Mason County News
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Bright Ideas
Outdoors Outpost
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 • Posted January 11, 2012

There is a limit. Camouflage is a valuable item, and normally I have nothing against it, but there is a limit. I had assumed that limit had been reached a few years ago, when I wrote about a camouflage colored chest freezer for sale at Wal-Mart. I was wrong.When I was a kid, the camo industry was in its infancy, in relative terms. Most people I knew wore the same clothes when they went hunting as they wore for just about everything else. Normally, I hunted after school every day during the deer season, and I didn’t change clothes. I just grabbed a gun when I got home and went out the back door of the house. The deer never seemed to mind.Anyone who was concerned enough to worry about wearing camo had two choices – army surplus or army surplus. They went to someone like my cousin, who owns Cole’s Army Store in San Angelo, and bought green woodland camo pants and blouses, and wore those hunting. I would have done the same thing, if I’d had any disposable income at the time, but I was doing good to afford ammo. So I kept wearing blue jeans and T-shirts and whatever old coat I owned. The deer still didn’t care.That started to change when I was about 25 years old. Not that the deer took any interest, but other options in camo became available. Trebark camo came out, and it was a big hit, and the light bulb came on. In a few short years there were several other camo styles available, and it got so there were so many camo choices it was hard to decide whether you wanted the kind that tasted great or the kind that was less filling.There was Realtree, and Mossy Oak, and Advantage, and each had different shades and hues and colors. After that the dam broke, and now there are more different camo styles than there are Wall Street Protestors. Luckily they smell a lot better, even when you’ve worn them hunting.While I am a strong believer in free enterprise, and I understand that competition is a good thing for everyone, I think we’ve gone overboard with the whole camo thing. When camo wallets came out I thought we’d hit rock bottom, but that turned out to be just the beginning. We still had to drop through camo underwear, camo vehicles, and camo bandages. And when I saw the camo freezer I was sure we were done.Not so much. My wife and I were at Bass Pro Shops in San Antonio recently, and I saw something I never thought I’d see – camo gum. And I’m thinking it can’t get any worse than this, but since I’ve thought that before, it’s entirely possible there is still more to come. I can’t imagine what that would be, but it would seem that lust for the American dollar knows no bounds, and disdain for common sense knows no shame.My point here is that not all ideas are good, when it comes to outdoor products, and even good ideas should have their limits. The one exception I make to that rule is in the area of lighting. As far as I’m concerned an outdoorsman can never have too many lights. My kids make fun of me and my lights, but every time we go camping the shoe is on the other foot. And it usually has a camo sock under it.The main area of attack for my boys is my weakness for cap lights. Just having a small light to use for identifying the contents of coolers, looking for dropped knives, and making sure there are no snakes on a path at night is essential, but having that light while keeping both hands free is a big plus. Especially when you’re trying to get a lantern going, or light a campfire. So I love lights that clip onto a cap brim.One area, though, where cap lights don’t get the job done is while field dressing a deer after dark. This is necessary often for me, since I’m not a morning person, and deer often don’t cooperate until last light. When a deer has to be found and cleaned after dark, a normal cap light only illuminates so much.The folks at Real Avid have come up with a solution for that problem. They’ve just introduced the Revelation hunting knife, which will go down in history as the equal of the flush toilet. This knife has two little LED lights mounted in its grip, one on each side of the blade. Even when reaching inside a deer, to trim membranes and such, the light goes with the knife. It’s like, I don’t know, having a light right on your knife, or something.So not all new outdoor ideas are necessarily good ones, but the Revelation knife is the best new idea I’ve seen in many years. You need this knife. And you need to keep it out of reach of your children, or they’ll make fun of you.The best part is that the grip of the Revelation knife is black, instead of camo, so there may be a light (no pun intended) at the end of the tunnel. We can only hope someone doesn’t come out with camo suppositories . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never has enough batteries. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or

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