Saying Good Bye to an Old Friend

My trusty Eagle Creek bag in China

It’s not easy saying good bye, especially after 21 years. But I recently did just that, giving up my beloved Eagle Creek backpack that I bought in 1998. I was working the floor at the Framingham REI store when I bought it.

Soon after my time at REI got into working in the outdoor industry full-time and had ample opportunities (too many, actually) to get new backpacks. So my bag from ’98 saw ‘limited action’ over that time and thus it remained in pretty pristine shape. I realized recently that it was the perfect bag to wear to the Outdoor Retailer trade show. The ‘OR’ show celebrates all that’s new, and fresh, and innovative and I loved the idea of sharing something old, something that lasted the test of time and has proven longevity.

So I started wearing it to OR. In the process, it caught the eye of one of the founders of Eagle Creek, Steve Barker. He asked if he could have it. At first I balked (I mean, I LOVED that bag!) but then eventually realized that it was the perfect conclusion to my little bag, to send it right back ‘home’ where it all started…

I hope Steve loves his ‘new’ bag and keeps it around for many more adventures (and OR shows)!

‘Chez’ Chesak is an award-winning travel writer, tourism consultant and 25-year veteran of the outdoor and travel industries. He is Executive Director of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and formerly was the Vice President for Business Development for the Adventure Travel Trade Association and Executive Director of the Family Travel Association. He has been serious about his writing since about age eight. He also runs the Central States Chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers. He’s lived all over the U.S. and traveled to some 36 countries but has the most fun when he’s exploring with his wife and two daughters. An avid outdoors person, he’s happiest on a trail, on skis, or nestled into a sleeping bag. He deployed to Iraq with a U.S. Army line unit in 2005. His works have appeared in the Los Angeles Times,, Good Housekeeping, Rachel Ray Every Day, Fatherly, Yahoo Travel, Family Vacation Critic, and many others. He also does periodic travel segments for the morning show of his local FOX affiliate and on American Forces Radio.

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