Mid-Winter through early Spring is a time I call “Not Shopping Season” The days are getting a little longer and the sun is riding higher above the horizon. The senses begin to feel a hint of the Spring to come even though it is months away. The mind starts to imagine the adventures it will open the door to. A season of hope to be sure, but there is a dark undercurrent to this time of year.
Not Shopping Season is the time of year when all things seem possible; short trips, long trips, new places and old…and what to bring on these trips‽ With time to think, read, talk, argue and laugh about gear with like-minded folk this time of year can be treacherous indeed. Lurking around every corner is another wonderful item that would be perfect for this Summer’s dreamt of adventures.
It doesn’t matter that the item isn’t really needed. It doesn’t matter that you already have something similar. What matters is action and if you can’t apply your energy toward moving down the trail then buying trail gear will be just the thing! The item comes, is unboxed with great joy, tested in the living room or back yard and then since you still can’t hit the trail…the cycle begins again!
Understanding the time of year and myself well enough I make an effort to fight these instincts. I remind myself that when I’m puffing my way to the top of a steep climb I rarely am thinking “If only I had more gear with me!” I also keep in mind that if I spend a lot of money on fancy new gear I won’t have money for fuel and supplies to actually go anywhere.
So this is the season of trying not to buy things. So far I’ve done very well, but lately I’ve been slipping a bit. Nothing for me, but I’ve been thinking Mrs Stranger needs a new pack for this year. Well and her sleeping bag isn’t very well suited for trail use so it may be time to get that double quilt we’d talked about. Of course our daughter will need bigger trail shoes this year and…
Yes, the Not Shopping Season is in full swing here. It is good to have a sense of humor about these things I think. We are human after all and people are pretty funny if you are paying attention. Good to be honest about our silliness with ourselves at least. So we weather our Winter months in good spirits, dreaming of days to come on the path less traveled by