Monday, April 8, 2013

Listography // Overrated/Underrated

Fleece - Underrated

Fleece needs to fire its agent because down has totally taken over the insulation conversation. Fleece is warm, comfortable, cheap, easy to care for. These days, it’s mostly known for that it’s not, as light as down. Down is rightfully appreciated as a marvelous insulator but fleece is often the more practical solution. No care is required with fleece, you just wear it, and take it off, and sometimes, when you feel like it, you wash it. Admittedly there is nothing sexy about practical solutions but fleece has become totally underrated.

S’mores - Overrated

Unpopular opinion alert. S’mores are not actually very good. The chocolate and graham cracker only interfere with the impossible deliciousness that is toasted marshmallows. Honestly, who’s idea was it to use graham crackers anyway? Graham crackers are inferior to nearly every other kind of cracker. They have the rare quality of tasting like nothing and also not being very good for you. For lots of people, camping means sitting by the fire making smores. I think it’s time to come up with a better camping food. N’more for me.

Comfortable Tents - Underrated

Advances in technology have made tents lighter than ever. This is unquestionably a good thing. It’s pretty amazing that there are two person, double wall, bathtub floor tents available with a packed weight just over 2 pounds. I find it equally amazing that there are 4-pound uber-comfortable tents available. I’ll concede that it’s hard to quantify comfort but I don’t think that devalues it. Mandatory cannodling isn’t much fun, especially after a day of hard, stinky, sweaty backpacking. Having a light pack is great, but keeping healthy relationships even after a backpacking trip is better. Elbow room is totally underrated.

Knives - Overrated

I’ll be honest, I enjoy watching shows like Survivorman and Man vs. Wild. They’re fun. Sadly they also have a really stupid legacy. Knives. Sure, people carried knives long before these shows, and it’s not that knives are without utility. The problem is people now wildly exaggerate their importance, and of course the size of knife needed. If being a survivalist is too bold, no worries, just carry a big ass knife and people will understand the implication. The knife isn’t the only tool.

Do you agree? Disagree? What's on your over/underrated list?


  1. I find your assessments spot on, especially of fleece. Every time I go outside, I plan on getting wet (and I do, either from out or from in or both) and fleece is always my go to clothing because it insulates when wet like fleece but without the wet dog smell. Only downside is that it is not very compressible- at least mine aren't. Great post!

  2. Thanks Chuck. It's nice to know I didn't alienate my entire readership with my anti-graham cracker tirade.

    Re: fleece - I forgot to mention is also feels significantly more comfortable than down against your skin.