The Strange Items We Carry In Our Pockets

Over the years I’ve witnessed some odd items to be found in the pockets of sportsmen carried for peculiar purposes. Some have practical value, others have mere sentimental value, and others…well, let’s just say they have a yet-to-be-determined value, perhaps known only to the person carrying it.

A good example was a cousin of mine who always carried with him a big old flat washer. You would find that washer in his pocket whether he had his church pants on…or even his hunting duds. As you can image, the edges were worn smooth and the only reason he would ever give me was it happened to be a good luck charm. In reality, it was a part from his first car that jogged pleasant memories of his youth.

Another hunting buddy of mine always carries a handkerchief with him. Now, you might say that’s not so odd…but let me tell you…his intended use is a bit unorthodox. We all know handkerchiefs are intended to wipe runny noses and not…you know…another bodily orifice that sometimes runs.

I knew another guy once who always carried with him outdoors a pocket full of small rocks. His theory was that he could sometimes mess with an animal’s mind by tossing a rock to make a distractive noise away from his location. While he primarily used this trick during his deer hunts, I know he would use it to strategically spook pheasants, squirrels or rabbits into sometimes giving up their hiding locations.

I once hunted with a guy who routinely also carried two fifty cent pieces in his pocket. Now, here again this is not so odd…except for the fact you don’t commonly see coins of that denomination these days. His purpose was simple…he would hold the coins in such a manner that when he struck the edges together it sounded just like a squirrel chattering. A skill, mind you, found to be most useful around the campfire or at parties.

More of my friends seem to be carrying those plastic zip ties these days. At first glance they might seem to be a rather odd addition to the pocket, but they have dozens of potential uses outdoors. In states that require site tagging of animals they can be handy to affix the tag onto the animal. But consider this…carry ones that are heavy duty enough and they work great to fashion some impromptu shooting sticks, among many other potential uses.


My Bausch & Lomb 10X magnifying loupe.

I know some upland bird hunters who carry super glue in their pockets. Of course, the uses are rather obvious if you have equipment breakage that can be repaired in such a manner, but that is not the main intent. Super glue also works great for sealing up small cuts in dogs and people. My only caution would be to make sure the wound is clean (no foreign debris still inside) and nothing gaping (instead requiring direct pressure to occlude the bleeding).

Okay, so I know the list of what people carry in their pockets is virtually endless. What unusual item do I often personally carry in my pocket when heading out to the woods? Glad you asked. I carry a small magnifying loupe. What can I say…there are those times I just like to look at nature up-close to better study and learn from it.

How about you? Care to share any rather strange items you carry with in your pocket during your outdoor escapades? Please tell us what and how you use it to enhance your outdoor experience.

©2011 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.