Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 21

I opened the box I had been anticipating for nearly two months. I was immediately dejected. I cursed out loud.

I had placed an on-line order with a company for a specific fishing backpack. I had been fishing a few months earlier with a friend from southern Ontario and he had this amazing backpack. It handled all his gear and then some. I saw huge potential with the pack. I got home and tried to order one, but had to wait because they were on backorder.

Finally, the day came the pack arrived and upon opening the parcel, I discovered the company sent me the wrong pack. I couldn’t believe it.

I was headed out for a multi-night trip in two days. I shrugged my shoulders and stuffed my tackle and gear into this wrong pack. I decided I would keep it as it was considerably cheaper than the pack I really wanted. I thought at worst, I would just get the right pack down the road.

I had no idea the love affair that was ignited that day with this wrong pack. It quickly became and has stayed at the top of my must-bring gear for any outdoor fishing or hunting outing I go on.

I’m now in my sixth year with this pack and I wouldn’t want another one. It is beaten up. I have had to stitch it in some places. A few holes are double patched with Gorilla tape. It has dirt and stains on it that will never come out, no matter how hard I scrub. It has been thrown around, dropped and buried underneath other gear. It has been frozen in slush on the hardwater. It keeps coming back for more.

It has been with me on every fishing outing and trip, through spring, summer, fall and winter. In the fall, every time I hunt small game and grouse, the pack is with me.

How did this happen? How did I fall in love with a pack I hated so much and came to me in a bad circumstance?

It’s easy. The pack kicks ass. Plain and simple.