Academy! Are you selling sports equiment?


I’m an amateur at a lot of things. Yes, I’m admitting this, it’s fine. Have you read this blog? It’s a lot about my amateur search for professional mastery. My gift is relating! So, I’m basically knowledgeable in a lot of areas, and one of those areas is outdoors-ing, or more specifically, backpacking-hiking.

Me! Backpacking!

It would seem then, the outdoor-sports store budget priced for hobby-enthusiasts, Academy Sports + Outdoors, would have me as their target audience. In fact, their latest ad in Texas Parks & Wildlife’s State Park Guide features a couple who look roughly my age. Attractive. They’re walking alongside one another smiling. They’re wearing button up outdoor shirts with khaki pants. They’re wearing their backpacks wrong.

Academy’s Feature Ad in the Texas State Park Guide. The models have on their backpacks incorrectly!

Those babies should be buckled up! Your core is the central, strongest part of your body, and your shoulders will quickly tire if carrying all the weight of a backpack. Especially if that backpack, as they each appear to be wearing in this picture, holds 40 liters of goods. So! The first place to strap in and adjust is around your hips, where most the weight should be carried. Then, the shoulder straps get battened to fit your torso snugly. There is much more, very lengthy literature on how to choose the right fitting backpack (this links to REI’s detailed tutorial on choosing the right backpack for your adventuring).

My point is: these folks are not going to make it far “living outdoors.” They’re models! And the ad team is only the ad team! Which is totally understandable, by the way. It’s just, those facts are more apparent than any outdoor gear and lifestyle I should be purchasing, Academy.


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