A brief tale of resistance to consumption

Ten years ago, I bought a tent at REI in Salt Lake City. I used it that same night and many, many more times after that. During those long happy tent-using years, one of the poles broke, and I mended it ineffectually with duct tape.

Now, I am confronting the fact that the broken pole, which should be such a simple problem to fix, could spell the death of my beloved tent. The local outdoor store I called told me it doesn’t sell replacement poles and doesn’t do pole repair. The REI store I called sent me to rei.com, which has a section for replacement poles and parts, but doesn’t actually sell replacement poles either. At REI’s toll-free number, an employee sent me to another company that sells made-to-order poles; I called there and learned that the pole I need will cost $32.50, plus shipping from Washington State—probably more than $40. The entire tent only cost $100, back on that sunny day in Salt Lake City.

One other option: If I still had my receipt, I could return the tent to REI and get a new one for free. That’s good customer service—notwithstanding the improbability of anyone saving a receipt for an entire decade—but a much better solution would be a cost-effective source for replacement parts. Even better than that would be a local source. It would certainly be greener than my acquiring a brand new tent, either by purchase or exchange.

So I am led to the conclusion that—as with so many other things—the best way to go is to do it myself. I’ll try to figure out a better way to mend the pole I have and leave it at that.

What’s the last thing you mended? Did it save you from having to buy something new?

Posted In:     Uncategorized

Previous Post

Dean Dass’ “Signs of Divinity are Hard to Read”; The Garage; Through April 26

Next Post

Twenty years of local news and arts in the spotlight



Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to editor@c-ville.com.

Leave a Reply

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of