A combination of snipe hunting and to be given the runaround. Part of the phrase, " Go find me a left handed smoke shifter" This is to be said to one of the more gullible members of the group. That member is then sent on a fool's errand, running from campsite to campsite as the people at each campsite tell him, " No we don't have one, but I heard so and so has one." In other words; something that doesn't exist that is used to send someone on a fool's errand.
My older brother told me to get the "Biggie does Bach" CD. Turns out it was a left handed smoke shifter.