When I was told this beautiful, hand-crafted rucksack was made of waterproof canvas and built to last a lifetime, I immediately wanted to test it's limits. Call it a remnant childhood need to challenge what I'm told, or call it a sense of curiosity, but I'll tell you one thing: this bag has now been thoroughly field tested. Luckily I live in the lovely, rugged Pacific Northwest, and opportunities to drag it through the wilderness are easy to come by.
(Spoiler alert: The bag is definitely waterproof, it's definitely comfortable after hours of use, and I'm definitely in love with it.)
Here's a rundown of the highlights of this season's outdoor explorations with my Orox bag:
Snowshoeing Mt. Tumalo in Bend- Canvas Stands up to the Cold and Rain
This trail is famous for its stunning view of the area peaks and a grand vista. Not that I would know- our hike was cloaked in clouds the entire time- but the eery lighting and stormy mood lent a nice sense of adventure to the hike. The top was windy and cold, the crooked trees stood around looking haunting. We stopped for a thermos of tea and I was grateful the top of the bag was easy to unroll open- no need to take off my mittens! Despite the freezing temps, the straps stayed pliable and comfy. And when I we started back downhill, I reached in to pull out my added layer- pleasantly dry!
Cross-country Skiing at Teacup on Mt. Hood- A Streamlined Rucksack
Cross country skiing culture can be funny- the skate-skiers zoom by on a workout mission. Families are towing young children via ropes tied to their waists. Beginners wobble down gentle slopes, unable to turn. All of whom would likely be surprised at the idea that you could bring a hand-made canvas and leather rucksack out onto the groomed trails. But they'd all be on board after feeling how comfortable it is, and downright jealous seeing how good it looks on a sleek and swift run down that infamous 'Screamer Hill.'
Snowy Hike in Gifford Pinchot- Simple Design Makes for Ease of Travel
The best kind of days outside are ones that involve getting a little bit sidetracked from your original plans. The snow conditions were fairly inconsistent this day- so we abandoned the skis and tromped around the woods, explored the edge of a half-frozen marsh, and got off trail in search of some open, sunny skies. One of the things I like about this pack (that surprised me) is its simplicity. A lot of bags these days have an inordinate amount of straps and dangles and exterior pockets- all of which get easily snagged when bushwhacking or on dense trails. Not so for the Parva. It was easy to duck under and push through the underbrush. And that rugged waxed canvas held up to the task with no sweat.
Coffee to warm up afterwards at Albina Press- A Demonstration of Versatility
Ah yes, the real reason we go out to have big adventures- is to come back to the city and feel a boosted sense of appreciation for things like coffee and dry clothes and being warm. And to brag to everyone within earshot of the recent excursion. This pack passes the final test for me- which is that I can easily bring it from the great outdoors directly into a popular place in the city and it makes that transition effortlessly. It looks just as at home here as it did in the snow. And I love that.
Looking forward to another season of wild adventures with the Parva Rucksack. It will be coming with me just about everywhere. Stay tuned to find out what springtime has in store for us. Or better yet, let us know where you took your rucksack and where I should go next!