Day 1
I have a problem.

It’s not a real problem like an economic crisis borne of these uncertain times, nor is it mental, physical, or otherwise somehow internally harmful. It’s not financial. It’s not like the problem of pesky neighbors nor a nagging parent nor an out-of-control rodent infestation. Truthfully, in the grandest of life’s schemes, this is rather small potatoes.

I have a problem with theft.
Now, I would be scolded if I called it “theft” in the company of the bandit in question, but that is precisely what it is. She (did I mention this pesky pilferer is a she?) steals things, my things — in particular, my bags. And I wish it would stop.

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And it’s not for want of trying. I have bought her other holdalls. I have endlessly shopped with her online, in real time. We’ve set aside days, penciled them in our calendars: “BAG DAY.” I went so far as to attempt to make her the perfect one with arguably two of the kindest, most patient, and most talented makers I have ever met. None of it has worked. Without fail this dame of delfacators walks out the door in flagrante delicto with one of my favorite backpacks. Of course it hasn’t worked. Why, when I have better taste in higher quality carriers of all varieties, and frankly, I own more useful, utilitarian versions, would she bother trying to find something to suit her needs? And even then, when I have purchased two of the exactly same pouch, somehow she manages at once to spill an entire year’s supply of brewed coffee and Doritos on, around, and most importantly inside hers — thus taking it out of commission until yours truly takes the time to sit down with a bucket of hot water and a bottle of Doctor Bronner’s to clean the newly patinaed satchel… which is now mine, by the way, because, as she’s quick to point out, “it’s dirty.” 

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I’m sure many men can relate to my problem of unending thievery. Where others suffer various offenses like the vanishing of high school T-shirts or the burglarized white ball cap or — my favorite — the Great iPhone Charger Debate: “No, that one — the discolored one with the frayed cord and the dog teeth marks is yours,” when I don’t even own a dog — I continue to watch and lament the diversion and destruction of so many duffels, pouches, and totes.

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I hiked all through high school and college in a Dana Design pack that was — no surprise — claimed by an ex-girlfriend never to be seen again. After selling Dana Design in 1996, Dana Gleason, a lifelong personal hero, began Mystery Ranch, a specialist in tactical packs for military and law enforcement personnel. And while I can’t recall where I first encountered Kletterwerks, I was so pleased to learn today that the boys at Context Clothing are carrying a selection of their durable goods. Dana’s son, D3 makes these durable packs in Bozeman, Montana from sturdy Cordura 1000D Nylon in rust orange, the color of his father’s first packs, sewn together over thirty years ago. Needless to say, I’m a big fan.

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Over the course of the next couple months, I plan to save enough money to buy two of the Kletter Day. And rest assured, I will likely end up with whichever one sees the most gruesome acts of torture applied by the aforementioned *thief.

Kletterwerks, available now at Context Clothing.

*whom I love dearly and is truly my favorite person in the whole world.