1995 Outdoor Equipment Buyers Guide
The Dartmouth Coop, Vintage Outdoor Gear, Gear Voyeurism and Tips for Buying the Best of Patagonia.
After reading A Walk in the Woods the obvious next step for me was to go directly down an Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail YouTube rabbit hole. (If for some reason you are also interested, here’s a realistic but long PCT doc). All of this research was a proper boondoggle since the chances of me ever actually getting out on trail is very slim. I just don’t have a huge desire for that amount of pain and suffering in my life. That said thanks to Bill Bryson I’m now fascinated with thru-hikers and perhaps unsurprisingly, with all of the gear. I’m tempted to take up hiking just so I get to research all of the equipment.
There’s a great moment early in the book when Bryson visits the Dartmouth Co-Op to get outfitted for the trip. It’s fun to think about how his gear from 1995 compared to what is available today. That thought was what led me to YouTube in the first place, to try and get a sense of what hikers actually carry on trail today.