Saturday, 3 September 2011

What's your most useless item of gear?

My most useless item of gear is my Sea to Summit Head Net.
I bought it from a shooting and fishing shop, I think it was in Blairgowrie; it cost less than a fiver, weighed 28g and seemed just the job for wild camping.
The guy said he’d sold loads of them to his regular customers who swore by them.
Well I’ve been swearing at it!

The first time I used it, I was suspicious that the odd midge was getting through the mesh, but I wasn’t really quite sure. Recently I camped at Derry Lodge where the midges were probably the worst I’ve ever experienced them, so on when the Sea to Summit Head Net. Now I’m really sure, it was useless; dozens of midges flew straight through it!!!!!

At first I thought they were getting in via the neck opening, but even after re-tightening the draw cord, tucking the net inside my windproof and putting the hood up, they still kept getting through the mesh in front of my face.

They drove me to distraction, and by the time I’d packed up the tent and started walking I was bitten dozens of times. Despite the fact I’d taken the precaution of packing everything except my tent, before I emerged into the mayhem outside.

So, my most is my most useless item of gear is my Sea to Summit Head Net, what’s yours?


  1. A relative bought us a wind up LED lantern a couple of years ago. Total junk, you'd spend about 2 minutes winding it for about 10 seconds of murky light. Total garbage. I didn't tell them that of course... ;)

  2. This is a novel take on gear reviews! Um - I can think of a few contenders. We have LED wind-up lanterns, and yes they are pretty high on the list. I have a regatta coat (I know, serves me right) which leaks like a sieve. Hi-tech ion-mask boots ditto. A berghaus rucksack in which most of the zips have given up the ghost after not all that much use. Probably the coat is least fit for purpose, but it did only cost me £20.(I know, serves me right - it was never going to be waterproof was it?)

  3. candle lantern. Oh I know no wild camper should be without one (if you believe some bloggers) well I got one about three years ago. It's Pants. Apart from being relatively heavy, it gives out virtually no usable light, and fills your tent full of condensation....

  4. Solar charger. I live in Scotland, what possessed me to buy it???

  5. mcalisterium and beatingthebounds

    My Mother in Law had a wind up torch, that was pretty useless as well!


    I’ve read those bloggs as well, but couldn’t understand why, as we all have lovely light LED head torches with batteries that last for ever.

    Although I must admit I did consider a candle lantern in the early days, but resisted the temptation because I’m sure at some stage I would have set my sleeping bag on fire.

  7. Hi Julie
    There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic.