After 3 years of extensive travel and use, my Exos 34 is covered with airline tags and steeped in the memories of the greatest trips of my life. From rock climbing in North Georgia to motorcycling across the Olympic Peninsula, my Exos has always been my go-to pack and companion for everything from the smallest day hike to my boldest adventures. The gear we choose to power our adventures tends to reflect our ambitions, and even while I’m home resting and planning my next trip, my Exos is always packed and ready to go at any moment.
The adventures I’ve shared with my Exos began on a solo trip to the summit of Blood Mountain in North Georgia. It had been several years since I’d last been hiking, so I went and picked it up from a local outfitter on the same morning I set out to the summit. It performed wonderfully from the minute it left the shelf. I didn’t find myself tinkering with it or constantly adjusting the fit. It rode simply and comfortably on my back. I immediately got the sense that it was a piece of kit that gets out of your way and does its job.
A few years ago, I took my Exos on a climbing trip to Sand Rock, Alabama where my climbing partner and I met a crew of travelers from Louisiana who had a homemade hot air balloon in tow. After spending the day climbing with them, we returned to the summit, and with my Exos on my back, we flew the balloon from the summit of the mountain at sunset, and due to a lack of control over where we landed, it proved to be a somewhat terrifying experience.
More recently, I had a four hour layover in Phoenix on the way to Seattle, and having never been to Arizona before, I packed my chalk bag and climbing shoes into my Exos, which I carried onto the plane. On our approach, I spotted a big and beautiful rock formation in the middle of town. I put in a call to a taxi before I had even walked off the plane, and had it ferry me out to the desert where I got to do some solo climbing under the Arizona sun, only to return back to make my connecting flight covered in red dirt and dust from the desert. Needless to say, it raised a few eyebrows among the other passengers when a dirty guy with a hiking pack came running on board late for the flight.
Even when I’m off the trail, away from the crag, or heading home from the airport, the tags from the flights over the last few years on the top of my pack are a unique reminder of my adventures, the people I’ve met, the risks I’ve taken, the drinks I’ve shared around campfires, and the scars I’ve brought home. Regardless of where the next trip leads, my Exos will be hanging next to my front door, packed and ready to help me make it the richest adventure it can be. The outdoors make us feel free, and the the equipment we choose to bring along with us on the journey should power that liberation and help to carry the memories home. My Exos has and will continue to be the porter for the bold spirit of adventure that moves me forward into the vast outdoors and the great unknown.