Aug 16, 2013 at 6:30 am #1306597
@jchensLocale: North GA
What piece of gear do you most often misplace or lose track of? What do you do to avoid leaving small (but crucial) items at a campsite?
For me, I've gone through more spoons and sporks than I can count. After losing 2 or 3 of the titanium variety, I came back to earth and use plastic-ware for my backpacking utensils every time.Aug 16, 2013 at 8:17 am #2015792
@skyzoLocale: Borah Gear
Same for me, utensils. After losing a few titanium ones, I now just use taco bell sporks :)
Other than that I usually don't lose anything. I did however lose a stuff sack a few trips ago. I was up in Alberta, and the winds were gusting at like 40/50mph. I took shelter in a cove of trees, but in trying to get my quilt out, the cuben stuff sack flew out of my hands and got caught in the wind. That thing was out of sight in like 2 seconds.Aug 16, 2013 at 8:22 am #2015794
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
I've lost countless sunglasses over the years. Some misplaced, some dropped, some broken.
So it goes.Aug 16, 2013 at 9:54 am #2015824
robert van puttenMember
@bawanaLocale: Planet Bob
With me it's tent stakes and sierra club cups.
Not that I go loosing these items all the time, but of over the decades these two items top my list.
For twenty years I packed a 6-1/2 pound Timberline 2 tent, which comes with 8 steel shepherd hook stakes. Now and then I'd leave one sunk in the earth somewhere, and when pitching camp at an established site or cleaning up in the morning, I'd often find an extra steel or aluminum shepherd hook that someone else left behind!
When I finally retired that tent it had nine stakes of all different types, some steel, some aluminum, and one of those twisted steel skewers!
So, I guess over the years I came out ahead of the game…
Now I've also carried a steel Sierra Club cup clipped to my backpack belt for decades.
I found it very handy for drinking from every stream, brook, seep, creek, runnel, rivulet and mud hole I came across. I bought my cup Sierra Club cup back in the early 1980s, or maybe it was in the late 1970's?
Eleven years ago while canoeing the Bowron Lakes up in Canada I leaned over the side of the canoe with it to scoop up a drink and dropped the cup! My wife and I spent twenty minutes retrieving that cup!
We were upstream of a lake on a small tributary at the time. We spun the canoe about and my wife in the bow seat reversed position facing the stern so she could solo paddle like heck and try to keep the canoe in position over the cup on the fast flowing stream. I knelt forward and dug through our huge Duluth packsack for our Timberline tent, pulled out the longest aluminum pole, one of the steel shepherd hook stakes and some duct tape. I fastened the stake to the pole, leaned over the side and went fishing for the cup. The water was ice cold and the cup was visible on the bottom about five feet down.
More than once my wife suggested we just give up, but I was determined! I'd had that cup for a very long time and was not going to leave it. Besides, it was the start of a two week trip and I didn't fancy not having a cup to drink my tea from! I was starting to get desperate and was contemplating simply diving in and swimming for it when I hooked the cup and retrieved it!
Sadly, I lost that cup again in 2011 on the Long Canyon Loop in Idaho. The snow pack was unusually heavy that year ( about 150% ) and we were doing the loop to durn early in the year. All the stream crossings were a raging torrent and looking back on that trip we should have simply given up. But, I'm nothing if not a thick headed Dutchman, so we pressed on. During one stream crossing my faithful old Sierra club cup was washed away.
I spent some time searching for it hoping it had lodged somewhere on the streambed, but never found it.
So, if anybody finds a Sierra Club cup on the Long Canyon Loop, let me know!
Interestingly, as a result of the influence of y'all lightweight nut jobs, I switched to a lighter plastic cup carried inside my backpack for a spell. But, just this year I've reverted to the heavy old steel Sierra Club cup clipped to my belt. Old habits die hard, it seems.Aug 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm #2015945
I am happy to say that I dont lose much on trips. I cant name a single thing off the top of my mind that I have lost on a trip. However I have spent the last 24 hours rigging up various tarps for Colgate's Outdoor Education program with bus netting for a week long preorientation trip that begins tomorrow, and I have found what I believe is the best way to connect the netting to the tarp: pennies. I will have to take pictures and write about it at a later date, but I have lost almost half a dozen pennies already in the grass. So not the best solution for a trip…might have to stick with small rocks!Aug 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm #2015954
Last bike tour, I lost three straps for my hammock. I leave them on the trees after I undo the knots and pack the hammock…
It was so annoying, I changed my hammock setup. With a bright red carabiner on each strap, they're easier to remember.
On the same tour, I also lost sunglasses and a bike helmet. Then I left my phone plugged into a wall outlet outside a Hannaford's. That was on the second to last day, so I drove back and got it (yea, it was still there!).
So, I lose a lot. It's pretty bad. I'm working on it :PAug 16, 2013 at 6:52 pm #2015956Aug 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm #2015988
When I was 15, I sat by the radio in my room listening to an alternative rock station in New York, 92.3 almost every night (the same one Howard Stern was on, but I was in school during the mornings).
This is one of hundreds of 90's and 00's songs that I can go years without hearing, but I still know every single word…
Thanks for the nostalgia!
Also, for those wondering how I lost three hammock straps….
At the beginning of the tour, my two friends and I went through our gear lists cutting aggressively to save weight. At the end, Jimmy had the most stuff, followed by Max and then Me (two Max's).
I was riding Jimmy the whole first week about how much he was carrying. He had bike cleats, crocs, running shoes, and hiking shoes with him. He had an electric toothbrush. He had so much paracord.
Cut to 8 days in, and I lose a hammock strap. All 3 of us were using Hennessy Hammocks, and Jimmy was carrying an extra strap. Why? Who knows! But when I lost the other two over the next three weeks and had to spend the last 3 days hammocking using the bungee cords that held the drybag on my rack, I wasn't laughing at Jimmy anymore- Jimmy was laughing at me.
Also, I couldn't carry odd-shaped objects like cans of beans. I'm still hearing about that one.Aug 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm #2016141
@romonsterLocale: SF Bay Area
I don't ordinarily lose stuff on trips, but I seem to be really good at losing pocket knives when I'm home. After the third Leatherman Style vanished, I got the slightly larger and heavier version with the mini-biner clip so I can attach it to my belt loop or my keys. So far I haven't lost that one.Aug 17, 2013 at 11:11 pm #2016251
…Aug 18, 2013 at 12:01 am #2016263
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Can Sanity be classed as gear :-)Aug 20, 2013 at 9:14 pm #2017132
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
The only thing I ever lost was my wedding ring.Aug 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm #2017133
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
Tent stakes. I lost a water bottle down a cliff last weekend…..
Keeping track of stuff at home is the challenge. Too much stuff in too many places!Aug 20, 2013 at 9:44 pm #2017151
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
re: Cheap sunglasses
The only kind I buy. $20 is the upper limit. $15 is preferred. $10 and I have a winner! :)Aug 21, 2013 at 3:26 pm #2017387
@bzhayesLocale: So. California
I am apparently a pretty bad at tying knots. I can't tell you how many times I have cast my rod only to see the lure fly out into the lake without the line attached. :(Aug 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm #2017403
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
Lost a hundred sun and reading glasses and a hundred stakes.
By far the most items I loose on the trail.Aug 21, 2013 at 4:27 pm #2017407
Another "loser" here.
When I was little I would leave on a rainy morning for school with an umbrella and twice came home with the umbrella handle missing, from swinging it around and throwing it. More often I came home without.Aug 21, 2013 at 4:28 pm #2017409
@justin_bakerLocale: Santa Rosa, CA
Socks.Aug 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm #2017425
Another "loser" here.
Good thing about low use areas. I once left my hat and a pair of two way radios behind. Two weeks later they were right where I left them.Aug 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm #2017426
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I can't seem to hang on to a pocket knife very long.
But then there was the time I left my Steripen Adventurer lying at a spring….Aug 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm #2017435
I was losing gloves or dropping them and then having to walk back to find them.
But now I have them on a string and threaded through my jacket like a kindergartner.
I also went cheap and bought replacements at the army surplus store.Aug 21, 2013 at 6:20 pm #2017441
@dondoLocale: Colorado Rockies
Ti spoons. One year I left one stuck in a log in the Lost Creek Wilderness. A year
later I did the same trip over again and found it still stuck in the log. But that was an exception. Mostly they just stay lost. So now I just use a big plastic spoon that for some reason never gets lost.Aug 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm #2017449
Latest trip: one of my sun gloves, and the Montbell Handy Scoop, both on the last day of a week-long trip. I knew I should have painted that thing bright pink or something.Aug 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm #2017458
@pharoahLocale: New England
I seem to lose exactly one tent stake on every trip. I have also lost some knives that I was very attached to. I think there is some karma involved though, because I've found a couple great knives on the trail.Aug 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm #2017460
@pitsyLocale: Central Texas
I'd have to say sunglasses. I'll put them on top of my hat, and next thing I know they're gone. But like ZZ-Top says, "Go get yourself some cheap sunglasses."
But my best lost gear story is one I posted in a previous thread:
Whilst hitch-hiking from San Diego to NYC, I crawled under the railyard fence in Yuma and hopped a box to Tucson. Well, the railyard in Tucson is not that close to I-10, so I scurried over to the Aviation Bikeway (Tucson is so bike-friendly, great town) to hike my ass into a better part of town. I stopped somewhere on the bikeway to discard a flannel shirt I had destroyed sleeping in a filthy boxcar. I was doing laundry at the Greyhound terminal on Broadway when I remembered that I had put my Navy dog-tags in the front pocket of my flannel for safe-keeping. Thus began one of the strangest legs of my journey.
I know it doesn't qualify for most-often because I only lost my dog tags once, but I like the story.
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