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Stuff stuff stuff
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spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Stuff stuff stuff on 06/15/2011 23:36:01 MDT Print View

I'm pretty frustrated with my urge to keep buying stuff (backpacking and otherwise). I'm trying to simplify and my brain has decided the way to do that is to BUY EVERYTHING all at once, try it, and only then discard what doesn't work for me, ending up with a small amount of stuff that I actually like and use. This isn't sustainable for me, economically or in the broader, trying-to-be-environmentally-conscious way. So, gearhounds, how do you keep the accumulation to a minimum? Has it become easier to ignore things you haven't tried once you have a solid kit you're satisfied with? What is your consumption philosophy with respect to UL?

Larry Dyer
(veriest1) - F

Locale: Texas
What I do on 06/20/2011 04:23:07 MDT Print View

I've been on a tight budget the last few years and I found that once my kit was established I had much less urge to buy extra things for backpacking.

There are still things I'd like to change slightly but I hold out for used gear or time to DIY what I want (at this point they aren't really needs). The old gear I tend to loan to friends who are just starting out if it's still useable or, sometimes I'll just flat out give it away.

The only gear I've been interested in buying lately is for more extreme or specialized conditions. However I've found myself buying more books related to my hobbies than anything else. Once my setup is functional I find education to be more important than anything else.

In case you're wondering I have a trailstar for when it's needed (2 people or moto-camping) and a MLD cuben poncho/Ti goat bivy that I prefer if I don't need the room and I don't need rain gear for riding the motorcycle.

I do have to many packs but I've been pleased with just a Newt and a Jam so I'm tempted to get rid of the others.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
How do you keep the accumulation to a minimum? on 06/20/2011 04:46:08 MDT Print View

Take an honest look at your entire kit. Based on 3 or 4 season gear, note what items you have used repeatedly and have come to depend on as your go to kit. Put those items in another room as "keepers".

Now the rest of your gear is there in front of you on the floor. Make a decision as to whether or not there is anything in that assortment that you simply cannot bear the thought of not keeping. Move that/those item(s) aside and break out the digital camera. Take pictures of the remaining gear that your aren't using and...

Post those pictures on Gear Swap!

Use the recovered funds to purchase new gear or materials for new MYOG. ;-)

It works for me.

Party On,


Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Stuff stuff stuff on 06/20/2011 06:09:04 MDT Print View

Gear swap is the best way to keep things from accumulating, and allows others to enjoy the good stuff you don't need...well, in theory at least. I've never actually sold anything myself.


Paul Osborn
(bcoutdoors) - F
Gear swap: the best of times, the worst of times on 06/20/2011 07:07:00 MDT Print View

The gear swap is a great way to get extra stuff... I mean get rid of extra stuff. It's a double edged sword. Most stuff there that is reasonably priced goes very quickly.

Or you could just give it away :). I like the idea of lending out to family a friends as a way to get them into hiking. Hey, they may even want to buy the gear after!

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Stuff, stuff, stuff on 06/20/2011 08:23:21 MDT Print View

Gear: Sell some online, keep some decent stuff as loaner gear, and donate the heavy items to youth or wilderness firefighters (Durango CO had gear collection points during the huge fires 2001 or2). Some gear can be repurposed. Threadbare hiking shirts are great for hot-weather mountain-biking too.

Other stuff: I digitize music, videos, + books, so most physical copies were sold to a used bookstore. Can't really digitize a frying pan or furniture for cooking an entertaining, tho; other hobbies can be space hogs (think about a music playing family storing pianos, upright basses, and a "drum set") but look at your activities = requirements (space, maintenance, etc..) - discard excess (reuse, donate, recycle, and toss as a last resort). Edit: some stuff is good, especially if the 1 tech item can replace bigger, bulkier one(s).

Edited by hknewman on 06/23/2011 17:21:14 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Stuff stuff stuff on 06/23/2011 14:23:15 MDT Print View

Well, one tactic you can use is to start contributing the absolute maximum to all your deferred retirement accounts and if that still doesn't use up enough of your income, you could start an IRA, too.

The trouble with the gear swap here is that you can't sell the old heavy stuff. I guess there's always whiteblaze for that.

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
"Stuff-stuff with Heavy" Calvin Trillin. on 06/23/2011 15:03:17 MDT Print View

"Stuff-stuff with Heavy!" refers to food not gear, but the idea is the same -- too much stuff-stuff is too heavy.

Calvin Trillin, "... the way to prepare sophisticated food was to stuff something with something—almost anything—else, and then to obscure the scene of the crime with a heavy, lava-like sauce. He demonstrated to all of them, for instance, how to stuff a chicken breast with a plum that is, in turn, stuffed with an almond. I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he is now experimenting with hypodermic needles to perfect a method of stuffing the almond with paté. Since the dishes that result from these acts of cumulative stuffing all taste and weigh more or less the same, Alice and I have always referred to them by a single generic name—Stuff-Stuff with Heavy."