Outdoor Things, But By Unfamiliar Measurements

semi-rad illustration colorado 14ers measured by hands

I have a smartphone app that converts measurement units into other measurement units. Sure, you probably think that’s pretty dorky. But let me ask you this, hot shot: how many tablespoons are in a quarter-cup? That’s what I thought. This app got me thinking about how contrived all of our units of measurement are, but how they seem to make sense when we apply them to the correct things. Like I always think of backpacks in terms of how many liters they can hold, because I can easily visualize what a Nalgene water bottle looks like, and I can visualize 40 or 60 water bottles fitting in a backpack.

But what if you asked a gear shop employee, “What’s the capacity of this backpack in cubic yards?” That would be ridiculous. So would measuring a long-distance running race in chains, a unit of measurement that equals 66 feet. So I started playing around with some things, which will very likely not at all be useful to you in the future, but are included below for your enjoyment. If you text a friend asking them to go for a trail run or a bike ride and propose the distance to them in furlongs or rods, please send me a screenshot that includes their reaction. Oh, and here’s a link to that app, just in case you’re ever at a dinner party and need to communicate how much more wine you’d like to drink, but in cubic millimeters.

 

semi-rad illustration leadville trail 800 furlong run

semi-rad illustration mount everest measured in leagues

semi-rad illustration 29er mountain bike wheels measured in nautical miles semi-rad illustration 60-liter pack measured in bushels semi-rad illustration century ride measured in rods semi-rad illustration colorado 14ers measured by hands semi-rad illustration water bottle metric teaspoons semi-rad illustration NYC Marathon

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—Brendan

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