Really, I did. From a tree stand about twelve feed up from the ground, during my most recent hunt.
I suppose twelve feet isn’t a significant drop. All I know is that for a split second my heart stopped. Most likely, this was because I had a pair of Vortex Fury HD binoculars in my pack. That’s right I had a $1,500 piece of equipment in my pack.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to find when I climbed down. But after inspecting the gear in my pack, I found everything was intact.
Ok, I’ll admit it. That wasn’t much of a cliff hanger. But it does make me appreciate rugged gear. The pack had a few other things in there. The binoculars were definitely the most expensive. But the pack also had my hydration bladder, extra ammo, emergency supplies, batteries, my hunting knives…. basically all my must haves and should haves. All of them turned out to be just fine. And that does bring me to a point.
My point is that quality equipment is worth its weight in gold. Even though there is a saying that says “you get what you pay for”, I’m not saying everyone should spend a fortune on equipment. Although, I won’t hold it against you if you can and do. I’m just saying, don’t be afraid to abuse your gear (at least a little bit) while vetting it. Sooner or later, it’s going to be tested. If it doesn’t hold up to abuse during testing, then find something else and replace it. I prefer to deal with failures as I’m vetting equipment, rather than when I’m out in the field depending on it.