Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hardcore Hardwear

Hoist the black sail.

Would you trust your life to old-fashioned stuff?

Hey, the first stop on this road is: What are you worth, really?

This is a problem. Time magazine had an article in 2008 saying maybe $129,000, but that's if you're attractive and smell good. This leaves out backpackers.

But, also according to Time, the international standard for a random human is around $50,000.

Closer to home, if chopped, sliced, ground, and sold as cat food, how much are you worth?

Doing some rough calculations, let's say you weigh 150 pounds (OK, old-style, fruity English measurements, but we'll get past that in a sec). So that's 2400 ounces, and at 4 ounces per can, we get 600 cans.

Assuming half of that is waste, inedible (even for cats), or doesn't taste good enough to eat (even to cats), figure 300 cans worth of kitty chow. At a dollar a can, that gives you a retail value of $300, more if you are bigger and have a lot of that nice runny fat. (Which cats go absolutely ape over.)

So that's your value to a cat, but how much is your life worth, really?

Well, another way to look at is is how much you put into backpacking gear. Things get a lot simpler if you look at life from this end.

Say you make most of your gear. That means your gear is essentially worthless because it's crap. I know it's crap because I tried selling some of your stuff on eBay last year while you were on vacation and it all got returned as useless crap. Ruined my reputation too. Thanks for nothing.

So you have no value unless you buy your stuff from people who know how to make it, which isn't you. See where this is going?

OK, I understand. No, really. I don't mind explaining this. In fact I like nothing better than explaining the obvious to idiots. Seriously. It brings me great joy.

It goes like this. Your value as a person is only the value of what you own. Since you have no life and only go backpacking every once in a while just to relieve the intense agony of having such a boring existence, and do nothing else except eat, sleep, watch TV, and do those things in the bathroom that none of us wants to imagine, not even once, it becomes trivial to assign a value to you.

Here's the deal.

Buy stuff. Lots. Max out.

When you buy, get two. If it comes painted, get the two-tone version. If it's not painted, go for the rhinestones. If it's plain and simple, then make sure it's made of platinum. Or plutonium, which is even more expensive.

But you're a backpacker, right? So what about your pack then? Platinum doesn't work for packs, and you tried that whole do-it-yourself thing with sticks and a couple of rabbit hides with predictable results. So, what then?


Tweed, babe. Right here, right now. English tweed. It's even waterproof.

The perfect thing for you. A tweed pack.

Who cares how good it is? It's the price that counts. For you, only £565.00. In U.S. money, that's $899.49, which makes it even better.

Why? Because it's like your worth suddenly goes up 63% and you only have to sit there and click at the internet currency converter, and you can still eat chips with your other hand while doing that. So many things are so much better than sex, and this is way up there. One click does it.

Makes you feel good all over too? It does me.

Use a soft brush gently applied to remove loose dirt. Remove stains with water and mild soap. Fluff gently and let air-dry in a warm sunny spot while you sip herb tea and admire your cleverness.

But it gets better, because you can skip the backpacking and just buy gear. That way you won't ever find stains, or have any dust to brush off, and you can eat more chips, right there by your warm TV set. No stains or dust means your personal worth as a human will stay right up there, and will climb as you buy more and more, and shove it into your closet. Where it will remain safe. Forever.

So who said backpacking was nasty?

Probably some creep without a decent credit card.


Right here. Your Black Sail Rucksack.

Meet The £565 Waterproof Tweed Daypack

Your place in Time: The Value of a Human Life: $129,000