What To Do About Rarely Used Outdoor Gear?
Kevin Felts 05.04.18
Surely just about everyone reading this article has some type of gear which rarely gets use. The item may have been bought on a spur of the moment decision; or maybe it looked interesting? No matter what the intentions were, for some reason the item has sat on a shelf collecting dust.
Years after the purchase we walk by, wipe the dust off, and wonder why we bought it. Then the justification kicks in, “It’s ok, it will get used… one day.” Maybe I should just give it away? Why? One day it will be needed, and that one day comes around fewer times than Halley’s Comet.
Maybe I can leave it to the grandkids in my will? If I didn’t use it, maybe they will.
Two such items in my collection is the Coleman 533 camp stove and the machetes.
Coleman 533 Camp Stove
The Coleman 533 was bought because it was dual fuel. Meaning it can use Coleman fuel and unleaded gasoline. Chances are the younger readers have no idea why gasoline is called “unleaded.”
This stove has sat in my collection for over a decade and has been used less than a dozen times. The lack of use is because there is a two burner liquid fuel stove, single burner propane, and blended fuel stoves in my collection. After a hurricane passes through (see my Hurricane Harvey After Action Review for an example), the two burner stove is used.
The blended fuel and propane stoves are much easier to use than a single burner liquid fuel stove. Thus, the canister stoves get used more than liquid fuel.
In the 1990s I bought a Cold Steel Heavy Terrain Chopper (HTC). A few years later Cold Steel discontinued the HTC. Today, there are only a few references to them on the Internet. Not wanting to lose or damage this collectors item I bought two more machetes. One is a low end Cold Steel, and the other is a Gerber.
How many times has the Gerber been used over the past few years? Rarely. The second Cold Steel machete has been used even less.
I can not justify the weight of a machete on a hiking trip. When some brush needs to be cut around the farm, I usually get the tractor and brush hog.
We did not even tough fishing gear. Chances are a lot of the readers have more unused fishing gear than they can shake a stick at.
How many hats, boots, gloves, knives and compasses do we need?
Surely there is a point when we say, “I do not need any more gear.” Nope, we can always use more gear. Let’s just leave it to the grandkids and let them deal with it.