Sunday, December 18, 2011

Is It All Worth It

If you consider yourself an outdoorsman or woman then you more than likely spend quite a bit of money on your outdoors activities.Whether it's hiking and camping or hunting and fishing it all costs money.Even if you are a Dupont on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with 1000 acres of everything outdoors,property taxes must still be paid.Is there a way to get around spending so much money just to find that bit of happiness that the outdoors brings us?The answer to that question after many hours of contemplating is no.However I believe there is a way to bring it down a notch.I will my life in the outdoors over the last ten years as an extreme example.



As a small child my father and I shared many sunrises on the local reservoir fishing for something.That's right,we fished for anything that would bite and we had fun.So much fun that 25 years later I still look back and want those simple times back.Hunting was seldom talked about in our household and never actually done.Many road trips were taken to beaches,mountains and lakes up and down the East Coast.By no means was I a sheltered child when it came to the outdoors.Fishing consisted of a cheap zebco rod and reel,yes that is what my dad fished with,a hook,bobber and a worm found in the yard.If it was an "expensive" day we may have payed the three dollars to rent a boat.Whenever at the beach or the mountains on vacation we were allowed free roam within ear shot.If your mother was like mine that was about 2.7 miles,love you mom.We could climb,run,roll around in the mud,ride our bikes,dig a hole as long as we heard the cry that dinner was ready.Through my teenage years I turned my head to the outdoors as I had other ideas of what fun was supposed to be.In my early twenties I found myself in a strange urban environment that had very few outdoors activities.I did find myself picking up a fishing rod and went right back to the only way I knew how to fish,bobber and worm.As a child it seemed natural,laid back,easy even.As an adult,standing on a crowded pier at the local city park it seemed odd that only I had a bobber.Everyone else was using.....ARTIFICIAL!This was the start of what has become my personal outdoors obsession.





I quickly versed myself and spent every last penny on new gear.I became good enough over the next few years that I bought a boat and almost became bored with bass fishing.Yes I actually went and targeted one species of fish.I was then introduced to the joys and frustrations of waterfowling.Over the last few years I have erected blinds and spent literally thousands of dollars to help tip the scales in my favor.I have an ever growing outdoors bucket list trip that includes salmon fishing in Alaska and dove hunting in Argentina,hey everybody has to have dreams.So where did it all go wrong,is it all wrong and is it all worth it?





The simple answer is yes,the more complicated answer follows in the next few sentences.Where did it all go wrong?I blame the Bass Pro Shops and the Cabela's for making me buy all the crap I love and hold so dear to my heart.Watch a hunting show and you have fallen into the trap.The merchandising is so clever I almost always end up saying,I need that!Is it all Wrong?No I don't think so.What's wrong with continually challenging yourself to get better at something you love?Seriously how could that be wrong?Is it all worth it?Sit back and ask yourself what else in your little world brings you piece of mind other than the outdoors?I don't have anything else that keeps me so grounded.It helps me enjoy the natural world for what it is and what it once was.So if that means I spend an extra few dollars on a licence to fish in another state or a few extra dollars on some braided fishing line to help me land that lunker than so be it.Just remember that at one time you either didn't have the money or weren't spending it on outdoors activities and you were just as,if not more,happy than you are now.It could be the added responsibilities of being an adult that make it more difficult to capture that feeling of serenity.Whatever it is,I will continue to drive towards it and spend my hard earned money on it.If I should find myself without money to spend then I will simply pick up that old Zebco and think about those sunrises on the reservoir with my father.




this post has no pictures because I'm trying to invoke thought so please don't hurt yourself

8 comments:

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

I was thinking maybe a photo of you tebowing, like tugboating...

I understand your reasoning here, I like many of my buddies am truly gear happy to the point that my wife can not buy me anything. You got me thinking how I got to this point and most of the time, I'd participate in an activity then demand myself to get good at it.

So now I am reading about predator hunting like a madman, purchased gear with research, and network beyond belief. The other aspect is that I continually upgrade, apparently my current Lund isn't big enough so I'm looking for a bigger one.

It is just what I like doing and I figure if I can afford it then have at, I don't have the best of the best but do have what works for me until the demand will find what I will need down the road.

Good write up, you throw a good angle.

DEDH

P.S. you getting ready for NBA Jimmertime???

tugboatdude said...

Thanks for reading and yes I agree with the if i can afford it then why not.I guess I was going for a don't forget its possible to do it without all the gear and still have fun.ohhhhh JIMMAH!heard his name the other day and just started laughing

The Reverend Fowl ™ said...

Newer outdoor gear & equipment is usually safer than older items.
Polypropylene, polyester, nylon, Thinsulate, keep people dryer and warmer.
Pawnshops and used gun dealers seem unaware that most of the shotguns they sell are obsolete and unsafe for waterfowl and other, newer types of ammunition.
I now only use waterproof, ruggedized phones that are tethered to my clothing.
I use older equipment, some from the 1920’s, as props for Sportsman’s Forums for the elderly at retirement communities, where we pass a microphone around so residents can tell a hunting, fishing or outdoor story.

River Mud said...

We've talked about this before. I think for a lot of us, the internet has been a big help and a big hurt. One reason is the availability of gear online. With few exceptions, we think about the outdoors more often than we can be in the outdoors. That leads to cruising around online, which leads to buying gear online. Something about buying the gear is cathartic - almost like making a pact with yourself that "YES I WILL USE THIS." Of course, that isn't always the case, and even more often, you use a piece of fancy gear three times (or one season), and then it rusts and you throw it away when you find it in the boat 6 months later.

I think in "hot spots" for outdoor sports, where there is ample game and very little human pressure, it is still very doable to be "outdoors, simply." But when you're fishing or hunting a hole where 40 other people have been in the last week, you tend to naturally want some kind of advantage...

tugboatdude said...

You all make very valid points and it has made me continue to think on the subject,thanks for the comments

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

Jimmer goes off

tugboatdude said...

How long before the DEDH gets a JIMMAH tat?

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

Too funny, when he joins the Celtics...