ROOM FOR A PONY

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What to do with your used camping equipment

December 17th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Excess of Possessions, Selling your stuff

I just got rid of my camp stove from the 70s. At the time, it was THE camp stove — the lightest and most compact one available. A Svea, made in Sweden.

This is an example of something you can’t just toss into the Goodwill bin. Most people wouldn’t know how to use it. Plus I’d be afraid that someone would blow themselves up in the attempt — or at least burn all their hair off. Darn thing was tricky to use. Self-immolation waiting to happen.

There’s a place here in Portland called Next Adventure, where they sell new and used camping equipment.

The guy in the basement where they buy the used stuff was entranced with it. He knew his camping equipment history, knew the stove and how to work it. In fact he was so excited about it that I started having second thoughts about parting with it. I wavered. But then I got ahold of myself. Wasn’t this what I wanted? To find someone who’d love it?

This is my whole problem with letting go of anything — I have to find a loving home for it first. And now I have. So shut up, Kate, I told myself sternly. Don’t you dare go back home with that thing!

And I didn’t.

He said, Well we don’t actually buy this type of thing for resale but we have a sort of little museum we’d like to display it in.

So there you go …. a part of my life has been deemed worthy of a museum. I got $35 store credit for my two stoves — that and another one I had — a weird, more contemporary type which someone had given me but that I’d never used.

No regrets. Yes, there was that moment of intense nostalgia, but I was over it by the time I got home. That was then, this is now; and now, I am not about to load up a bike with 800 pounds of extra-light camping gear and go for a ride. If I go for a bike ride that long, someone will be meeting me at a hotel with my luggage and a hot meal. Hooray for western civilization!

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Linda

    Any regrets?

    • Kate Gawf

      Well, since you asked…. I know I just said “no regrets” at the front of that last paragraph, but…. that was then, this is now. The truth is I’ve been regretting it all day. What am I, nuts? Why get rid of the nice compact, handy-dandy stuff? And just because I’m not planning to go bike camping any more, which is what I used it for, what about car camping? I was planning to do more of that. I think I may have made a big mistake. I might go try to take it back….

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