The author didn’t get a Black Friday buck, but did look for deals. (Jeff Lund | For the Juneau Empire)

The author didn’t get a Black Friday buck, but did look for deals. (Jeff Lund | For the Juneau Empire)

Shopping spree self-control

What Black Friday weekend really looked like.

Last weekend if I had no self-control:

Since I am not going to find a buck anyway, I might as well just stay at home and let capitalism lead the way toward a better life. As an outdoorsman, I know that key to success is to look the part, that way woodland creatures, birds or marine animals will respect me enough to give up their lives and so that other hunters and anglers will validate me. So, I’m going to say yes to every ad I get in my inbox during the Black Friday weekend. I’m also going to ignore the shipping costs.


5 a.m. – A map app got to me first with the impersonal advertisements, so my first buy is the Elite Membership for $70 which is 30 percent off. Now rather than being Elite at $30, I have maps complete with property boundaries of every state for $40 more.

Total spent: $70

1:30 p.m. – That was a long time to wait to be told what to buy, but next to a good map to use while out of cell range is coffee to keep me alert. My coffee guys promised a free bag of coffee with any purchase, so I bought the ceramic camping mug for $15.

Total spent: $85

10:10 p.m. – So I’m hopped up on caffeine and ready with my map, I need a dope new long sleeve for my grip and grin shot, right? This small company in California with really cool hunting apparel is in with a 20 percent discount!

Total spent: $107.40

11:00 p.m. – I don’t need new boots, but I kinda want them, and since an outdoor place in Idaho just sent an email offering a discount on boots — $60 off a boot brand I haven’t heard of. How do I say no? I don’t.

Total spent: $347.40

That’s a little surprising that I only got a slight peppering of ads in my inbox. My Black Friday was underwhelming. However, I dare not check the junk mail, or the separate account I use whenever places I will likely never shop again require an email.


8:49 a.m. – A 40-pound Darth Vader kettle bell? Oh yeah.

Total spent: $497.36

There are a couple repeat emailers, but I don’t feel compelled to double up because the offers are the same.


3:45 a.m. – Buy a $659 pack and get a free hydro lid upgrade? Sold.

Total spent: $1156.36

Alright, time to take a breather because we’re getting a little spendy here. This is the time when a normal consumer might become nervous, but I know the importance of gear and stuff. It’s my duty as an American to keep the economy humming.

4:02 a.m. – Another gear company is advertising an art series that doesn’t appear to be on sale. But it’s an online exclusive, and only a quitter would say no, so I’m going for it and order the $39 T-shirt that has an antelope on it, even if there doesn’t seem to be a discount and even though I’ve never hunted one.

Total spent: $1195.36

Alaska Airlines flies in for the perfect conclusion. It’s only $49 from San Diego to Albuquerque … and only $606 to get to San Diego the Saturday before Christmas. The gift (to myself) that keeps on costing.

What Black Friday Weekend really looked like:

Paid $40 for gas and snacks and went hunting. I saw three does and a wolf. A much cheaper alternative.

• Jeff Lund is a writer and teacher based in Ketchikan. “I Went To The Woods,” a reference to Henry David Thoreau, appears in Outdoors twice a month.

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