Petzal: On Pre-Season Sewing & Boot Repair

This past weekend I sat on the couch and sewed up a couple of pieces of equipment that needed sewing. I enjoy sewing as much as I enjoy watching Oprah, or Martha Stewart, which is not much, but I've learned to my sorrow that if you don't repair hunting equipment well before the season you are going to regret it.

The best time to go through your stuff is right at the end of the season; that way you'll have some kind of a handle on what needs to be done. This December I went through my rifle-fixing kit and discovered that my foil-wrapped oil wipes had all dried out, and that my cleaning patches were of an off-beat and worthless size since I'd used up all the good ones. I had a Sure Fire flashlight whose batteries were heading south (and when those batteries go, they go fast), and the alcohol wipes in my first aid kit had dried up. The Barge Cement that I use to repair holes in rubber-bottom boots had dried to the consistency of asphalt. There's nothing half as good for that kind of repair, but once you open a tube, its days are numbered.

I'm willing to bet that if you go through your stuff now, particularly the gear you use year after year, you'll find half a dozen things that have to be repaired or replaced. Do it now; autumn is not far off--thank God.