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Hikers are generally very attached to their gear. We like what we like and when something works well, we tend to be very loyal to that piece of equipment. Trusted gear can and sometimes does save our lives.

Today I have made the very difficult decision to ship my hiking poles home. I cannot help but anthropomorphize these trusted traveling companions. They have been in my hands for almost 15 years. They have trekked everywhere with me. They have saved me from serious injury on more than one occasion. They were once a part of my shelter system. But their time has come and they are not holding up like they once did.

It’s odd to be emotional over a piece of equipment. I feel like I’m saying goodbye to an old friend. I hope, in time, my new poles will become just as important to me as my trusted traveling companions.

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