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The "I Didn't Know I Needed That" Thread
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

The "I Didn't Know I Needed That" Thread on 03/03/2013 18:22:39 MST Print View

There are two types of backpackers; Those that make their own gear, hunt deals, and buy from consignment shops, and those of us who take out second mortgages to fill gear closets. This thread is for the latter; what are some items you've bought that were especially interesting or fun to use?

As an example, I have the Kahtoolah MTN 28 snowshoes. They're snowshoes where the boot mount detaches and functions as a pair of dedicated crampons. Neat!


Let's embrace our shopping addictions, everyone. Go!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
The Third Way on 03/03/2013 18:50:53 MST Print View

Or do what I do (or used to do when I was much more of a gear slut than now).

Buy new toys to your heart's delight, but hunt aggressively for discounts, refurbished, or lightly-used seconds. After fondling and playing and trying out the new gear pieces -- keep to a discipline of either keeping the old or the new -- but not both -- unless they meet truly different needs. Then sell whichever piece is replaced here or on EBay. With money back in hand, repeat process -- and play again.

I have purchased and sold numerous gear pieces over the years -- and I keep an Excel spreadsheet accordingly. To date:

Cost of gear purchased and sold - $6,167
Amount recouped from selling the above - $6,143.

Twenty dollars over 10 years for playing with lots of gear pieces. My weakness lies in tents. I have cycled through probably a dozen -- before settling on my current beloved Big Sky Mirage 2P.

Edited by ben2world on 03/03/2013 18:52:38 MST.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Running gear on 03/03/2013 18:55:27 MST Print View

My backpacking gear is pretty straightforward

But I have more tops, bottoms, shoes, packs, bottles to suit every weather and distance scenario for running.

Edited to say Ben does what I strive to do. $20 delta over ten years though...that's impressive

Edited by 7sport on 03/03/2013 18:57:25 MST.

diego dean
Re: The Third Way on 03/03/2013 18:59:11 MST Print View

Ben, I do the same, though not as well as you apparently. Do your above figures reflect shipping and sellling (paypal) fees?

I enjoy trying out new gear, and to me that has some value so Im willing to lose some money in the buying and selling process.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: The Third Way on 03/03/2013 19:38:07 MST Print View

Yes, shipping costs included. I had a couple of sales where I made out "like a bandit" -- again, the key is to buy initially at a discount. Indeed, I was actually a couple tens of dollars in the black -- until one particularly unfortunate Ebay sale pushed me slightly into the red. It was a very good quality product -- but not widely known outside of our UL world -- and I made the mistake of setting the initial bid amount too low. I am sure I made that buyer very, very happy. :)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Can't keep a Spreadsheet on 03/03/2013 20:02:31 MST Print View

I do this pretty aggressively. I'm just now reaching the point where I have one of everything (except a stove), so pretty soon my spare change will be going towards replacing things I already have. That being said, I've gone through maybe ten pairs of shoes and boots, three backpacks, four jackets, and two sets of rain gear, plus endless baselayers, gloves, hats, bottles...

My secret has been getting in good with companies that have customer service centers that take back slightly loved items. I never, ever eat the cost of something that fails; if a seam rips, I'm getting a new one.

I bumped a $100 investment into a Marmot Super Mica on sale into a $250 Patagonia Super-Cell over two exchanges for no extra $. Woohoo!

That being said, I have bought things I'll never actually use that I should be selling on Gearswap. I'm ready to replace my Kelty Red Cloud 90, and the Sea to Summit e-Vent packliner I bought has been since replaced by cheap trash bags...

I don't know if I'm aggressive enough to start keeping a spreadsheet of the process, though. At the end of the day, seeing the first number might scare me enough to slow me down... and I don't wanna be frugal!

Edited by mdilthey on 03/03/2013 20:03:23 MST.