Here at Macpac, we’ve been serving the adventure community for 45 years. There are countless Macpac products floating around the globe; some new, lots old, all designed with a common goal – to live a long and adventure filled life. For us, that means we have to design products that last. And even though we use premium materials and partner with only the most skilled manufacturers, the reality is that eventually, no matter how tough a product may be, a life of adventure will take its toll. That’s where Linda comes in. Linda is a specialist in repairing classic Macpac gear – our Gear Doctor, if you will. She has been tending to sick and injured Macpac gear for 25 years. Linda has seen thousands of patients in her time with Macpac, and each guest on her operating table has a different story to tell. Each month on The Log Book, we feature one lucky product that has visited the Macpac Repairs team, sharing their story so far, and their road to recovery. This month, we’re pleased to introduce you to the Pickle Pack – a detachable day pack off an iconic Macpac Gemini 65L from 1988. This is the Pickle Pack’s story according to its owner, Angela.
A long, long time ago, actually it was 1988, my then boyfriend and I bought Macpac packs together. It was very romantic. We were heading off on our great OE – an exciting time in the lives of young Kiwis. We chose our packs because they seemed durable, we could zip away all the straps to stop them from getting stuck in airport conveyor belts, they had removable day packs, and they were lockable. His was a 65 litre, mine a 60. He wore blue, I wore red – a bit of a cliche, but what can you do?
We travelled from New Zealand to Los Angeles, then to Europe; England, Wales, Scotland, France, Monaco, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, Greece and Yugoslavia – as it was known then, and came home through New York. It was the trip of a lifetime, and our packs shared it with us.
Once we returned, our packs became vessels for adventures closer to home. Tramping and camping trips all over New Zealand ensued, and our trusty packs were often lent to family and friends for their own adventures. In the 90s, we had kids, so we were occupied with adventures of a different kind for a while, and the packs were stashed away. But, at the turn of the century we decided it was time to blow the dust off, and see if the packs could still keep up with us. We camped weekends on a family section at Kawau Island, the kids took them on countless school camps and on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. Our lovely old packs had a new lease on life!
In 2016, at the ripe old age of 28, a new chapter began for the Blue 65L. Our son departed for the USA via Vancouver, and came home to New Zealand via South Africa. While he was away, he sewed badges he’d collected on his travels to the removable day pack – and so the Pickle Pack was born. He’ll leave us again, soon – back to America with the blue Gemini and the Pickle Pack strapped to his back, new zip and all (thanks Macpac Repairs team)!
Back in 1988, we made an investment in some packs for a trip overseas. What we didn’t realise at the time is that we were investing in something much bigger than that. We love our packs, not just from a practical standpoint, but on an emotional level, too. They’ve become part of our family’s story, and have had our backs on every step of our adventure so far. How much longer will they survive? Who knows? But seeing our son disappear through the departures gate with his Dad’s worn old Macpac pack strapped to his back makes it a little easier to say goodbye – it’s like he’s taking a piece of us with him, and that puts a smile on my face.
If you have a piece of Macpac gear that is looking a little worse for wear after years of loyal service, don’t stress! Visit our repairs page to see who your best port of call is, and Linda or one of our other Gear Doctors will get back to you with a prognosis.