Late last week, I bought myself the nifty lightweight folding bow saw that I have had my eye on for a few years. It’s a wonderful item made specifically for backpacking, canoe camping, duck blind building or should you ever have need to threaten a tree.
Despite its obvious versatility, a purchase like this is gut-wrenching for an outdoorsman.
On one hand, it is a truly neat piece of kit that will prove useful when you find yourself in need of a good saw at a campsite. With it, you can buck up a log or two for the campfire (because campsite chores don’t feel like work). It might also come in handy to make some camp furniture or clear a tree that is blocking a portage trail to a backwoods brook trout lake. That’s the upside.
On the other hand, it is also a tool. And tools are a four-letter word that, too often, remind your partner that there are plenty of unfinished projects around the house.
As if that’s not bad enough, a purchase like this might even prompt your partner to say, “Why did you need to buy that thing anyhow? You’ll only use it a few times a year at most.”
That is one of those logical questions that most outdoorsman would rather avoid hearing. For, if you fail to answer it correctly, your partner is going to eventually ask the same thing about why you bought that fourth fly rod. And, trust me, no good can ever come of that.
In fact, it can put you in a very precarious situation.
Luckily, there is a reasonable approach to preventing this unfortunate sequence of events. All you need to do is to disrupt the normal routine of your household for a couple of months by using the new folding saw for any imaginable task it might be suited for, or until you have proved your point – whichever comes first.
For instance, since I have purchased my new camp saw, I have insisted on buying unsliced bread and lunch meats, so she is reminded of how useful it is with every sandwich. I also unfold it and rush into the room every time I hear sentences like, “I think it’s time we clipped the dog’s nails,” “Can you carve the turkey?” or “What we really need in this room is a smaller end table?”
By the way, the latter sentence is also a great time to introduce the idea of buying that neat little camp hatchet so that you can do the job just right.
Do this for a couple of months and soon the problematic question of why you needed that camp saw will never be asked again. In fact, for a week or two, you might not hear anything mentioned at all.
You’ll know this uncomfortable battle is finally over when, one day you will reach for it after hearing that she needs a tomato slice, only to find it is not where you left it. Instead, a brief search will reveal that your partner moved it to the basement where it is safely tucked away with all your other camping gear as well as that old end table and the new hatchet.
With any luck at all, you’ll notice that as you are putting away your fifth fly rod.