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What piece of gear do you lose most often?
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Craig Hensley
(jchens) - F

Locale: North GA
What piece of gear do you lose most often? on 08/16/2013 07:30:01 MDT Print View

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.

John West
(skyzo) - M

Locale: Borah Gear
Re: What piece of gear do you lose most often? on 08/16/2013 09:17:19 MDT Print View

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.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
sunglasses on 08/16/2013 09:22:01 MDT Print View

I've lost countless sunglasses over the years. Some misplaced, some dropped, some broken.

So it goes.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
tent stake and sierra club cups on 08/16/2013 10:54:12 MDT Print View

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.

Evan Chartier
What You Lose on 08/16/2013 19:36:32 MDT Print View

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!

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

I lose everything... on 08/16/2013 19:49:06 MDT Print View

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 :P

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
For you Max on 08/16/2013 19:52:25 MDT Print View

Edited by Kat_P on 08/16/2013 19:56:31 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

I'm definitely a loser! on 08/16/2013 21:40:52 MDT Print View

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.

Edited by mdilthey on 08/16/2013 21:46:48 MDT.

rowan !

Locale: SF Bay Area
Pocket Knives on 08/17/2013 13:52:47 MDT Print View

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.

. .
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
... on 08/18/2013 00:11:08 MDT Print View


Edited by RogerDodger on 07/07/2015 12:10:34 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Sanity on 08/18/2013 01:01:36 MDT Print View

Can Sanity be classed as gear :-)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: What piece of gear do you lose most often? on 08/20/2013 22:14:20 MDT Print View

The only thing I ever lost was my wedding ring.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: What piece of gear do you lose most often? on 08/20/2013 22:17:09 MDT Print View

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!

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
sunglasses on 08/20/2013 22:44:02 MDT Print View

re: Cheap sunglasses

The only kind I buy. $20 is the upper limit. $15 is preferred. $10 and I have a winner! :)

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
fishing gear on 08/21/2013 16:26:34 MDT Print View

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. :(

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
What piece of gear do you lose most often? on 08/21/2013 17:09:54 MDT Print View

Lost a hundred sun and reading glasses and a hundred stakes.

By far the most items I loose on the trail.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Lost on 08/21/2013 17:27:10 MDT Print View

Another "loser" here.
Pocket knife.

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.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: What piece of gear do you lose most often? on 08/21/2013 17:28:32 MDT Print View


Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Lost on 08/21/2013 18:22:56 MDT Print View

Another "loser" here.
Pocket knife.

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.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
knives! on 08/21/2013 18:26:19 MDT Print View

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....