• Ultralight Jerk

Five Questions With Hikers: Ron Bell of Mountain Laurel Designs

1. How’s it feel knowing that everyone has basically ripped you off in one way or another? On one hand it probably pisses you off but on the other hand, does it make you feel good?  

It feels like a deep hard emergency colonoscopy you have to stay awake for and pretend online to like.   A super shitty thing is going to happen so you better be OK with it.  Meds help.

2. So let's talk about your apparent love affair with buckles. Do you own stock in buckles or did you just buy too many at one point and decided to throw 50 of them on every pack?

Doing design work in the shop basement late at night I sometimes listen to Wichita Lineman or Under The Bridge too many times in a row and get sad. Straps and Buckles make me Happy. So I just start adding them on like crazy. It helps.

3. You made a video showing how to basically hack off all the extra shit from your packs. When will you go the extra mile and start including scissors with every order?  

Never Gunna Happen. My dad used to tell me “Just Deal With It” and “Put Back My God Damn Tools”. I help customer self esteem by not enabling them too much and based on email questions at least 47% of them are going to get lost, freeze or break a leg anyway. I can’t help.

4. The MLD website sports the phrase ‘Super Ultra Light’ yet year after year, buckle after buckle the weights of every product has gone up. What gives?  

We try to keep up with societal trends. Tell Alexia to play “Rock And Roll McDonalds”.  Do it NOW. There is no help.

5. Would you ever consider releasing a ‘Burn Classic’ as a throwback to when it was an actual Ultralight pack?

I like a good cold soak marmot steak as much as the next hiker.  We  have plans for a RetroBurn™. May name it AfterBurn™ and release it though one of our other URL‘s: armadilloskidmark.com  or rayoffuckingsunshine.com to make it seem like a totally new idea in Minimalist™ pack design. The new website will be all Hipster Mysterioso™ vibe. Yes, those are actual website URL names we own.  We need help. -------------------------------------------- Editors note: 'help'..........?