Jay of Red Clay Soul, appreciates good style, good food, good music, good places, and good people . Whether he's out in the field with one of his buddies learning the ways of the shotgun or trekking through the big city, he always has his Filson gearwith him.
Most of the stories and photos involving Filson are in some remote corner of the country, on a worksite, or on some hunting or fishing expedition. There are some of us (me included) that come from this background, but now reside inside the city. While it is an adjustment for someone with country roots, it’s a lifestyle that I’ve grown accustomed to. I like the term ‘concrete jungle’, as it does accurately describe the world around me. That said, you have to prepare accordingly.
I deal with rough edges all the time. My day starts with a cup of coffee and taking Haley, my trusted yellow lab, for a walk. And by ‘walk’, I mean the walk. We go find patches of grass or pine straw between buildings for her to do her business. It isn’t as easy as opening the back door and letting her run. No retractable leash either – I can’t have her being too ‘friendly’.
For work, it’s either the train or driving to the office, both of which take their toll. Since it is a bit of a hike, I usually carry quite a bit with me – not just a laptop. Pens, notepads, an iPad, power cords, folders, and my book make up the normal day-to-day contents, but I still need room for sunglasses, a couple power bars, and any other odds and ends. And it all needs to be protected. The idea of carrying all of this in some sort of ‘technical’ bag just doesn’t make any sense.
On the weekends, it’s enjoying the pool or heading out of town. Since getting to the pool isn’t as easy as stepping outside a screened in porch, I have to remember all the necessities, so I need something to carry the load. I used to scoff at tote bags. Now I relish in them. They are some of the most functional pieces in my arsenal. Trip packing has become an art as well. There is a difference in ‘want’ vs. ‘need’ for a weekend trip. If you need more than a medium duffle for two nights, you have packed way too much.
I do get some looks when toting my Filson stuff. Some are curious – the bags aren’t ‘sleek’ or ‘trendy’, but I pay them no mind. They’ll come around. The other looks are usually nods of approval – those folks know what’s going on. I see Filson in some of the biggest cities in the world, and they all have that downtown patina that Filson owners strive for.
One of the values instilled in me from a very early age was that of ‘value proposition’. I was taught that when you need to buy something, buy the best once, get it repaired when it breaks, and take care of it while you own it. More than likely it will outlast you. I didn’t grow up with the ‘disposable’ mentality when it came to any sort of equipment. I’d like to think this is the ‘country boy’ in me, and it’s always better to be a country boy in the city rather than a city boy in the country.