View for the Pit – Chapter 1 – Gear

Posted By on Jun 2, 2016 |

As an entertainer (of sorts), I really enjoy interfacing with guests / hosts / partygoers. The conversations vary, but they are all based on certain themes: Meat, Smoke, Fire, and Gear. These happen to be my four favorite topics … no wonder I enjoy the discussions.

Obviously, some of these conversations are funny, some are informative, and some are very silly (depending on beer consumption). Over time, I plan to share some of these stories as well as provide my opinion on certain topics.

A famous man once uttered the sweet words, “It ain’t hoarding, if all your gear is cool!” I could not agree more. As a documented gear junkie, I am asked my opinion on many expensive toys … fly rods, Big Green Eggs, cowboy boots, coolers, etc. In general, I am a believer in Quality over Quantity. I would rather have less equipment that is easier to use, clean, and maintain. Obviously, the faster I can set up … the faster I can serve … the faster I can clean up … the faster I can get to the next event! No need for complexity when simplicity will do.

Eventually, all gear conversations lead to personal opinions and recommendations. During an extended all-day tailgate party at a southern college campus, an inebriated trio inquired about my taste and experience in coolers. (Personally, I wish I had created the premium cooler market. The market seems to have an inelastic demand with extremely high profit margin … two big wins! … but I digress) After the drunken trio explained the details of their personal cooler fleets based upon size, type, and cost, I explained my specific cooler needs to them:

  1. I do not cook in bear country. A bear resistant cooler is of no benefit to me. If I did cook in bear country, I would spend my money hiring Tom Hardy’s character from The Revenant to protect me from the bears;
  2. I do not need to keep ice for five days;
  3. I prefer my cooler contents to have more value than my cooler;
  4. I prefer the option of abandoning my cooler (and contents) in case the “going gets tough…and the tough need to get going.”

My new friends really could not argue. One even told a story about leaving a Yeti 45 behind in a field when the police arrived to break up the party. Wow, that must hurt!

For the record, I prefer 100 quart and 54 quart Igloo marine coolers. The new 54 quart has even been redesigned for a more stable base. As a flycaster, I love the ability to stand on a cooler to provide a better shot at fish.