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To Have and to Hold

To Have and to Hold

Our oceans are filling up with plastic and it's no secret that single use plastic water bottles have a lot to do with that. When was the last time you used one of these cheap bottles, likely filled with tap water at the factory? I'm proud to say that it's been many years for me. No waste. No carbon cost of manufacturing or recycling. No guilt.

An adventurous family of 4, we almost never leave the house without a stainless steel bottle each and usually to-go coffees in a couple more! We have a shelf in the cupboard for our reusable vessels in all shapes and sizes. Some insulated from Klean Kanteen and Hydroflask, some with sport caps, some big, some smaller and even a couple Nalgenes for good measure because when it's -25C, metal doesn't feel great on the lips!

Until about a year ago, I didn't realize the sentimental relationship I had with my reusable bottles. We were en route home from a few days in the Laurentians when the all too often words were blurted, "Daaaddy, I have to pee!" We pull off the snowy hwy 50 and find the nearest Timmies...perfect, I could go for a coffee anyway! Into the restroom to take care of business with my trusty coffee tin to be refilled before getting back on the road. Dinged, scratched, coffee stained and covered in stickers I left it on the counter top thinking nothing of it. To my surprise after washing my hands, I notice it's gone. My stainless container that I had by my side on every trip to the mountains, Grandma's house, conferences down south, family vacations, camping trips and beach days had been stolen. What a strange feeling to experience that cold winter day. My travel companion for all those years was gone. 

Obviously, it's a laughable situation, but it made me realize how much I use these containers. They're part of my lifestyle. They're part of my moral belief code. It got me to looking around at places like the mountain bike club and the climbing gym, checking out other people's water bottles. It would appear that I'm not alone! What does your tattered old Nalgene look like? What's the coolest place you've been while sipping from that cup? Call me crazy, but we outdoor enthusiasts are married to our vessels. So, be careful at your next pit stop 😉


Written by Rob Whelan

Local photographer, adventurer, and dad.

Check out his photography work here!