Let’s discuss some scenarios. I am married, so every hike we go on, we will need at least two hydration packs. Most of our friends are as prepared as a fat kid at a marathon, so if we go with another couple, that’s another two packs. I supposed I can justify having a few different ones for different purposes, like one with little storage for city use, one with lots of storage for hiking, and one for mountain biking. Heck, I’m sure I could justify even more than that, but eight hydration packs?

hydrationpacks1I cleaned out our gear closet tonight, and it was a revelation of how much outdoor crap I have stockpiled. Well, it wasn’t really a revelation since I was very well aware of the crap pile facts, but visuals always help when the stuff is normally stuffed away in a dark recess of the house.

This site is obviously about preparation, but there is a point at which you just have too much crap cluttering up your house and your life. Mental preparation is more important than having a garage full of gear and closets overflowing with merino wool. Take a look at what you have and pare it down to what you will realistically use in your lifetime. Keeping spares is a great idea, but you probably do not need enough spares to last you for a year if you use a new one every day. If, heaven forbid, you run out of spares at some distant point in the future, chances are REI will still be around.  Give the extras to friends or family just breaking in to the outdoor world so someone can actually get some use out of your quality gear.

The really sad part of that picture is that I forgot two hydration packs. No, wait, the really sad part is that those are only the dedicated hydration packs that I have, and not the backpacks I have that are hydration compatible. That picture would have had at least double the amount of packs. Those are next in the culling!