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#93017 - 03/23/08 09:47 PM Sent with the best of intentions
kevonionia Offline

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
This topic could have been Lamest Hiking Gadget(s) Received from a Relative, but I’m not that crass.

You know, we can get addicted to these backcountry gadgets. And in our attempt to go brighter & lighter, we can focus on them to the point that we drag family members into the quest with us, with interesting results. Example:

During the weekly phone call with my 78-year-old mother in Dallas (to “verify” that I’ve received her once-a-week, pre-addressed letter filled with clipped grocery coupons), the conversation invariably lags after discussing those coupons, then the weather and finally the economy. I try to avoid talking too much about life at the marina (since she has a severe phobia of water), especially after getting her upset when I told her a friend took some photos of a 9-foot alligator swimming around here a few months ago. So I’ve been telling her about coming hikes, new hiking gear and attempts at “going lighter & brighter.”

That resulted in this arriving from her in the mail:

This was sent because she thought I could use a campsite candle that wouldn’t (as she had envisioned as it tipped over) turn our tent into a silnylon pyre. It runs off a little quarter-sized battery and puts out something in the range of one nano-lumen. She didn’t get it off the Internet (since she isn’t on the Internet), but through some snail-mail flyer filled with cheap, superfluous, inessential Chinese-made trinkets that’s strategically targeted at the senior set. This came from StarCrest, I think she said, which has had some hearty reviews at

I thanked her profusely the next time we talked, which had the unfortunate effect of reinforcing her purchase, resulting in my soon receiving a package in the mail containing this:

Not the Night Scope 7x20mm!! YES, it's the authentic Night Scope 7x20mm!!

I hadn’t seen a night scope since the last of the bootlegged Russian night scopes were apparently snatched up off that crazy Sportsman’s Guide military surplus catalogue a few years ago. And those things ran in the hundreds of dollars and weighed a ton.

But this Night Scope 7x20mm was light as a feather. This essential piece of outdoor survival gear is made of cheap plastic, has a little focus wheel for its crackerjack-toy lens, and a little clicky button on top to enable its night-scope feature to become operational. And just what is that? A dim krypton bulb powered by two AA batteries that doesn’t bathe the subject in infrared light, but in dim incandescent light, light that can't be projected more than ten feet away; it's really sort of the antithesis of a “night scope.” I had a good laugh over it, unfortunately at my mother’s unknowing expense. (I’ve never really told her what I’ve thought of it, other than to say it will be “helpful.”)

Anyone else received a piece of lame hiking or outdoor gear from a loved one?
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)

#93018 - 03/24/08 10:03 AM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: kevonionia]
phat Offline

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I'd have to say it would be a made in china "rambo" knife complete with camo pleather sheath, honing stone, and huge ball compass in the handle.

All from a well meaning grandmother who knew i hiked and hunted...

Pretty far cry from the little opinel knife or SAK I usually carry - (ok, and I chuck in a wyoming knife when I'm hunting big game).
Any fool can be uncomfortable...
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#93019 - 03/24/08 04:46 PM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: phat]
Jimshaw Offline

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
My grandad got me a mail order pocket knife an inch and a half thick <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />with all kinds of blades, knives, fork and spoon. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />The spoon worked <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" /> - the fork worked, <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> but you couldn't hold anything with the fork while you cut it. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />The other boy scouts liked it, but I only carried a little while until I got an official boy scout folder. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

My mom got me a svea 123, some nice hiking boots, and a Lowe backpack. Bless her heart.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

#93020 - 03/24/08 08:34 PM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: Jimshaw]
OregonMouse Offline

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6422
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
One of my daughters-in-law, with the best of intentions, sent me two items for Christmas. One is an LED lantern that requires 4 (!) AA batteries, completely unnecessary because my headlamp is more than sufficient for all my lighting needs. The other is actually rather useful for exercise walking around home, a gadget called a "Gulpy Pet Water Dispenser," consisting a one-pint water bottle with a "trough" attached for my dog to drink out of. Its capacity is too small for a hike of more than an hour, though.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#93021 - 03/25/08 06:21 AM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: OregonMouse]
Paddy_Crow Offline

Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 2285
Loc: Michigan
Keep the lantern for using around the house when the power goes out. It's also nice for car camping, if you ever do any of that.

#93022 - 03/25/08 07:22 AM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: Jimshaw]
Brumfield Offline

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...

My mom got me a svea 123, some nice hiking boots, and a Lowe backpack. Bless her heart.
Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

Jim, does your mom know that you have her credit card? Brum <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

#93023 - 03/25/08 12:21 PM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: kevonionia]
bigfoot2 Offline

Registered: 09/17/06
Posts: 1432
Loc: Eugene , Oregon
I-Pood No,guys, i mean the small trowl "I-Pood" that has a hole in the handle for little baggies. I haven't used it yet and do not know if i ever will. Does a Bigfoot $-it in the woods? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Hammockers aren't stuck up, they're just above it all.

#93024 - 03/25/08 03:20 PM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: kevonionia]
Rick_D Offline

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
If nothing else, your mother sounds utterly charming! Keep them; they'll provide smiles for years to come.

Hopefully she won't sign you up for Amway product of the week or somesuch <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#93025 - 03/25/08 05:32 PM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: Brumfield]
coyotemaster Offline

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
I was wondering if you are 501c3?

#93026 - 03/26/08 09:23 AM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: coyotemaster]
bulrush Offline

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
Moms mean well, don't they? I might let my mom know that "this probably won't survive my rigorous hiking" or something that gets the message through subtly.

#93027 - 04/26/08 08:01 PM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: bulrush]
nimby Offline

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 216
Loc: intermountain west
Why not just thank her for her thoughtful gift, and add a comment like, "But what I could really use /am looking for right now is a ..." and be very specific about something you could really use in her price range. If she is like my mom she catalog shops for recreation and would enjoy the challenge of hunting up just what you are looking for. You could maybe even put her on the mailing list for your favorite snail mail retailer...

#93028 - 04/27/08 08:44 AM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: kevonionia]
chaz Offline

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
My mom's pushing 80 and gives me lot's of stuff like that for christmas. She goes to the casino and saves the promo items they give her when she walks into the door. I give the stuff away or put it in the junk drawer. Best to give than receive.

#93029 - 05/31/08 10:06 PM Re: Sent with the best of intentions [Re: kevonionia]
northernbcr Offline

Registered: 05/26/08
Posts: 125
Loc: bc/yukon border area
my well meaning grandad passed on a8lb splitting maul for (i quote) a little help around the fire.

#93030 - 06/01/08 08:02 AM Re: 'Big-dog' splitting maul [Re: northernbcr]
kevonionia Offline

Registered: 04/17/06
Posts: 1322
Loc: Dallas, TX
my well meaning grandad passed on a8lb splitting maul for (i quote) a little help around the fire

Mmmm. That's ultralight! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
- kevon

(avatar: raptor, Lake Dillon)


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