View Full Version : Ever feel obligated to carry a gift?

07-06-2010, 14:09
My brother, the wonderful guy that he is, has an entirely different mindset when it comes to the outdoors than I do. He's constantly digging through these boxes of gear he's collected over the years and giving me stuff that I absolutely MUST have while on the trail. I don't think I'll ever use a pocket chainsaw, but now I own one.

My latest gift acquisition is a Glock folding shovel.

This thing weighs close to 2 pounds, which for an entrenching tool is pretty light, but still. What the heck do I need that much shovel for? Now I have to carry the thing for a few trips at least, because I know he's gonna want to see it all dirty and scuffed from use and to hear how great it works.

Anyone else have some gear they've begrudgingly had to strap to their backs for the sake of a loved one's feelings?

Wise Old Owl
07-06-2010, 15:42
No and there's EBAY and a good place to sell right here.

07-06-2010, 16:34
The short answer: no.

07-06-2010, 16:39
I use items like this for car camping. I keep a folding shovel I got as a gift several years ago in the gear box in my truck and it has actually helped out quite a bit on a few occasions.

Rocket Jones
07-06-2010, 18:20
Camping, yes. Backpacking, no.

07-06-2010, 18:29
I use items like this for car camping. I keep a folding shovel I got as a gift several years ago in the gear box in my truck and it has actually helped out quite a bit on a few occasions.

Do you have a hand crank flashlight in there?

Glow sticks?

07-06-2010, 18:50
I received a bear bell from concerned friends. I like it, I cherish it, but I don't carry it.

Appalachian Tater
07-06-2010, 19:31
No, you would be a fool to carry that unless you are planning on digging a new latrine or burying someone.

Make a wish list on Amazon and give your brother a link to it.

Cabin Fever
07-06-2010, 21:34
I have an awesome Bear Grylls-esque commando knife that my dad bought from somewhere. I have taken it a couple of times, but it is too big and heavy.

I have stopped him twice from buying me a Spot.

07-07-2010, 00:05
That shovel was so heavy I could not even open the picture of it. I agree with above. Use it for car camping and take pictures of it. Tell him truthfully, how much you appreciate his gift and how wonderful it is for your car camping group. Then, at some point, show him your light weight gear and explain how you wiegh your gear on the postal meter at work because it is hard to carry weight and why and I bet he gets the picture and shops lighter wieght stuff for gifts for backpacking. If not, you have great car camping stuff. I am betting your brother is just trying to be nice and helpful and does not understand his gifts are heavy and surplus tonnage.

07-07-2010, 06:28
I love my wife! She encourages my interest in backpacking, but her fear of the outdoors combined with a lack of knowledge when it comes to the kinds of gear I need or use, has resulted in some "interesting" purchases. The one that sticks out in my mind is a camp stove. Not a Jetboil or Whisperlite... she got me a Coleman Fold-and-Go two-burner stove that uses a 16.4 oz propane bottle. It weighs about ten pounds! It's a nice stove that is perfectly suited for car camping, which would be fine except that I already had two others for that! I smiled, thanked her, and put it in the garage until some of our friends were going camping and needed a stove. "Hey, I've got just what you need..." They love it.

Mrs Baggins
07-07-2010, 06:47
The Christmas before we started our (never completed) thru-hike, our friends and family tried so hard to give us gifts for the hike. We got a very heavy folding knife (don't remember the brand, it was a good one but it was like 5" long and far too heavy); an MP3 loaded with books (I cannot listen to audio books - ever - and I already had an MP3 loaded with favorite music). The sweetest gift, and the heaviest by far, came from our daughter's then-boyfriend. I had mentioned thinking about doing some sketching along the way (I MEANT in my little spiral journal) and he gave me a big thick spiral sketchbook, a packet of very good artist's pencils, and a packet of high quality artists erasers. I knew instantly there was no way I could take that. I did try a compromise - tore some of the sketch pad pages out and folded them around one of the pencils and one of the erasers, and then never used them. I always felt very badly about that. We tossed the knife into the car camping box and I never did listen to the books on the MP3.

07-07-2010, 08:24
Just going along with the consensus here--no need to carry a well-intentioned gift. In fact, I sort of cringe when a friend smiles and says, "Here's something for your hike."

Except the time when my friend was getting into the spirit of lightening my load, and he gave me a picture of a real nice GPS. He was so thoughtful, he also included a picture of some extra batteries for it.

07-07-2010, 09:56
Folding shovels are good for the car trunk.

Sierra Echo
07-07-2010, 09:58
Only if that person is going on the trip with you!

07-07-2010, 13:50
I've gotten gifts for hiking from family, my worst being a very bulky 6lb swiss gear 0deg bag (kept for 2 years then donated to a homeless shelter). That shovel could be useful for car camping, especially if you do dutch oven cooking (scooping hot coals onto the lid).

07-07-2010, 14:37
I was given a little plastic bird that when a button was pressed on its back, its mouth would open and a light would shine. I actually carried it. It wasn't heavy. It reminded me of my pet parrot back home. I think I used it once.