I bought hiking gear, but I don’t like it.


Today my wife and I hiked Mt. Pierce and Mt. Jackson. Last week we did Mt. Field and Mt. Avalon. The week before that I ran up Mt. Washington. So anyway, we’re hiking up today—I finally picked up some hiking shorts and shirts because this seems like a thing we do now and while I feel like any “tech” clothing is sort of douchey by default, I need something that doesn’t carry all of my sweat with me everywhere in the most disgusting way possible.

So I have this jaunty t-shirt and these swish-swash shorts on, and this new pack, which is a fancy hiking word for a bag, and I’m wearing a hat even though I don’t really wear hats, and we pass a few dudes and their kids and they’re manic about how Pierce MIGHT be doable, but it’s so wet up there because of the rain, and the winds are really cold, “especially for what you’re wearing.” So I think maybe these guys are overreacting but then we pass a few more people who are ultimately like, “Just so you know, it’s going to be really windy and really cold… for what you’re wearing.” So we keep on going because if it’s not doable we’ll turn around and everything will be okay. But I’m expecting, I don’t know, the entire movie Alive in which that soccer team crashes into a mountain in the Andes and they have to eat each other. Because these people were in a panic, basically, and in so many layers just ready to underscore that I am a dumb boner for not also be dressed for Everest.

We finally get up Pierce and, like, it’s windy but maybe 45 or 50 degrees for maybe all of 5 minutes. Same with Jackson. And I think, well, maybe these people don’t realize that I run super hot—sometimes I get into a car and fog up all the windows just by breathing. And I’m covered by a layer of fat because I come from thick, Scottish stock. And I’m going to keep that layer because after I crush this shit, I’m going to eat half a plate of nachos, drink a beer, and then house a half rack of ribs because what’s the point of any of this if it isn’t clearing the way for leisure consumption?

We ran into a few more people who were like, “I am cold just looking at you!” But I am DRENCHED in sweat because I am running about 120 degrees. But also, these clothes are expensive! And I know I should be prepared by having layers, but you’ve essentially got weekend hobbyists saying, “YOU DON’T HAVE ALL OF THE EXPENSIVE CLOTHES I DO SO SURELY YOU’RE GOING TO DIE.”

That story really didn’t have a point outside of pointing out that hiking is fun but it’s a yuppy activity for people who like to pretend they’re not actually yuppies and so you’ve got to be in proximity to that vibe, which is the worst. But at the end of the day, there’s nachos and ribs, so at least that’s pretty cool.

Alex Steed

About Alex Steed

Alex Steed has written about and engaged in politics since he was an insufferable teenager. He has run for the Statehouse and produced a successful web series. He now runs a content firm called Knack Factory with two guys who are a lot more talented than himself.