I was commissioned to write this sponsored piece for Backpacker.com and Climbing.com.
Think about the most important object you own. How old is this thing? Who gave it to you?
It might be a pocketknife with a worn leather sheath, well-loved over years of DIY tent fixes and whittling sticks for marshmallow toasting. It might be a pair of your mom’s old hiking boots that you adopted and resoled after she hiked the AT. Or it might be a wallet your dad passed down to you when you were old enough to start adventuring on your own.
Whatever it is, it’s been durable enough to withstand years of memories. It might even be older than you.
Outdoor heirlooms like that are harder to come by now, in an age of mass production where “more” often beats “better.”
“Products are made to fail these days,” says Mark King, founder of Trayvax, which makes wallets, belts, and lanyards. “Products today are made of plastic, and they’re made to break. They never last long enough to take on meaning.”