of my sock, but I hope other accessories signal good judgement.

The Co-op has a wall of cases designed to protect electronics in the field. I buy things that are often just wrong for what I had planned but just right for other uses. Sometimes it takes a few months to figure out what I’m doing, and not seldom I discard something that I end up replacing. The long run makes it worthwhile.

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