So remember that L.L. Bean backpack that was brand new last October?
Yeah, it looks like this now.
Faded, just like my will to live.
This is what happens when I take it out walking for four hours a day (and occasionally haul around $12 worth of broccoli for several miles).
I’m pretty rough on backpacks.
My backpack died today.
The zipper kind of ate itself and now the main compartment can’t even close at all. So that’s fun.
The good news is that I saw this coming a little while ago so I’d already ordered a brand new one!
Life is exciting.
So I’ve shown you what miles and miles of sun exposure did to my previous summer walking pants (and shirt). I’ve shown you what even more miles and miles of sun exposure did to my current summer walking pants. Today, I’m going to show you what a ton of miles and miles of sun exposure did to my backpack.
At the beginning of 2015, I ordered a new L.L. Bean backpack, because I’ve always loved their super durable backpacks and my old one was finally dead. A few weeks ago, I finally had to order a replacement. Note: these backpacks really are freaking durable. I’ve had this one for a few years, but it has gone everywhere with me (on nearly every walk) and has carried thousands of pounds of nonsense over those two years. It’s probably absorbed more dust, dirt, sunscreen, sweat, rainwater, and other miscellaneous crap than any other item I’ve ever owned. And it’s been in the sun. A lot.
So. Want to see the old and the new side-by-side?
Keep in mind that these were originally the same color. L.L. Bean actually has a new color of this backpack called “mint” and I had to double check and make sure that I actually didn’t originally actually have the “mint” color and not the bright blue color like the new backpack is.
Fun times. Apologies in advance, new backpack.
I’m going to shamelessly plug some products/brands in this blog. Because I want to.
Actually, this was brought on by buying like seven pairs of headphones at the Moscow Walmart because they don’t have these headphones in Canada and they’re my absolute favorite.
So let’s start with those!
Claudia-Endorsed Product #1: Koss Headphones
Everyone knows (or at least you do now!) that I listen to music when I walk. I wear on-ear headphones because the little in-ear buds hurt after about 10 minutes and I can never get them placed in my ears so that they stay put when I’m moving around. I have a really good and expensive pair of on-ear Bose headphones back at home—they’re soft and noise reducing and have great sound—but I don’t usually like to wear them during my walks because I’m super rough on headphones and don’t want to break those.
Instead, I wear these:
Not only do these headphones only cost $4.88 at Walmart, but they have really, really good sound. They don’t sound like $5 headphones. They sound more like the Bose ones. Sure, they’re not nearly as durable and thus break more frequently (though I guess “frequently” is a relative term; I go through about 3 or 4 of these a year because I’m rough on headphones), but they’re cheap to replace. If you like on-ear headphones and don’t want to spend like $50+ on a good set, I’d recommend these, since the sound is still really, really good despite the low price. You can also order them from the Koss website.
Claudia-Endorsed Product #2: Saucony Kinvara Shoes
You knew my shoes had to be on here. I love my Kinvaras. Not only are they very comfortable (at least for my feet), but they are very, very durable little shoes. Note that I don’t run in them, I just walk, but I’d suspect that they’d endure running pretty well, too.
Here is my current Kinvara 5 pair next to my original Kinvara 3 pair. They both look holey and ratty as hell, right? That’s because I have at least 750 miles on the newer ones and 1,500 miles on the older ones.
The older ones are still technically wearable, too. I bet I could go another 400 at least before the soles actually start wearing all the way through, haha. If you walk a lot or just want a pair of shoes that will last you a long time, try these out.
Claudia-Endorsed Product #3: L.L. Bean backpacks
I think I’ve gone through a total of four of these backpacks, and I’ve been using them ever since I was in first grade. Not only are they durable (I think I might be even harder on my backpacks than I am on my headphones), but they can hold a LOT of stuff and they’re pretty waterproof, too. Plus, you can get one in lime green. What’s not to like?
I had like five other things in mind, but I got distracted by R and now I can’t remember any of them.
Claudia-Endorsed Product #4: R
I don’t know if this even counts as a product, but whatevs. R is a great statistical software package because a) it’s free, and b) it’s like SAS’s little brother who wants to be just like big brother SAS, but cheaper, because c) it’s free. So if you’re ever in need of some statistical analysis software and aren’t afraid of a little coding, go here and download R.