Ed­i­tor’s Jour­nal

Give your old gear new life while help­ing as­pir­ing hunters and an­glers

Outdoor Life - - CONTENTS - An­thony Li­cata Edi­to­rial Di­rec­tor Instagram: @tonyli­cata15

Lately a cot­tage in­dus­try has sprung up around the idea that hap­pi­ness comes from purg­ing ob­jects from our lives. “Clut­ter con­sul­tants” and other gu­rus urge us to turn our homes into spare spa­ces that look like some­thing from a de­sign cat­a­log, not a place where ac­tual peo­ple live. This is a hard sell for a guy like me. The man­tel over my wood­stove is cov­ered in feath­ers and antlers, draw­ings from friends, bat­tered flies—stuff that may look like clut­ter to some but means some­thing to me. Then there is the gear I’ve gath­ered over the years to sup­port my love of hunt­ing, fish­ing, and camp­ing. It’s all stuff that I use, or at least thought I’d use. But this is one area where I think the idea of sim­plic­ity has real merit. Here’s my so­lu­tion to gear over­load. First, I’ve got­ten rid of the marginally use­ful stuff that ei­ther got in the way or was barely used. Sec­ond, in­stead of hav­ing sev­eral items that per­form the same job, I got just one that’s of the best qual­ity I can af­ford. For ex­am­ple, I re­cently sold, traded, or gave away a drawer full of per­fectly okay knives and traded up for just a cou­ple of truly fine ones, in­clud­ing the Sch­midt Knives & Forge (406-862-6471) hunt­ing knife shown above. They’re all work­ing knives, meant to be used, but they are built by crafts­men or com­pa­nies that make prod­ucts that last a life­time. Hunters have a long, and fun, tra­di­tion of sell­ing gear in or­der to buy some­thing else that has caught their eye. It’s cer­tainly an eco­nom­i­cal way to pay for bet­ter stuff. But I’ve found an­other re­ward­ing way to part with ex­tra raingear, rods I don’t use often, lures I have du­pli­cates of, ne­glected mem­bers of my arse­nal of box calls: Pass it on to a kid. Give it to a new hunter who is in­tim­i­dated by the high cost of get­ting into these sports. Do­nate it to a lo­cal Scout Troop. We’re lucky that so many com­pa­nies are mak­ing such ter­rific stuff. (Check out our ex­haus­tive test of new guns and bows on p. 99.) By all means, go out and buy what you need and en­joy it. But lib­er­ate the stuff that is mostly sit­ting un­used on your shelves. Get it out where it be­longs: in the field and in the hands of some­one else who is fall­ing in love with the out­doors.

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