Olaus, left, and Ade Murie in Alaska, 1961. Courtesy Denali National Park
Refrain from new gear this season, and reflect on those vintage outdoors relics stored away
The time is right to resurrect some gear this season — and nostalgia.
In these stressful days of social upheaval and economic uncertainty, reading gear reviews that gush in favor of the new or the improved can be a pleasant distraction. But circumstances being what they are, some of us may not be buying new gear soon. Making do is the new normal.
As long as we can still appreciate the outdoors (at safe distances), our basements, garages and sheds contain the necessary vintage gear to get outside and enjoy ourselves. Comb through the storage units and see what you can dust off and resurrect for one more season. ...
Finding a nature fix while sheltering in
I talk often with my students at St. Thomas about using their undergraduate days to start building a personal library and, in particular, including books that can be called comfort reading — those works to turn to for relief in times of stress, anxiety or unease. For many of today’s students, it’s a Harry Potter novel.
For me, it’s a little book about life and fishing called The Compleat Angler by the English author Izaak Walton. I’ve written about Walton a bit, and I’ve visited his fishing cottage in the Peak District, hiked his favorite streams, and read his text along the way.
I once wrote, “it is a story of nostalgia, of slow-moving English streams and countryside cottages; rolling landscapes and lightly populated, friendly villages; handmade fishing gear, firm handshakes and grandfatherly advice.”
Pages are falling out of one of my copies; they are from the chapter on carp. “… if you fish for carp, you must put on a large measure of patience … .” Good advice in any time of stress.