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How Not to Answer Questions About Your Bouldering Pad

All the things you absolutely should not say in response to the question “What is that thing on your back?”

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You just arrived at the parking lot of Rocky Mountain National Park and there’s one spot left—your lucky day! Your psych builds as you load up your bag and then shove it into your crashpad. The air is cool, the birds are chirping, and today just might be the day you finally send. 

But one thing stands between you and the boulders: the hikers. They flood the trails like cattle, unfettered, unsupervised, and completely ignorant of this thing called bouldering. Some are old, many are young, and all will inevitably ask: “What’s that thing on your back?” 

To save you some time, here are 21 things you should not say in response. 

  1. It’s a tree bandage, for protection against beetle kill.
  2. We’re actually glacial sledders. It’s the sled.
  3. It’s a mountain lion wrestling mat. Red Bull actually sponsors us.
  4. For resting on when we get tired of carrying it. 
  5. It’s for paragliding.
  6. We’re a nomadic tribe. It’s for sleeping. 
  7. It’s like an umbrella–but for protection from falling rock.
  8. For orgies.
  9. It’s a massage table. Would you like a massage?
  10. Oh silly! You know what it is…
  11. It’s protection against sudden back flops.
  12. It’s a carrying case for small dead animals. The park pays us to regulate them. 
  13. It’s a portable human sacrifice alter.
  14. Come with us and find out.
  15. It’s a moose saddle.
  16. It’s a river raft. New technology from Riverpads inc. Super cool. Like us on Instagram. 
  17. It’s a backpack, duh. 
  18. Archeology kit. There are dino fossils up there!
  19. It’s for your protection. [*Whispers] You should run!
  20. Bigfoot trap, bruh. 
  21. It’s a bear bed. We’re affiliated with the World Wildlife Fund, and they’ve discovered that leaving beds out for key species may vastly improve the entire ecological chain. 

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