This is a letter I recently sent to prAna clothing company:
There's no use in starting out softly: I'm going to be bold. I believe I have the single longest-lived and hardest-travelled pair of pants you've ever sold. And as a result, you've created a lifelong supporter and single-man-marketing-campaign for your brand. Let me tell you a short story:
These pants are now in their 10th year, and I estimate I have worn them for over 400 days. They've witnessed, and lasted through, more outdoor adventure experiences than most people have in their lifetimes. Alas, despite all my efforts at mending small holes, the fabric is paper-thin and these pants are now turning into dust. It is the end of an era.
On my first proper hike in the BC mountains, I trudged 12 hours through rain, slush and snow wearing running shoes and jeans. The agony of swollen feet and soggy underwear convinced me: It was time to get serious about my gear.
I had just moved to Vancouver, opening limitless outdoor adventure possibilities with many likeminded new friends. For Christmas 2005 I received a pair of prAna pants — the closest current model being the Stretch Zion. The appeal of the button-up legs, ventilation, and a security-pocket was enough to be excited about; if only I knew all the future adventures I'd share with these pants.
From Amritsar and Akureyri, to Urumqi and Zanzibar; I have travelled hard through all six continents, often for months at a time, with these as my only pair of pants. They've endured climbing the sea-cliffs of Western Australia, backcountry skiing in BC, mountain biking in Nepal, sea kayaking in Haida Gwaii, epic train rides through India and China, and hiking in New Zealand. (please see the photos attached below, for some photographic evidence)
Yours in awe and gratitude,
p.s. If you'd like, I can send you these pants for your prAna museum, if you have such a thing (you should!)
<><><><><><><><><><><><><> the evidence <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
La Paz, 2006. The first international test of these pants: They were a mere 6 months old
. Ah, to be young again.
The brownish colour was handy at times like this
Even the locals in Machu Picchu loved my pants
Keeping me dry during the coldest, wettest summer trip of my life: sea-kayaking in Haida Gwaii
Through all the extremes: I even tested these pants near the Arctic Circle
Well prepared atop Wedge Mountain, BC
Conquering the Old Man Pillar in Western Australia
Glad to have quick-dry pants when my mother and I were soaked by the blow-holes in Tasmania
Examining ancient Inca bouldering routes in Cusco, Peru
Beneath all that climbing gear, the same Prana pants, still going strong after 7 years
Still looking good in their 9th year. Haida Gwaii, 2013
The pants today, turning to dust in their 10th year. RIP.