Life is all about change. We change schools, and we move in and out of homes. Friends come and go, and jobs begin and end.
Humans tend to resist change, seeking things like safety, consistency, reliability, and stability instead. For better or worse, it's nice to have an ‘Old Faithful’ to give you that comfort; something that has been there through thick and thin and always had your back, like the first car you bought with your own money, or that special pocketknife that you carried on every single camping trip since you were young, making so many memories along the way.
I want to share a little story about my ‘Old Faithful’ – my 15-year-old Toyota FJ Cruiser – and the knives that rode in the glovebox with me for every one of the 280,000 miles I put on this car.
280,000 miles of roads, trails, rocks, mud, and snow. 280,000 miles worth of money, broken parts, frustration, and mistakes. 280,000 miles of learning, adventures, freedom, and memories. There are so many ways to look at all those years and all that mileage, but whenever I think back on it, it all just brings a smile to my face.
This car was the first I bought after years of driving a hand-me-down. My 'Old Faithful' taught me how to off-road, how to work on vehicles, and how to see the world across 280,000 miles spanning Canada, Mexico, and the United States. It was a means to enjoy some of my favorite hobbies, like mountain biking, snowboarding and rock climbing.
About 30,000 miles in, I’d learned how capable a stock Toyota FJ Cruiser could be. Consequently, I also found the limits of a stock FJ Cruiser and came up against them again and again. With that, the car became a money pit, slowly evolving into the unbelievably (and unpredictably) capable vehicle it is today. Piece by piece, I familiarized myself with every nook and cranny of this car.
You see, having the newest and greatest is wonderful, but there is something uniquely special about owning a vehicle for so long with so many miles on it. You know every little creak and unsettling noise it makes. You get used to all those awkward stares you get as you drive by, and more importantly, deep down inside, you know that you and your vehicle have seen so much more than most people will ever see.
You could say the same for the knives I carried with me. Riding in the glovebox, in my pocket, or on my hip, for fifteen years I could always count on my knife to get me though the tough spots. Fifteen years of cutting meat, vegetables, and fruit. Fifteen years of cutting winch lines, straps, packages, branches, and more. Fifteen years of knowing that knife will always be there when I reach into my pocket. My latest go-to, the Benchmade Bugout, has quickly become my new ‘Old Faithful.’ In just a short amount of time, it has become as trusted and reliable as my old FJ Cruiser, and I feel that same familiar feeling of confidence. I have no doubt that it will be with me for the next fifteen years of adventures and more.
Whatever you do, keep exploring, keep making memories, and keep a knife in the glovebox of your ‘Old Faithful’ to fix every breakdown along the way.