L.L.Bean customer Steve Gadecki explains how his backpack helped him discover the outdoors and find his balance.Play
Steve Gadecki: This backpack has been with me on 104 mountains, 14 national parks, five ex-girlfriends and one future wife.
My friends took me hiking the first time in the summer of '94. It was my first time really hiking a mountain, and when I got on top I realized, "This is something I need to do for the rest of my life."
It was like a switch; I'd put on my backpack, and I knew I was going to go do an adventure. You get up early, you throw your backpack on, you hit the trail... you have your water bottles, you have the pack, you've got a destination...it's freedom, because everything just lifts off you.
I could go out to any trail, I could summit if I want to summit or I could just experience it. That's one thing that nature has really helped me with: just finding a balance. It's moments like that, where the adrenaline is rushing, that are going to live with you forever. Then I finally get to the top.
I was thinking about how I hiked Mount Whitney, saw Yosemite, saw Sequoia, saw Zion...I know it's just a backpack, but it was just there with me.
I'm Steve Gadecki, and I discovered my balance.