The Saddest Photo I’ve Taken This Year

2014/01/29

For Some Outdoorsmen This Would Be It –

Sad Camp Gear

Sad Camp Gear

Folks who love the wilderness and living in Nature’s embrace have a hard time seeing their gear just sitting around waiting for them to hit the road.

I am cursed to walk by some of my camping gear a few times each day when I take the dogs out. Some days it’s hard to look or I pretend that I don’t see it. Every piece of equipment, from tents, to tools and supplies carry stories of our adventures together. Every time I see my axe, the wooden handled one that I name Mjolnir, after Thor’s Hammer, I’m reminded of when I replaced the plastic handle it originally contained, of flat filing the edge just right, when I almost took off my left thumb in a careless moment while wiggling the blade free from my chopping block. Good times, even the ones that drew blood.

Only a bit of it was mine.

Mjolnir

Mjolnir

Fortunately for me, not all my gear is around for me to mourn its present disuse. It is this sadness that has kept me from sharing more about my specific gear for the Boot-Strap Expat adventure.

All my fishing gear – 2 Bait-Casters, 2 Spinning Reels, my Fly-Rod rig and all my tackle is with some friends in Sportsmen’s Paradise in Louisiana. In 2010 I drove up to Michigan for a visit and haven’t been able to escape – yet. Some of my gear is in a storage area a few miles away, and my rifle is close by, but out of sight.

The only gear that doesn’t lead to such sad feelings is the cookin’ gear that I use almost daily – My cast-iron cookware, enamelware plates, pots, pans and my nesting stainless cutlery which I’ve put to everyday use for years, now. No sense in having two of everything when one of everything does just fine.

Finding Solace In The Past & Future

At other times I am able to set the sadness aside, embrace the wonderful memories one by one. Such as the House Wrens who began to build a nest in my Coleman stove until I started keeping the lid closed when not in use. So they began to nest in the back pocket of my Fishin’ vest, then the sleeve of one of my flannel shirts until finally, I attached a small cardboard box to a tree that was protected by my overhead kitchen tarp. They raised their family of five in the safety of my kitchen! Seemed like no time at all before the eggs turned to chicks, then fledglings, then they were gone. The last time I saw them, the entire family lined a limb not far from me as if for a family portrait. I carry that family portrait in my heart.

Envisioning the future use of my gear is comforting as well. I look forward to hitting the road,  setting up camp and re-kindling all those feelings that lay ahead.

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