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NEWS

Monday, May 24, 2004

Daily columnist Elliott Mallen discusses the finer points of the omnipresent Nalgene(tm) brand water bottles. And while the Daily got his email address correct this time, they still seem to be struggling with the proper spelling of his first name. Maybe the third time's the charm?

" ... Nalgene bottles are also portrayed as being durable containers for the true outdoorsman. When youíre hiking through wastelands of Mongolia or climbing the staggering Andes, you know your Nalgene will be there to replenish your lost fluids. Its thick shell will prevent it from breaking when youíre wrestling gorillas in Zaire, and its watertight lid will prevent any contamination when youíre swimming across the Amazon. The rugged, exotic lifestyle associated with the bottles is the same adventurous romanticism used to sell SUVs. Itís convincing people to buy items they donít really need: Just as we people using their Navigators to brave the dangerous, uncivilized passes of I-94, there are countless students with Nalgenes who would never even consider climbing into a canoe or strapping on hiking boots. ... "

> From "Not just any water bottle"

Posted by Rob at 12:34 PM 6 Comments

Comments:
You know, I thought that all thru undergrad. Before coming to Ann Arbor, The North Face was the best-quality camping gear around, Nalgene bottles were purchase b/c if you fell on the trail, your bottle could roll down a revine and still be intact, and those fleece pullovers were purchased b/c they were light,and warm. Not till I came to snobby UM were my favorite camping supplies turned into fashion statements for people who would never venture outside the urban wilderness in their entire existence...

Yuck,
RWD

For some reason, nobody I know really carries around those bottles, nor have I ever heard the term "my Nalgene" uttered. I must be living among the unhip.

And seriously, how hard is it to just use drinking fountains for water on campus? It just seems like an encumberance to carry one of those things around.

-Brandon

I think its totally trivial. Who cares that people use Nalgene water bottles? They are just water bottles! They clean really well and I think having a bottle set aside for water helps remind people to drink more water and be healthier. This is ranting about nothing its more distrurbing to me that anyone cares that people use Nalgene bottles. Personally I think vending machines with bottle water could be an issue of snobbery or uselessness. The guy saying the Nalgenes exist so if the bottle rolls down a ravine is ludacris. Are you going to chase your water bottle down a ravine? If it is overkill using these bottles walking around campus I'd find it hard to draw a line between those campUS people and the camINg people. Most campers don't need any super durable water bottle. I don't care if they buy them, I bet the do because they are cool, give the user a rugged feeling, and may just may come in handy.

I guess this bothers me and I'm writing because I just think that attacking people for something so gosh darn trivial reflects a certain level of intolerance. I don't care what over people dress like, talk like, carry there water in, or what sandles they wear.

My girlfriend has one of those nalgene bottles, and I've seen it fall down stairs and the like. I dunno. While I generally smirk at the North Face folk, I feel like getting upset about the Nalgene bottle is like getting pissed off because people carry Swiss Army knives, despite not being Swiss, in the army, or likely to use the folding bonesaw/spork on a regular basis.
js

http://barometer.orst.edu/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/02/17/40324e5d40a14

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200311/lol5.asp

and Nalgene's response:

http://www.nalgene-outdoor.com/technical/letter.html

I thought that Elliott's column was incredibly witty and well thought out. Although there are other things happening in the political sphere for him to comment about, he wrote about something relevant to student life on campus and is to be commended for that. In addition, there are many other themes that can be drawn from his piece which point to larger issues that affect all of us; if the reader is unable to take what Elliott has written to the next level, then it is their loss.

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