Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Reasons Why I Don't Enjoy Camping

#23: You have to stuff big puffy things into small bags

On Monday I was accessioning a sleeping bag (such is the life of a Seattle textile expert) and I was reminded of how much I don't like the concept of the stuff sack. I mean, I understand that the smaller the bag the easier to tote around, but when I'm getting ready to go to sleep or when I wake up in the morning, the last thing I want to do is play clown car with my bedding.

The bag in question was a brand-new Eddie Bauer bag for sub-zero temperatures, and it came in a medium sized canvassy sack. At first I thought I could do everything I needed (label, photo) without actually taking the bag out of its bag, but eventually I decided that was probably bad practice. So I disgorged it, and it emerged on the table like some slippery larva emerging from an egg.

And at the bottom of the bag was...another bag! A tiny, tiny lightweight stuff sack for your actual camping needs. My fragile arm muscles fainted at the thought. This thing was easily 1/4 the size of the canvas sack, and I had a hard enough time getting it in that. But I suppose if you are getting ready to climb K2, concerns like "arduous daily stuffing ritual" ranks somewhere below "I need to make room in my gear bag for food" and "I would like to not freeze to death while sleeping."

Amazingly, by living indoors, I avoid all those concerns. No stuffing, no freezing to death. Although now that I think about it, I do sometimes have difficulty with fitting all my lunch tupperware into the bag I take to work.

#3 Being indoors is so nice!

At the end of this week I had a classy indoor adventure. I was asked to speak at the Women's University Club--a historic private club in downtown Seattle. I was reprising my John Doyle Bishop talk and wasn't particularly nervous about it until Thursday when the Seattle Times published a profile of the WUC and it's 100 year history. Why did this make me nervous? Mainly the knowledge that this "oasis of sisterhood" had previously hosted the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Eleanor Roosevelt. Yikes! No big deal. Totally calm.

The lecture itself went really well. In reality the hardest part was the lunch beforehand where I had to be classy and pretend to eat like a lady instead of my usual practice of shoveling food into my mouth.

So in summary: no to stuffing sleeping bags. Yes to food. 

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