As a new homeowner a few decades ago, I needed a ladder and foolishly bought a heavy-duty fiberglass 28-footer that could reach the highest point. That was a bad move; other than once I’ve never needed to reach that high; the ladder is unwieldy and even fully retracted it’s too long for most jobs. Later and a little wiser, I acquired a lightweight 16-foot extension ladder which I now use for almost everything.
Many of my friends make the same mistake when they shop for cross-country skis, buying for the most extreme conditions they’ll ever encounter. In the store they convince themselves they need wide, back-country skis with metal edges, in case of deep powder or an icy traverse. They ski-trudge that heavy-duty gear on ordinary trails and easy roads like the one to Great Camp Santanoni. They even take them to groomed Nordic centers. Instead, their primary pair should have been a light-touring setup that’s good for almost everything except the rare extremes.