Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store

Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen


Avalanche Gear
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters


Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel

the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags


Sleeping Bags


Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial






Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear


Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel


Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva


Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment

 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#192508 - 11/12/15 10:11 PM Talk about stupid!
billstephenson Offline

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Yesterday evening I went to take some hay down to my burros and we have a routine where I open the gate and they stand behind it. I've always known it was risky but we were getting along fine.

But last night, for whatever reason, those ornery asses decided to try and make a break for it, which inspired me to slam on the breaks, jam my pickup in park, jump out of the truck, cut off the burros, and close the gate. That all worked good when I had to do it before but this time I turned around to see my truck rolling away. Either one of those burros purposely shifted it into neutral or never really made into park. I'm inclined to want to believe the former because I think it should've went into reverse even if I didn't get it all the way into park, and you can't always trust burros. They didn't get the reputations of being asses for nothing and they I don't think they ever did really like that truck.

Either way, the truck started rolling down the hill, which starts pretty gradual, but gets pretty steep pretty fast. Buy the time I started chasing it was already going to fast to do anything but watch. So that's what we did (me and the burros), and they seemed to be grinning at each other too.

The way we saw it, the truck had two options. It could've run into a thick mess of young cedar trees which might have slowed it enough to almost stop it before it hit a big oak tree, or it could take a left and try to serve around a few trees and then race downhill to drown itself in our pond.

It took the left (what truck wouldn't?), but it miscalculated its path, saw its mistake, and decided to head on into a big huge oak above the pond instead, where there were no cedars to slow it down.

It sped up as much as it could and then smashed itself dead center on the bumper into that tree and bent up the hood pretty good doing it too. Probably got the radiator and a/c condenser cause it blew up the airbag and the horn got stuck on honking after that. When I got down to it I thought something was burning because there was smoke inside the cab. Now that would've really sucked, but luckily it was just airbag smoke. Those things sure stink.

The truck was still running though, so after I aired it out I got it backed off the tree and turned around. It wouldn't make it back up the hill though, but that's because it's got no traction and never did.

My wife and neighbor both said "It's a good thing no one got hurt", and that's true, but there never really was any chance of that. It was just a matter of which tree the truck would end up getting stopped by. There was no one there but me and the burros, and we sure weren't going to get in between an old beat up truck and whatever it decided to commit Harakiri on.

That all sucks, but it's not all that awful because I only paid $1200 for that truck, and I drove it for a few years, and it didn't go in the pond so I'll still get some money back out of it because the bed, doors, fenders, and engine/trans are worth about $1200 if I part it out a piece at a time. It can sit right there where it's at if I do that. After that I'll call a junkyard and they'll come and get the rest of it and might even pay me a few bucks for it, or at least take it away for free.

I'll probably just sell it for about $600 instead and figure I got even by paying $300 a year to drive it. I can convince myself of that pretty easy and not have to be reminded of my stupidity, I mean the burros sinister plan, by looking at it for the next few months while it gets scavenged away.

In fact it might turn out pretty good because I spent a few hours scanning Craigslist for cars under $3000 and found a little Geo Tracker that's in pretty sweet shape. It's only got 140k miles on it and I can snag it for $800 tomorrow. If I really want to rebuild it to like new I'll still have less than $3000 in it and those are the best little backpacking cars ever made as far as I'm concerned. If my burros don't try to drive it I could get ten good years or more out of that car.

You always gotta look on the bright side when crap happens (and always blame your burros if you can when the wife asks how it happens blush ).

"You want to go where?"

#192509 - 11/12/15 10:34 PM Re: Talk about stupid! [Re: billstephenson]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6745
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Obviously smarter than your average burros! laugh

Then there was the time (at age 16) I parked my parents' pickup in a campground at the Grand Canyon, and left it in neutral with the parking brake on, forgetting that my mother had driven the truck with the parking brake on so many times that it didn't work. The pickup headed straight for the canyon rim, with (as far as we could tell) only some scrub trees in the way. Fortunately, my mother was able to get inside and stop it before it got going too fast.

While my husband was studying for his master's degree, one of the employees on the university's horticulture farm, whom husband was supposed to be supervising, managed to do something similar with a tractor, which promptly headed for the farm pond. It was pulled out and dried out, but the process was somewhat expensive.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#192511 - 11/13/15 05:51 AM Re: Talk about stupid! [Re: billstephenson]
PerryMK Online   content

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1240
Loc: Florida panhandle
If it makes you feel any better, my stupidities usual have a few more zeroes behind them. blush

#192514 - 11/13/15 01:10 PM Re: Talk about stupid! [Re: billstephenson]
aimless Online   content

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3155
Loc: Portland, OR
I've always known it was risky

Well, there you go! You obviously foresaw the full consequences of all this long ago and yet persisted in your recklessness. You may as well have handed the burros your truck keys and a pint flask!

Why can't you be like everyone else and only do smart, sensible things? laugh

#192519 - 11/13/15 09:33 PM Re: Talk about stupid! [Re: aimless]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6745
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#192529 - 11/15/15 07:28 PM Re: Talk about stupid! [Re: billstephenson]
billstephenson Offline

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
You guys are great!

I feel quite a bit better now after hearing from you.

OM, that story about the Grand Canyon is the best. All I can say is if it would've been me that pickup would have surely gone over the edge. And tractor and the farm pond story has happened to so many folks that it has to make you wonder what's up with that. I really did watch that truck turn left and head right for ours and thought "Of course".

Perry, I swear, this is why I won't drive expensive cars. I have worked on some of the fanciest of cars when I was younger, and I never could see putting so much time, or money, into them. I also restored a lot of them, and to me that was just proof that they all deteriorate no matter what. It really sucked to see all your hard work come back smashed up, or see it 7-8 years later looking like worn out junk. More than anything all I've really wanted was dependability and low maintenance. Some people think expensive cars don't break as much, but that's not always true. They all break.

aimless, those donkeys were still laughing at me when I went out there tonight. I'll tell you, I really hate doing stupid stuff. I'll be kicking myself over this forever. I took apart the rear break on my bike when I was about 8 years old thinking I'd fix it, then realizing I didn't know how to put it back together, and I still kick myself for not paying closer attention when I took it apart crazy

I have to say, after looking at it again tonight, from a distance, it didn't look quite as bad as it first did. I don't think it bent the frame, but I could be wrong. It's a slim chance, but if it doesn't take much I might fix it. It's a "Farm Truck", it don't have to be purty! laugh

"You want to go where?"

#192570 - 11/23/15 03:26 PM Re: Talk about stupid! [Re: billstephenson]
Zuuk Offline

Registered: 09/22/15
Posts: 70
Loc: NB, Canada
I've done some stupid things in the past, but nothing with a vehicle like this; although I have to take partial responsibility for one instance.

My father was borrowing my truck as his was broke down at the time, and it's winter just after a storm. He owned a lumber mill, where I worked at as well, and he was leaving early one day when he got stuck in the snow and couldn't get out of the driveway. So he got one of the men to come with the forklift to give the truck a push. Now, I have to take partial blame here because I said it probably wasn't a good idea and that we should tow the truck up the incline, but it was insisted that it only needed a little push. Everything was okay, the forklift had chains on the tires. So the guy eases up to the truck, and about a foot from it, the forklift starts to spin, so he gives it a little gas, and it lurches forward putting a nice big sharp dent into my rear bumper... but the truck got unstuck.

Later that winter, when my father had his truck going again, and learning from his mistake with my truck, he did the same thing again except he had a bundle of wood on the forklift so that the fork wouldn't be able to dent anything, since the bundle was wider than the fork length. Needless to say, he was above the bumper and bent his tailgate.


Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Compact Lightweight Gas Stove for a Budget Price
by walkingnatur
01/16/21 01:23 PM
Opinions on rain suit replacement or repair
by 4evrplan
01/15/21 10:16 AM
Advice on beginner friendly 3 person tent?
by Marieke
01/09/21 04:31 PM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Worst Sleep Ever
by Sponge
01/11/21 09:50 AM
Permanent'ish tents and condensation
by willie1280
01/07/21 08:52 AM
Happy Holidays
by balzaccom
12/25/20 10:35 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
Question about down in a quilt
by PaHiker
01/06/21 08:35 PM
Looking for material suggestion
by Gary_N9ZYE
12/16/20 06:46 PM
Featured Photos
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Just testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
1 registered (), 94 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Rosie, tom q vaxy, LostOdyssey, Marieke, Shoreland
12963 Registered Users
Forum Links
Site Links
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of,, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum