Everyone who knows me (or reads this site) knows that I am pretty merciless when it comes to making fun of stuff. Bloggers are currently in my crosshairs, especially outdoor/adventure/sports bloggers.
Since the Geargals site has become more popular, I’ve been pinged by a few outdoorish blogs so I got curious and did some reading. My conclusion: blogs written by outdoorish people are bad. Hilariously bad. As an outdoorish person with a web site, I really don’t know what to think about my conclusion, but my opinion stands. I’ve read five accounts of the same endurance race, written by five different participants – each covers not only their story but everyone else’s story, and each of them are remarkably the same: “It was far, really far. And very cold, and really snowy. I got really cold. I had to ski and ski and ski and ski and then I slept. And then I ate a bunch, and then slept, and I was cold so I skied to get warm. Then I ate. [Insert name of other participant] was struggling, because it was very cold and the race was very long, and very snowy.” The tendency to mention other bloggers is my favorite part. You get these people together and they ALL have to blog about each other, and make ego-massaging comments about how badass and hardcore the other bloggers are.
And the pictures! The pictures. Oh, my. How many billions of pictures do they need to post? “Here is the view from the start. Here is the view 20 minutes later. Here is the view from my lunch spot. Here is a picture of my muddy boot. Wow, that mud hole sure was muddy! Here is a picture of my skis. Here is a picture of my totally disgusting sweaty, blistered, shriveled feet. Here is a picture of my car at the end of my hike.” God! Give me a break. Stop. Please stop. No one wants to see the 11th picture in a row of the same micro-dot on a hillside a quarter mile away that you claim is a mountain goat.
I also can’t get over the number of people who go on a trip and then scamper home to their computers to post the (usually rather mundane) photos all. over. the. Internet. In the course of my research for this article I found a few local folks who post the same trip reports over and over again, on over a DOZEN message boards. They use the same username on all of them. And post the same stuff. Hee! It’s too good. How much of a badass hardcore skier/biker/climber/whatever are you if 90% of your day is spent posting on the Internet – and not even hiding it? And I know I post on the Internet via this site all the time, but that’s different! It’s my actual JOB. It’s not the same. Shut up.
Hypocritical, you say? Hear me out – this blog is about gear. Lots of different kinds of gear, how it performs, and what it’s like. Most outdoor blogs are about….the blogger. One person who is convinced that the interwebs need to know their every move and thought. Hardly any actual, useful, interesting information is posted on these blogs because they are too focused on being soooooo self-contratulatory.
It’s painfully transparent that each and every one of these people is seeking attention, sponsorships, and/or jobs, but since very few of them can come up with anything other than the I’m-so-badass-and-committed-yet-amusingly-self-depracating schtick, none of them stand out. And because these blogs and message boards are just too good to be true and too funny not to be completely in-your-face serious, we’re honoring the outdoor blogger by featuring this MHW laptop bag. Of course, this is a women’s laptop bag, and my few hours of outdoor blogger research revealed the unconfirmed theory that most outdoor bloggers are dudes, so this might not be of help to actual bloggers. Which is OK, since they don’t seem to ever put their laptops away, so they probably don’t need a bag anyway.
First, though, we’ve got to make fun of some folks. For your entertainment, I’ve collected The Very Best of Outdoor Blogs and Message Boards (at least the ones that my one day of research uncovered), in all their hysterically self-important glory. I’m not sure what to do about giving credit where credit is due, but I’m also not sure anyone wants to actually claim any of these quotes. So I’ll post them without sources for now, unless anyone spazzes.
- ” I have got to say that I’m EXTREMELY impressed with myself.”
- “What I have not revealed up to this point is that I loaned [her} my bike, which she knows is a crazily exotic bike, thereby causing her untold intrepidation. Nobody drives so slowly and overcautiously as in a borrowed Ferrari.” OK, OK, we get it, your bike is nice and you liken it to a Ferrari. I’m also pretty sure that “intrepidation” is not, you know, a word. Try “trepidation”. Now, if any bloggers find this post, I’ll be deluged with heaps of criticism about my own grammar and spelling, mark my words.
- “But the blood and humiliation was all worth it to have a chance to meet the master.” Note: “the master” is….another blogger. We’re not talking meeting Ed Viesturs, here.
- “Sitting at the kitchen table one day later raw is how I feel, like I rubbed my whole being hard up against the earth, scraping away layers, physical and deeper.” Now, this person is talking about a ONE DAY ski trip in great weather with good conditions. Drama much?
- “I rode X miles up X feet in elevation in X amount of time in [insert dramatically inclement weather here].” OK, that’s not a direct quote, but it sums up the content of 99% of outdoor blog posts. Trust me, I just saved you a bunch of time.
- “the doc also issued a stern warning that he meant ‘normal for normal people, not normal for [me].'” Oooh, you’re so abnormal. We get it. Eyeroll.
- “I weighed myself about 36 hours after I finished, and I had lost 4 pounds. At that point, I had already eaten about six big post-race meals, and my feet and ankles were still very swollen. At the finish, I was probably 6-8 ponds lighter than normal. For the first week afterwards, I was consistently eating 5-6 full meals a day. I weighed myself again a week later, and I was back to my normal weight. All in all, not a lot of fluxuation.” The fussy hyper detail just to let us know that his weight didn’t change is what got this one into the Best List.
Two words sum up these blogs: WHO CARES? Trust me, bloggers; no one besides your spouse and your mom care about the mundane details of every little trip outside your front door. Give it a rest, already. But for those of you who set their best PRs sprinting for their keyboards to make a post after every hike you go on, take a gander at this MHW laptop bag. It’s spiffy! It’s got bold black and white styling; you won’t look boring and corporate. It’s MHW so everyone will know you’re outdoorsy, even though you’re sitting at the local Starbucks, typing and posting pictures for three and a half hours. The handy outside zippered pocket holds your thumb drives, cell phone, and whatever you can think of to clip to that little spiral telephone-cord looking thing inside the pocket.
For some reason, the zippered opening is not as big as the actual bag itself, so laptop size is limited. My 15″ MacBook fits in the bag with a bit of maneuvering, but those of you with those desk-sized machines are out of luck. There’s not a ton of extra space for much else, so if you travel with a (small) laptop, a normal-sized notebook, and a few other knickknacks, this will be perfectly sized for you. Have fun typing away!
P.S. I totally have a bet going as to how much hate mail and accusations of hypocrisy I’m going to get over this post, so let ’em rip. At least I know you can’t get me on the pictures, I just post gear pictures, so there