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Its No Mystery Why The Houdini is So Popular

Jeff Johnson of Danville, Calif.

I am a geek when it comes to gear. Over the years I’ve collected a few multifunctional pieces I cannot do without. The Houdini jacket is at the top of the list.

I’ve had this particular one for so long it’s hard to remember when I got it. I’m guessing I bought it around 2002 when it was called The Dragonfly. I took her on my first climb up El Capitan in Yosemite and she joined me on just about every climb after that. But I found her to be useful in other places, not just the mountains but on and around the ocean, too.

In the 11 years of this jacket’s life she has been up El Capitan 3 times, climbed all over the Sierra’s, Utah, Australia and Chile. She has been on 4 surf trips to Indonesia, multiple trips to Chile, also Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and Hawaii. She has sailed as far south as Easter Island.

I’ve slept in this jacket at airports, spent long nights on watch aboard boats with her, and she’s kept me warm on long, cold bike rides home from late night parties. There have been a few incidents where she has gone missing for months. Then she mysteriously reappears in my hall bag, allegedly kidnapped by a climbing partner. If she could only talk … Sure, I’ve had to patch her up a few times but she’s still in good shape.

Right now she’s in my van alert and ready to go somewhere. Wait, she might be in my backpack … Or is it the glove compartment? Actually, she’s probably in my backpack in my van ready to go.

―Jeff

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