Forum Index » GEAR » "Don't buy expensive ___; save your money and buy good _____."


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Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
"Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 10:03:25 MDT Print View

Wondering where I should concentrate future backpack gear expenses. Certainly for some gear, top-of-the-line gets you only a little extra function. But with other gear, the added expense is well worth it. Please fill in the blanks:

“Don’t buy (an) expensive _____; save your money and put it toward (a) good _____.”

Edited by Bolster on 04/29/2014 08:56:23 MDT.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
"Don't buy expensive ___; save your money and buy good _____."" on 04/28/2014 10:32:57 MDT Print View

Pack. Sleeping bag.

Plenty of good $100 or so packs. Don't need to buy a very expensive one.

OTOH, there is a large difference between a $100 sleeping bag and a $300+ one (or quilt).

The budget bags are fine if that is all you can afford (the Kelty Cosmic down comes to mind), but a really good bag is an investment that will last a long time.

at least IMO.

Edited by PaulMags on 04/28/2014 10:33:44 MDT.

John Martin
(snapyjohn) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
“Don’t buy (an) expensive _____; save your money and put it toward (a) good _____.” on 04/28/2014 10:41:34 MDT Print View

“Don’t buy (an) expensive shelter; save your money and put it toward (a) good picnic basket.”

Don't think you can buy a quality picnic basket for under $40,000? This starts at $37,500... seems reasonable. http://moynat.com/en/un-voyage/historic-trunks/best deal

Jake S
(spags) - M
The *ware bros on 04/28/2014 10:47:15 MDT Print View

Don't buy expensive COOKWARE, put your money toward good FOOTWEAR.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Expensivve stuff on 04/28/2014 10:48:13 MDT Print View

Good, cheap boots/shoes are readily available. I agree, invest in a good sleeping bag. With any kind of care, one will last decades.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 10:51:27 MDT Print View

I agree with Mags.

I'd also say "clothes: socks and shoes" and "cuben shelter: sil shelter".

There are a lot of good budget and/or thrift store options for pants, shirts, insulation, even rain gear. For most folks most of the time the differences between these and top-flight options are small. Good shoes and socks, on the other hand, are always money well spent. It's just less satisfying to throw down big bucks on what end up being semi-disposable items.

I also think a lot of people would do better to get a solid, well-built shelter which meets their needs, rather than chasing the light and sexy thing which costs 3-4x as much.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Save your $ on 04/28/2014 11:56:07 MDT Print View

Don’t buy (an) expensive trained German shepherd to guard your campsite; save your money and put it toward (a) good and loyal wolverine.

Edited by Zia-Grill-Guy on 04/28/2014 11:58:38 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 12:50:20 MDT Print View

"I also think a lot of people would do better to get a solid, well-built shelter which meets their needs, rather than chasing the light and sexy thing which costs 3-4x as much."

My 8x10 sil nylon tarp was about $70 if I'm remembering right. As long as you are well practiced with it and aren't facing brutal weather, it's the best budget shelter imo. Very versatile.

Robb Watts
(rwatts) - M

Locale: Western PA
fill in the blanks on 04/28/2014 12:55:46 MDT Print View

Don't buy expensive gear; save your money and buy good bourbon.

Seriously, I agree with the good bag and cheap tarp sentiments.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Mags for the Win on 04/28/2014 12:55:46 MDT Print View

Yep -- Mags said it!

If you have to scrimp on more than one thing though, I think you can get away with cheaper:

- Packs (as long as it FITS you)
- Footwear (as long as it FITS you)
- Shelter
- Clothing
- Food (make your own meals/bars)
- Accessories (headlamps/knives/cookware, etc.)

Spending a night shivering in a lousy sleeping bag will likely ruin your mood for the following day's hike.

Josiah Vandervelde
(eternalnoob) - F - M

Locale: Florida
Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 13:07:21 MDT Print View

"Don't buy expensive gear; save your money and buy good plane tickets."

J Mag
(GoProGator) - F
Re: Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 13:13:26 MDT Print View

I would agree with the above post wholeheartedly. In that same line of thought:

"Don't buy expensive new gear; put your money toward good used gear."

That's the poor college student talking though.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 13:41:34 MDT Print View

“Don’t buy (an) expensive Tarp/Quilt; save your money and put it toward (a) good sewing machine.”

If you're willing go to the tarp/quilt route you can easily make these yourself. Backpack is possible too but is more involved.

brian H
(B14) - M

Locale: Siskiyou Mtns
new v used on 04/28/2014 13:46:34 MDT Print View

Don’t buy expensive NEW GEAR
save your money and put it toward good PRE-OWNED GEAR.

Here in the land of 5%oftheworldpopulation using 25%oftheworldsenergy [ad infinitum]
...it's one way to reduce your part in our ridiculously consumptive culture.

Disclosure: I am still reeling from a recent school field trip to a place on the Oregon Coast called Washed Ashore (http://washedashore.org) where we learned many sad things,
for example:
*the size of the [largest of] the big floating plastic islands [there are several] is misunderstood: its surface area is about the size of Texas, but if you account for its VOLUME [it nearly reaches the ocean floor] it's roughly 1.5 times the surface area of the continental USA!
*80% of the plastic that makes it to the oceans get there from RIVERS

Our kids came back and influenced our city council which is set to ban plastic bags at all retailers, and charge customers for paper and other bags. There are rumblings about targeting SUPWBs next - single use plastic water bottles.
facts:
60 billion single-use drink containers were purchased in 2006, and 3 out of 4 were thrown out directly after use.
Plastic bottles are among the most prevalent source of pollution found on our beaches.
Tap water is cleaner, cheaper and healthier than store-bought water.
my add: SUPWBs are, 99% of the time, Tap water

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

thanx 4 lissening

Edited by B14 on 04/28/2014 13:47:20 MDT.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 14:09:46 MDT Print View

hmmm...

1) an expensive pack cover; a good trash bag
2) an expensive ground cloth; a good piece of poly or tyvek
3) one expensive -10 degree sleeping bag; a two good quilts of different temperatures
4) from a big name brand; toward a good cottage brand
5) an expensive rain suit; a good windshell & poncho tarp
6) an expensive gps; a good understanding of map & compass skills

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
sewing on 04/28/2014 14:20:09 MDT Print View

"Don’t buy (an) expensive Tarp/Quilt; save your money and put it toward (a) good sewing machine.”

That's a time/money thing.

Working full time and making a decent salary, I'd rather not spend my evenings and weekends learning to sew.

In the long term it is perhaps less $$$$. But how many hours would I need to learn how to sew a decent pack or shelter?

One answer is not better than another, but sometimes the cost of time is more than the cost of money for some people.

I have swap out car batteries because it is quite easy to do so and not worth getting a tow/having a mechanic place in said battery.

OTOH, I don't have the right tools or space to say change the breaks on my car. If I could figure it out (and, I probably could) it would probably take more of the precious time that I have relatively little of.

Having the luxury, I choose to spend a little more of my money so I have more of my time.

Nick G has a good post for this:
http://popupbackpacker.com/managing-your-recreation-inventory/

There is no right answer. I truly mean that. But for me. I'd rather pay $100 for a pack that is pretty good and light and meets most of my needs vs getting a sewing machine and putting the hours in to learn how to make my own pack correctly. Others love to make their own gear, get everything just right and have fun doing this hobby. And that's cool.

I appreciate the value of something made by hand. I think I'm a pretty good cook for example and really don't enjoy going out to eat to most restaurants (brew pubs and family run ethnic restaurants are another story!) Other people look at me spending hours making a lasagna and said they'd rather buy some at a restaurant. All different values depending on your needs.

Edited by PaulMags on 04/28/2014 14:21:27 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 14:25:05 MDT Print View

Don’t buy an expensive big ticket item; save your money and put it toward a nice treat for the person who loaned you theirs.

We all love to own our own gear. But when you're trying out a new realm - tarps, quilts, UL packs, etc; you'll learn more using any make and model for a weekend trip than you ever can in the store. Does a hammock work for you? What was your personal temp rating in that quilt, how much food can you fit in a medium bear canister, etc. You'll avoid some purchases all together and be a smarter shopper if you opt to get your own.

I don't aspire to have the most gear around. I aspire to be the guy you love to loan your gear to. I bring your truck or boat back full of gas. I return your rifle cleaned and with the 16 unfired rounds of the 20 I bought. If I borrowed a tent, it was hung to dry in my garage and then rehung a few times (in case there's moist fabric in a crease), and folded carefully before being returned. Why do three Alaskan friends EACH need two canoes, 3 kayaks, a PLB, two VHF handsets, a river boat, an ocean-going boat, a Zodiac, a rifle, a shotgun, two ATCs, three snow machines, and a beach truck? Enough Alaskans go bonkers on the motorized transport, that I specialize in human-powered watercraft, safety stuff, and in UL gear. Between us, we can outfit for a wide variety of adventures.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 14:41:20 MDT Print View

> I aspire to be the guy you love to loan your gear to. I bring your truck or boat back full of gas. I return your rifle cleaned and with the 16 unfired rounds of the 20 I bought. If I borrowed a tent, it was hung to dry in my garage and then rehung a few times (in case there's moist fabric in a crease), and folded carefully before being returned.

While I'm a happily married man with family, if I weren't, I would immediately be sending you a marriage proposal, based on your post.

Matt Dirksen
(NamelessWay) - MLife

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Re: Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 14:49:26 MDT Print View

"I would immediately be sending you a marriage proposal, based on your post."

Hold on, what would Tim Blake Nelson think? It might be time to change your avatar.
;>D

Daniel D
(Dandru) - M

Locale: Down Under
Re: "Don't buy expensive ___; put your money toward good ___." on 04/28/2014 17:24:02 MDT Print View

Don’t buy an expensive car, save your money and put it toward a nice touring bike, then you've got another reason to buy more gear.