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Can't stop changing gear?
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michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Can't stop changing gear? on 03/04/2014 21:53:46 MST Print View

Anyone here constantly switching gear like me even if it's for the same temperature range? It seems like I finally get the weight/function right with the kit, then do a 180ยท and get confused again. Should I worry about OCD?

Maybe an old timer with the perfect backpack that he never worries about, grab it and go?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Can't stop changing gear? on 03/04/2014 22:44:49 MST Print View

Of course you can stop changing gear.
I have done that many times and so can you.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Can't stop changing gear? on 03/04/2014 22:58:41 MST Print View

My thought process is to switch gear only in the colder months when I'm around (i.e. here for delivery as there's always a chance someone will steal a package left by the door) and then concentrate on using it during summer, trying not to get any new gear. Replace worn and non suitable gear (some gear just may not work for a person) when the next major winter fronts hit.

Edited by hknewman on 03/04/2014 22:59:26 MST.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Re: Re: Can't stop changing gear? on 03/04/2014 23:11:59 MST Print View

I've been flustered with clothing the most.

Kenda Willey
Re: Can't stop changing gear? on 03/05/2014 06:48:02 MST Print View

Yes, I think you need to worry about ocd. So do I: Sleeping bags seem to be my current weakness--After many years of happiness with a single sleeping bag for all temperature ranges (adapting by unzipping the bag according to weather), I now have sleeping bags for 40F, 20F (2 of 'em), 0F and -20F (I live and hike in New Mexico, so dunno when I'm ever gonna need that one!).
Or maybe we've been bitten by the consumerism bug? There are so many great designs around, and they all weigh next to nothing!

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Can't stop changing gear? on 03/05/2014 07:26:35 MST Print View

Do you take notes? I did this a lot at first but as I figured out what worked, it tapered off.

Tyler N

Locale: Vuur-Gin-Yaa!
RE: can't stop on 03/05/2014 07:34:36 MST Print View

Discipline with product research and setting spending limits has really helped me temper purchases. I do NOT have the money for all this cool stuff. There are just so many innovative options now w/the UL tech it can get out of hand (and expensive) really quick. I'm trying to be rigorous in analyzing individual items (packs, shelters,etc) and how things work together as entire systems (using packraft paddles for shelter posts, clothing layering for different climates, etc). Especially since I'm getting on water+land now, I have to be really certain about what I'm carrying and maximizing usage to prevent unnecessary weight+clutter. I've been spending months researching an ideal shelter for heavier winds/conditions; a lot of candidates but not ready to invest quite yet. The search continues...

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: RE: can't stop on 03/05/2014 07:50:30 MST Print View

I've kind of turned into a revolving door of gear....I'm at least selling the things I swap out, but just like you I can't seem to stop trying out some of this new stuff.

Unfortunately I'm currently in a pack/shelter mode right now. Not the cheapest obsession......

Ben Hons
(BenjiH) - M
Re: Re: RE: can't stop on 03/05/2014 08:42:34 MST Print View

I am in the same boat! Clothing especially, I have bought several base layers and keep experimenting with them. I did LOTS of research on shelters, finally bought one, and now I already want a lighter one! I still need to drop about 4 or 5 lbs to make UL, so this will continue until I get there. But then SUL....

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Can't stop changing gear? on 03/05/2014 08:55:51 MST Print View

Go backpacking more often. You won't have time to think about new gear, and your savings account will grow.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Can't stop changing gear? on 03/05/2014 09:00:43 MST Print View

Nick I know! My new plan is the pct in 2015, so I'm hoping that will cure me.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Gear on 03/05/2014 09:25:19 MST Print View

There is a point of diminishing returns with buying new gear.

For example, I use a silnylon tarp. Standard 8x10. 13 oz. Call it just under a lb with stakes and rope.

I could buy a cuben fiber tarp. But is $300 worth it to shave a touch over 3 oz?

I do have a new pack, but my old one finally went kaput.

Stoves? I have a decent canister stove (Coleaman F1) for when alcohol stoves are banned and/or I don't want to go stoveless. There are lighter canister stoves now, but, again, do I really want to spend more $$$$ to shave 1.5 oz? Likewise, I could buy a remote canister stove for winter use..but do I really need another stove when white gas works well enough?

I find my gear purchases are when things wear out more than anything at this point in my hiking 'career'. I do occasionally buy new gear as my *needs* dictate vs my *wants*.

Not that I am immune to minor splurging. I did buy a $20 down beanie off e-bay to try out. ;)

To add to what Nick said..not only will getting out there and using your current gear make you less likely to do big gear purchases for the 'feel good effect', but by using your gear you eventually wear it out and *have* to buy new gear. Win!

I honestly think a lot of buying of gear is that gear itself can be the hobby. Nothing wrong with that per se. But when the hobby of gear collecting is no longer as satisfying, then you may find that you will stop changing gear so often.

Just my .05 worth.

Edited by PaulMags on 03/05/2014 09:29:01 MST.

(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: Gear on 03/05/2014 09:42:16 MST Print View

My 2 cents...
Sitting around browsing BPL is a snare. The more the mind dwells on material things/gear, and less on experiences, the more it becomes convinced that it really needs things that it doesn't. I do think it is dangerous consumerism. In some ways this constant pursuit of gear that "works better" or weighs less becomes disconnected altogether from the experience of enjoying wild places. The idea that lighter or efficiency adds joy or comfort is true to a point, but where does one draw the line? Is there a point where we become satisfied? Satisfaction is found at the top of peaks and passes, not in a box of new gear delivered to my front porch.

David T
(DaveT) - F
changing gear. on 03/05/2014 09:57:05 MST Print View

A few years back I definitely stopped buying new stuff, and now I just try to use what I have. And I'm selling off random things that aren't getting used much. It's fun to talk about gear and check out new stuff, but I think that most of the serious advances in weight were made a while back (e.g. Tarptents, cuben, light down bags, etc.). Now I'm just using it.

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Blame the Spreadsheet! on 03/05/2014 10:01:04 MST Print View

Good points.

I find I'm more prone to 'needing' new gear when I analyze my gear spreadsheet.

Look at all the grams I can save!

I say blame the spreadsheet. :)

Although, because of the knowledge on this site and the availability of materials like cuben and carbon fiber, I've shaved pounds off of my skin out weight. So some amount of gear consumerism is helpful in having a more enjoyable outdoor experience.

Although I'm still tempted to shave a few more ounces. Hmmmm....

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: changing gear. on 03/05/2014 10:15:40 MST Print View

Some people go to the bar and blow all their money on high price tap beer and pulltabs. Some order pizza delivery every other night. Some people take long cruises on the deck of a boat to buy high price tap beer and pulltabs. Ok, the drinks are usually free, but you get the idea.

So I buy cool flashlights, neat knives, hip backpacks, comfy clothes and swanky shelters.

There's far worse things in life to spend your money on. At least when I buy "gear", even if I never use it, I still have that little adventure, even if it's just in my head. Better than any movie or book, and the mental exercise of making it all work together is like a great puzzle.

And then after a long, cold, house bound winter, there's those first few treks with new gear! It's better than that new car smell! The weather gets warmer, the ground thaws out, and the online shopping goes into hibernation. And such is the circle of life. Let the adventure begin!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: changing gear. on 03/05/2014 10:34:51 MST Print View

yeah, buying stuff is like taking drugs, stimulates some of the same brain chemicals

maybe fewer side effects. Doesn't destroy your liver.

nothing wrong with it as long as you can afford it

you should first save enough to pay all your expenses, have an emergency fund, save for retirement,...

you can go overboard the other direction, be unhappy because you're too frugal. Money is to be spent, not just hoarded until you die.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Re: Re: changing gear. on 03/05/2014 10:46:45 MST Print View

"nothing wrong with it as long as you can afford it"

Good point. I won't buy unless it's with cash. I'd hate to see somebody go in debt just for some hobby gear. I realize many on this site are highly-trained-professionals and make a living with gear investments, but for us mere mortals, it should be cash only!

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Can't stop changing gear?" on 03/05/2014 10:52:54 MST Print View

I understand this. I find that no matter what, I'm not satisfied with my gear. I keep finding a new "holy grail" item that I just "must have" and have a closet full of discarded items that I need to find new homes for. To combat this, this year I've committed to taking a moratorium on any new gear over $100 (so, no new tents or sleeping bags for me this year, among other things). I have to live with my gear for the rest of 2014 barring a gear failure or loss that necessitates a replacement (and no, it can't be deliberate, haha).

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
GAS on 03/05/2014 11:01:44 MST Print View

Gear acquisition syndrome ...

The start to beating the addiction is to realize the truth that once you get to a certain point, no amount of shiny new gear will allow you to realistic do anything you wouldnt have done anyways

Not that uber CFM windshirt, not that million lumen headlamp, not that 1200 fill down poofay, etc ...

Most of us arent cutting edge athletes on the sharp end where that little bit might make the difference between life and death

But the MARKETING departments and the entire gear CULTURE (blogs, mags, forums) is very good at making us believe shiny new gear will somehow make us better and go harder

They make us feel like ueli steck while sitting at our desks


Edited by bearbreeder on 03/05/2014 11:02:28 MST.