Filson in the City

Most of the stories and photos involving Filson are in some remote corner of the country, on a worksite, or on some hunting or fishing expedition.  There are some of us (me included) that come from this background, but now reside inside the city.  While it is an adjustment for someone with country roots, it’s a lifestyle that I’ve grown accustomed to.  I like the term ‘concrete jungle’, as it does accurately describe the world around me.  That said, you have to prepare accordingly. 

I deal with rough edges all the time.  My day starts with a cup of coffee and taking Haley, my trusted yellow lab, for a walk.  And by ‘walk’, I mean the walk.  We go find patches of grass or pine straw between buildings for her to do her business.  It isn’t as easy as opening the back door and letting her run.  No retractable leash either – I can’t have her being too ‘friendly’.

For work, it’s either the train or driving to the office, both of which take their toll.  Since it is a bit of a hike, I usually carry quite a bit with me – not just a laptop.  Pens, notepads, an iPad, power cords, folders, and my book make up the normal day-to-day contents, but I still need room for sunglasses, a couple power bars, and any other odds and ends.  And it all needs to be protected.  The idea of carrying all of this in some sort of ‘technical’ bag just doesn’t make any sense.

On the weekends, it’s enjoying the pool or heading out of town.  Since getting to the pool isn’t as easy as stepping outside a screened in porch, I have to remember all the necessities, so I need something to carry the load.  I used to scoff at tote bags.  Now I relish in them.  They are some of the most functional pieces in my arsenal.  Trip packing has become an art as well.  There is a difference in ‘want’ vs. ‘need’ for a weekend trip.  If you need more than a medium duffle for two nights, you have packed way too much.

I do get some looks when toting my Filson stuff.  Some are curious – the bags aren’t ‘sleek’ or ‘trendy’, but I pay them no mind.  They’ll come around.  The other looks are usually nods of approval – those folks know what’s going on.  I see Filson in some of the biggest cities in the world, and they all have that downtown patina that Filson owners strive for.

One of the values instilled in me from a very early age was that of ‘value proposition’.  I was taught that when you need to buy something, buy the best once, get it repaired when it breaks, and take care of it while you own it.  More than likely it will outlast you.  I didn’t grow up with the ‘disposable’ mentality when it came to any sort of equipment.  I’d like to think this is the ‘country boy’ in me, and it’s always better to be a country boy in the city rather than a city boy in the country.

Special thanks to the great folks at Filson for posting this on their Life Blog.  It’s nice to be associated with such a great company.



  1. drake
    07/31/2012 / 8:26 AM

    Awesome post. I too was raised in the boonies but now find myself working and attending law school downtown. I can’t just throw myself into the express for men/Calvin k. crowd without feeling out of place. Like you I still dress appropriately given the societal conventions of urban living but I wear more odd jackets than suits.

  2. 07/31/2012 / 11:33 AM

    Nice Tahoe! Count me in as another urban Filson fan, I carry my 257 to work most days in DC, and I pass another guy on Mass with the larger laptop bag that has been absolutely beat to hell, but it looks great.

    I was carrying it while on a business trip to Seattle and made sure to stop by the factory so it could get a taste of home. As expensive as most bags are, Filson isn’t terribly extravagant these days. The only better value is the LL Bean Boat Tote, but those have a time and a place.

  3. 07/31/2012 / 12:25 PM

    Everyone knows that if you use Filson gear and you weren’t in the Rough Riders with Teddy Roosevelt you are a poser.

  4. Mr. Wonderful
    07/31/2012 / 6:37 PM

    Where would one find a living member of the Rough Riders these days?


  5. Mark
    07/31/2012 / 11:26 PM

    All my luggage is Filson… fantastic stuff and feels like its going to last me forever. Keeps looking better and better with age.

  6. 08/01/2012 / 11:49 AM

    my Filson came of age on the mean streets of D.C. now back in Texas, it gets a little more play in the field (stuffed with the occasional dove), though typically it’s a repository for the usual work accoutrements.

    took a while to get that worn-in sheen we all so covet, but it’s there now and I’ll carry until it falls apart (which it never will). I’m no Rough Rider but we’ve got the Menger Bar just down the road, which is where TR came to recruit his cavalry in 1898. Close enough for me.

    here’s a good piece for anyone itching for a little San Antonio history reading this morning: (

  7. 08/01/2012 / 12:03 PM

    @Mr. Wonderful-
    I am friends with Jay and my comment was meant as joking reference to another person who frequently comments here. Just to clear things up.

  8. Moss
    08/01/2012 / 3:50 PM

    Trip (sp?), I’m going to let it slide because you’re low hanging fruit and I’m in a good mood today.

    Carry on gentlemen.

  9. deep forest
    12/10/2012 / 11:08 AM

    Poser is right. I live all the city posers carrying and wearing their filson gear. They still like playing dress up how cute. Wankers, plain and simple.

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