Not long ago, I shopped for a new pack board to add to our collection. We probably use open pack boards more than any other pack for larger, heavier loads. Primarily, we use them to haul firewood, but also a wide variety of household and homestead goods (see Chair Man of the Pack Board and Preparing for Invasion). We’ve long relied on (which is to say, thoroughly beat the crap out of) our best pack board. Our second best is rather poor; none of us can comfortably haul heavy loads with it, so we’re long overdue for an improvement.
Luckily, I happened to look for the pack board during a sale. I found a far better pack board than our best at half price!
While very similar to our older frame, the new one represents significant improvements: better padding, more, faster, and easier adjustments, a larger fold-down shelf that can be securely stowed when not in use. The new pack offers such vastly superior securing options that it’s good to go out of the box. I put tie-downs on the older frame to hold loads.
Unfortunately, I am not without vanity (hey, I write a blog, don’t I?). I reluctantly admit that I haven’t used the new pack board to its full potential yet, because it’s so new and beautiful. It is, in effect, the “Sunday Go to Meetin'” pack board, too fine for everyday use!
Despite its superiority over the older pack board, I still use the latter for firewood hauling, my primary carrying duty these days.
Michelle needed to carry out a big load of cardboard recycling, and haul in some new windows. She asked which pack board she should use, and I pointed toward our new, handsome rig, sitting patiently in the shed, waiting for a job to do. I suddenly realized how silly I’ve been about it.
I recall an old story about a man whose hired hand got a new pair of overalls (overhauls, for those readers from certain parts of the country). The man’s wife watched him drop a beam in a mud puddle very close to the hired hand in a way that struck her as purposeful. When she asked her husband about it, he admitted to splashing mud on the worker’s new clothes. “He was so busy keeping his pants clean, we weren’t getting anything done!” he told her. “Once they’d gotten dirty, he pitched in like he always does.”
Obviously, I need to take a tumble down a muddy slope or something similar with that new pack board on my back. After that, maybe I’ll start using it as I ought to do?