I find the outdoor world funny.
Major gear sales are on weekends.
Most of the forums are about what to buy as opposed how to use the gear and the needed skills. Or even just many FOR SALE ads.
And with the income tax refund season upon us, there is talk about what to buy. Rather than saving money for future trips. Or what those future trips may be.
Put a discussion about the best water treatment and there will many, many, many, posts about it.
Start a discussion about minimalism or light pollution? The discussion soon gets buried among all the talk about the latest whatchamahoosies.
I think two comics nicely encapsulate this thought of gear as a hobby.
Sarah’s Scribbles is perhaps rather accurate for many…
The second comic from F-Minus by Tony Carrillo take this REI or similar consumerism to what seems to be the logical conclusion 🙂Ultimately I think of some words written in 1877 that are applicable in 2017:
Do not be in a hurry to spend money on new inventions. Every year there is put upon the market some patent knapsack, folding stove, cooking-utensil, or camp trunk and cot combined; and there are always for sale patent knives, forks, and spoons all in one, drinking-cups, folding portfolios, and marvels of tools. Let them all alone.
We need gear to be outside. No doubt about it.
And life can be busier than many of us would enjoy. Myself included!
But if buying gear is the most active part of your outdoor hobby, time to think differently. Sock that money away for when you can do trips, be selective about what is actually bought, and perhaps do more reading about the outdoors rather than buying gear. A good read about increasing skill sets, journeys people have taken, or places to see is going to be time well spent if you can’t get outside.
And who wants to spend a Saturday lined up at REI for a gear sale? 🙂