Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Buying gear in "sets".


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Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Buying gear in "sets". on 06/03/2009 08:45:44 MDT Print View

I've seemed to develop a habit of buying whole sets of new gear. And, it's just too much.

I've got my set that I bought for the PCT (3 pound pack, two pound tent) a solid bad weather lightweight setup.

I've got an ultralight set (one pound pack, one pound shelter).

I've got my work stuff (heavy as all hell) chosen for storm worthiness and durability.

And I've got a half a dozen other choices for each that I can pick from.

I'm gearing up for the CDT next year and I find myself buying a whole new set. It's my "ideal" setup for that hike. I justify it because the golite pack is a little too little for the food and water weights I'll be carrying. The gatewood cape is a little too small. The rain jacket is a little too sucky (because it's so light). Etc, etc, etc....

I have PLENTY of gear that's the gear of choice for some CDTers. Clearly I can hike with little new gear. And yet, I'M BUYING A NEW SET AGAIN.

I'm a gear junkie, but not in the way I once was. I no longer like buying gear. I no longer lust for any one item. Nor do I think that gear is cool. In fact, I dislike buying gear. I already have so much of it. And I spend thousands of dollars a year (typically) on new schwag. So my lust for gear has evolved in to a sense of being compelled. I think that it's largely a factor of information overload. Knowing so much about what the options are might have lead to the habit of buying in sets. Systems work well. There is always a different ideal for the conditions. and on and on...

I could take my Jam2, my ultralight rain gear, my gatewood cape, and the rest of my ultralight setup and be perfectly fine. But I'm not. I'm likely going to spend another $1300 on gear.
Anyways. END RANT.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/03/2009 09:49:00 MDT Print View

Be sure to post your new gear list. ;)

Oh, and will the old "sets" be in the gear swap forums anytime soon? ;)

Ryan Linn
(ryan.c.linn)

Locale: Maine!
Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/03/2009 10:12:53 MDT Print View

Thousands of dollars on gear every year? You just made me feel a lot better about my spending habits.

The gear lust for me comes down to having too much time indoors near computers and internet, and wishing I was out on a month-long backpacking trip. That's the downside to working in an office and having access to manufacturers' websites, BPL forums, and so on. I always think, "this new toy/gear would work really well for my next hike. I must have it!" If I was already on the trail, I'd remember that I have everything I need already. Oops.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
2 sets always on 06/03/2009 10:23:07 MDT Print View

I was 20 years old when I first set myself up for hiking, and had two sets then.
Set one: Bomber- 2.6 kilo tent, Lowe Alpine 90 liter pack, huge fleece etc.
Set 2: Lighter- Goretex bivy, smaller summit pack, less gear in general.
Shared items were stove, mat and sleeping bag.

20 years later, it's the same,
Set one: Bomber- Golite ShangriLa 3, DAM pad, ULA Circuit
Set 2: UL- 8x10 tarp, Golite Ion, lighter pad.
Shared items now are Rab Top Bag, stove, with sundries scaled down.

It is amazing to see the weight differences- and sad to see how the body has changed too !!

cheers,
fred

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/03/2009 10:48:56 MDT Print View

Well if you can afford it, you are doing your part to stimulate the economy.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/03/2009 17:47:51 MDT Print View

I can definitely relate to your comments. I prefer not to think about how much gear I've had over the years. And in some ways I've lost that "gotta have it" gear lust... at the same time I'm coming up with at least a dozen new products and thinking about starting a gear manufacturing company. For me, the "perfect" set is the one you can use for just about every trip. Believe me, I know that's not really possible. But I guess I approach it as not building things for too limited of a purpose. Or, more to the OP comments, I find myself designing things specifically so that there isn't a "superlight" and a "ultralight" and a "light" and a "bomber" set-up. I'm trying to find a balance between ultralight and bomber.

It sounds contrarian, I know, but I have a 30+ year old Gerry "internal" framed pack that's pretty bomber and only weighs 2 pounds. I figure with new technologies and a similar KISS philosophy we should be able to have pretty durable, broadly functional equipment. At least that's my goal.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/04/2009 10:37:39 MDT Print View

I'm still a pretty junior member of the Gear Addicts Not-Quite-Anonymous. It is definitely the pursuit of the ideal kit for each situation that is the gateway to addiction.

However, I think buying gear as 'sets' is really the best way to go about it. When I started buying my gear a year ago, pre-BPL, I bought it piecemeal. I ended up think, well, gear X is a couple ounces more than gear Y, but it's cheaper/more comfortable/more multi-use, etc. Despite my goal of being lightweight, comprising on a couple ounce3s here and there ended up being a recipe for a 30lb base weight.

It's better to look at your set-up as a whole and decide where to sacrifice ounces for comfort/convenience/budget.

Now my baseweight is just under 12 lbs, and I can break the mythical 10lb barrier on non-bear cannister trips. And I've done it more economically than I did my first time around. (If you can count replacing 70% of your gear as 'economical')

Of course, it is easy to get carried away into 'compulsion.' LIke you said, info overload is largely responsible. My GG Gorilla is 23oz and can serve just as well on a 5 day trip as on an overnight . . . butbutbut, wouldn't it be great to just have a GG Murmur/MLD Revelation/Zpack for those short trips and save a pound? Yes, yes it would.

Also, ideally you'd have sleeping bags/quilts at 10 degree intervals(in both down and synthetic, naturally), right?

And you need different shelters depending on precip, bugs, site size and availability too.

I think there's a competiveness/challenge factor at work too. Competitiveness might not be the right word. But the same way a runner might challenge themselves to beat their best time every run, we have the urge to get lower by even half an oz each time we go out.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/04/2009 11:19:16 MDT Print View

My GG Gorilla is 23oz and can serve just as well on a 5 day trip as on an overnight . . . butbutbut, wouldn't it be great to just have a GG Murmur/MLD Revelation/Zpack for those short trips and save a pound? Yes, yes it would.

Oddly enough we strive to save weight on overnight trips like this where carrying heavier weights isn't as a big of a deal since it's short-term.

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/04/2009 11:42:20 MDT Print View

>Oddly enough we strive to save weight on overnight trips like this where carrying heavier weights isn't as a big of a deal since it's short-term.

And that's where it crosses the line into gear lust or compulsion. As you point out, for a 20 mile overnight round tripper, what's a pound or two? Really, you shouldn't need a pack smaller than one that would work for say, 3 nights/40+ miles (guesstimating). Shorter than that, and the ounces become less relevant once you get below a certain base weight.

It's just a challenge/obsession to try and go lower.

It's like a professional athlete or banker signing a contract. What's the difference really between $120 million and a $125 million? (besides $5 million) You're not going to be able to spend either amount in one lifetime, so what does it matter? It just does.

Dustin F
(dirtt) - F

Locale: So. California
new gear on 06/04/2009 12:47:59 MDT Print View

And I felt guilty when I replaced a brand new alcohol stove with another brand new alcohol stove.

Jesse H.
(tacedeous) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
nice... on 06/05/2009 18:37:47 MDT Print View

James MacDiarmid:

Well put... definitely leaning more towards obsession... lol

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: Re: Buying gear in "sets". on 06/07/2009 23:16:28 MDT Print View

Yeah, I've definitely avoided SUL. Not for me. I can easily carry the 13 pounds that I typically have on an overnight trip. SUL seems to be practiced almost solely by people who have the information overload thing. As in, they spend a lot of time on the internet.