The darker side of an outdoor shop

30 October 2008 · 2 comments

in International, Personal & Holidays

This week I made the fatal mistake of entering an outdoor shop. I had never been inside a Swedish one and it was a little different to the UK versions.

Above the counter hung a variety of axes for different purposes. I had to try hard not to think of Halloween horror stories and bloody scenes.

Downstairs was a wide selection of sheath knives which I could freely pick up and inspect as my imagination ran riot about who was standing behind or near me.

Not far from here the expandable metal toasting forks were on display and dark paranoid thoughts continued to cross my mind.

The sales assistants were not very friendly either. I tried hard not to look closely at their mouths to see how long their incisor teeth were.

These places should have a danger sign hanging over their entrances. I find it almost impossible to leave an outdoor shop without buying some gadget and once more I succumbed to temptation. To remove the chill from my bones I left and sought refuge in a coffee shop, wrapping several fleece blankets around me for comfort.

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Visit November 28, 2008 at 17:18

It’s unfortunate that “outdoor shops” have to project the image that you experienced. While axes and knives are tools to make our outdoor experience more practical and convenient, for any outdoor shop to project that kind of image does a disservice to outdoor enthusiasts.
While we Americans are far from perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, I have noticed that many chains and smaller, privately owned shops, on this side of the “pond” do have those kinds of tools behind glass enclosed cases. Perhaps, unfortunately, their experiences have taught them that “fingers can do the walking” and the images that came to your mind were more of realities here than any place else. Of course, people intent on doing others’ harm, I don’t think is limited to any particular part of the world or limited to a particular country.
Somehow, though, perhaps, if we took the time to educate our children more, starting there seems as good a place as any, as adults the thoughts that we conjure up, would be absent from their conscious later on in life? Something to think about.


CreativeSTAR November 30, 2008 at 17:06

Hi Joel

Thanks very much for your comments. I actually believe it is a positive testament to the outdoor culture in Sweden that sheath knives and various other sharp instruments can be dreely inspected by customers. In the UK our penknives and Leatherman tools are kept in glass cabinets. Axes and sheath knives are generally not found in outdoor sports shops. Hunting and fishing shops are different and interestingly this typifies the culture here where anglers and hunters shop in a different place to the mountaineers and canoeists.

I agree that children need taught a wide range of skills and under appropriate instruction and supervision taught how to use tools including knives, axes, etc. Ten years ago I taught in a remote highland village. The only club for children to join was the weekly gun club in the next village 10 miles away. Now that makes for an interesting debate!


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