Author Topic: Gear Options/Does price really matter  (Read 251 times)

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Offline Moe M.

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Gear Options/Does price really matter
« on: February 13, 2018, 07:59:32 AM »
 I'm sure we've all heard the old saying "You get what you pay for",  I for one have pretty much believed in the wisdom of that saying most of my life,  that's not to say that I've always been able to afford the very best,  most of the time I end up buying used or second or third best,  nor does it mean that you can be assured that just because you've paid a high price for something that you've bought the quality you paid for.
 It's that time of year again when I start getting antsy, spring ain't too far off and one way for me to bide the time between now and warmer dryer weather is to check out my packs and gear to make sure that things are ready and in good shape. 
 One thought that came to mind when going through my gear was that some of my gear has been with me for a long time and has paid for itself many times over,  but some of it was purchased for pretty cheap money and it also has given me good service and has stood the test of time, so far anyway.
 A couple of examples of gear that has worked as well as their more expensive cousins but cost a lot less are six backpacking stoves that have given me good service,  I don't do long hikes anymore (the old legs just can't do it anymore),  I usually just hike in as far as is comfortable or to my fishing place and settle in for a while,  I like a small campfire for company and cooking,  but during dry periods open fires sometimes are not allowed, or there are times when I don't have the time to collect wood and build a fire, that's where my stoves come in handy.     
 The three types that I use regularly are alcohol, canister. and wood/gasifyer,  alcohol stoves are easy to use, light weight, and don't require a lot of fuel,  canister stoves are easy to use, fast heating, but noisy,  and the canisters are heavy and bulky,  the wood stoves are slower to get started, need more attention, but are compact, light, quiet, and smell better when lit than the others,  but they all work well.
  And now for the point of my thread,  price,  my two favorite alcohol stoves are a home made one I made of several 8 ounce V-8 cans and a crumb catcher sink drain insert, it cost me about $5.00 and a half hour of my time,  the other is a commercial Trangia stove,  it cost me about $20.00 shipped,  both stoves are about equal in size, weight, and efficiency,  one cost 1/4 the price of the other.
  My canister stoves are a MSR Pocket Rocket and a no name knock off gifted to me a few years ago by Jontuk from Norway,  the MSR Pocket Rocket cost me $40.00 at BassPro,  the knock off was about $12.00 US,  both stoves have been excellent, but the knock off stove is a tad smaller, lighter, and has a better range of flame adjustment but costs over 2/3 less than the MSR.
  My wood/gasifyer stoves are a home made one made from an IKEA stainless steel utensil caddy gifted to me from another friend, a few 1/8" x 5" SS rods,  the cut out bottom of coffee can for a fire grate and two cross pieces for a pot stand,  and a wind screen cut out of a HD foil baking sheet, the caddy cost under $5.00, the rest was just scrap I had hanging around.
  The other is a commercial made Solo Stove Lite made in China,  it costs about $70.00 on average on Amazon,  I bought new but on the secondary market for $50.00 shipped. 
  Both stoves work well,  the home made IKEA stove is less efficient and needs a wind screen most of the time but it boils water, grills, and cooks good, but caution should be taken as it does get hot enough on the bottom to scorch wood or burn grass,  the Solo Stove Lite is lighter, requires less assembly, is more efficient, is faster to get into action and easier to clean up, and the double wall construction keeps the base cool enough to handle with ungloved hands,  but the Solo Stove costs about $65.00 more than the other.

  Just something to think about. 

 Buying the very best gear that you can afford is still a good rule to follow,  but if you choose well there are a lot of lower cost options on the market that work just as well as the higher priced stuff,  there's no reason why someone on a tight budget has to do without these days.
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Offline madmax

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 08:48:56 AM »
   I've thought about doing a thread on budget kits.  From ground up.  Seems like I run into stuff on the cheap more often now than I did for awhile.  Like everybody has to have a Titanium spork, pot, and a Pocket Rocket.  $150 dollar air mattress and a $300 pack.  Don't even start with premium tents.

   I was gleeful when lowcard1 brought his brood to a meet lately and his boy produced a starter pack.  His food of choice?  Spaghettios.  I preferred Ravioli, but that was a kick in the pants and a little nostalgia.  LOL.  He's raising those kids right.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
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Offline Yeoman

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 01:58:52 PM »
I remember being introduced to this concept about hiking gear:
Lightweight/rugged/inexpensive - Pick two

There are exceptions though: MORA Knives are an example of lightweight/rugged and inexpensive.

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Offline Orbean

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2018, 07:11:31 AM »
I do have a premium tent, a large one man small two man. The cheaper tents just do not hold up to heavy weather. I have many goto cheap items; flashlights, small folding propane stove, opinel knife, regular kitchen silverware. I scrounge for food safe plastic containers for foodstuffs, small items like matches, fishing tackle and the like. I go big on certain items of clothing, sleeping bags and pad, but my hammock cost twenty dollars. I guess i mix it up in regards to cheap vs. expensive, but i do believe in quality over quantity
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2018, 07:43:08 AM »
   I've thought about doing a thread on budget kits.  From ground up.  Seems like I run into stuff on the cheap more often now than I did for awhile.  Like everybody has to have a Titanium spork, pot, and a Pocket Rocket.  $150 dollar air mattress and a $300 pack.  Don't even start with premium tents.

   I was gleeful when lowcard1 brought his brood to a meet lately and his boy produced a starter pack.  His food of choice?  Spaghettios.  I preferred Ravioli, but that was a kick in the pants and a little nostalgia.  LOL.  He's raising those kids right.

  Yup,  your post awakens a lot of memories from my kid days spent in the woods camping with my chums,  and you're right about being eye opening, when I think back on those days before I got into the BSA and got "kitted up" with a knap sack, mess kit, and other commercial gear it's amazing how much fun we had on so little kit.
  My first and only pack for a few years was an old pillow case that my mom patched up and donated to the cause, I carried water in an old thermos bottle with a string tied to it for a lanyard, a box of strike anywhere matches were our fire kit, and as often as not a retired bed sheet or holey blanket were our individual shelters,  cookware was usually a medium sized pot that one of us would being from the kitchen, sometimes no one brought a pot and we heated our food right in the can, usual fare was B&M baked beans or canned pasta in sauce,  sometimes we'd just make a bunch of sandwiches at home, wrap 'em in waxed paper, we never worried about the sandwich meat or mayo going bad, and we never got sick ???. ?
  On those days when we did bring sandwiches when it was time to eat it was fun trading off the sandwiches with my friends thinking theirs was better than yours.
  Most of the time all we had for tools between us was a surplus GI folding shovel, a couple of pocket knives (mine was a Camp King Scout knife made by Imperial Cutlery in Prov. RI.), and one of the guys had a small hatchet he got from his dad. 
  I was always big for my age, my Folks bought me a kid sized sleeping bag when I was about six yrs. old, I think it weighed about six pounds dry and rolled up pretty big,  but it served the purpose, by the time I was nine yrs. old the bag only covered half my chest, on cold nights I had to scrunch up my legs to get the bag up around my neck, but then I'd go to sleep and straighten my legs out and the bag would crawl like and inch worm,  one time we were camped next to a river about 30 yds. wide and seven feet deep,  we had gone to bed a little after 11:00 pm,  I woke up freezing sometime after the fire had died down and found that I was waist deep in the river,  I had inch wormed my way about 12 ft. from where I started and another 3 ft. into the river.
  After that experience I swapped the sleeping bag for a couple of surplus wool army blankets until I could afford a new full sized bag.
  But you hit on a good point,  we could get by on much less, and most of us have,  we just aren't sure we want to.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline Orbean

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2018, 04:33:21 PM »
I dont know if any of you guy remember webalos (most likely bad spelling) it was after cub scouts and before boy scouts, one year. Anyways our troop leader told us we could eat like the books with dutch ovens and such, or we could eat lots of dried stuff and shelf stable items and have very little cooking time or clean up time. More time for fun stuff. Friday night dinners were foil packs, breakfast was hot chocolate, fruit, and instant oatmeal. Lunch was not cooked and saturday night dinner was always one pot meal. We ate with plastic bowls, utensils, and paper plates. I still often camp like that.


Thank you Mr Ellis and God bless you
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Offline wolfy

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 04:51:15 PM »
I remember Webelos...it was kind of like the Eagle ranking for the Cub Scouts.  I believe the badge was the only badge that could be transferred to the Boy Scout uniform.  How many more fellow Webelos do we have here? :shrug:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 04:58:45 PM »
It has been a long time since I thought about my cub scout days.  I was a Bobcat and then a Wolf as I recall and working on my Webelos badge when my folks moved to a new house on the outlying area of the city we lived in.  Never found another troop or den.   :-[

WE BE LOyal Scouts.
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 05:50:54 PM »
Yep.  Did Webelos.

Offline madmax

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2018, 10:29:32 AM »
Cub Scouts, Webelos,  and a year or so of Boy Scouts,  but we lived in the country by then and I had a big farm to camp on.  Went with my Dad's geology class on campouts,  MN canoe camping,  I just seemed to be ok reading books and doing what they did.

    Mom was our Cub Scout den mother.  Still not sure if that was good or bad.  lol.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving pretty with a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways in a cloud of smoke, thouroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!" 
Hunter S, Thompson

Offline Mannlicher

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2018, 05:15:27 PM »
I tend to buy better gear.  It just lasts longer.  when I was working,  I set aside funds for gear,  and bought top tier brands and products.  Now, many years later and in my retirement,  I don't have to buy stuff.  The older things,  tents, guns, knives, stoves, packs and the like are still in excellent condition despite 10+ years of use. 
I will never be convinced that buying cheap is cost effective in the long run.

and I don't own any Mora knives.   lol.   Or Opinals for that matter.    :)

Offline NoseWarmer

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2018, 08:19:03 PM »
Seems like this topic comes out quite a bit on forums and in person.

My opinion is, buy what you can afford and see if you like it, if you do, you done well, if not pass it on and pay it forward to the less fortunate.

I have gone through my share of gear to find what I like, and I'm still looking.
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated...

Offline NoseWarmer

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2018, 08:22:51 PM »
I don't own any Mora knives.   lol.   Or Opinals for that matter.    :)

I've got Mora's coming out my...

Seems like I have a Mora as a back up in all my vehicles, canoe, four wheeler, skid loader, gear bags, shop... I think you get the point. Good knife!

PM me and I'll send you one :)
Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated...

Offline Unknown

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 09:24:57 PM »
Seems like this topic comes out quite a bit on forums and in person.

My opinion is, buy what you can afford and see if you like it, if you do, you done well, if not pass it on and pay it forward to the less fortunate.

I have gone through my share of gear to find what I like, and I'm still looking.
That's good advice: Thanks. Earlier I started to say Orbean was on the right track having a mix of both inexpensive and not. Each having to decide when 1st, 2nd or 3rd rate might be acceptable for some parts of the kit. However- no one I know has got to that knowledge without some regret when that magical thing didn't pay off, or having a drawer of penny pos. Some of those I've held on to ( I wish I could say as a reminder to not be so foolish in the future) but really I just couldn't let go. Silly
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Offline Orbean

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Re: Gear Options/Does price really matter
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 03:31:05 AM »
Cub Scouts, Webelos,  and a year or so of Boy Scouts,  but we lived in the country by then and I had a big farm to camp on.  Went with my Dad's geology class on campouts,  MN canoe camping,  I just seemed to be ok reading books and doing what they did.

    Mom was our Cub Scout den mother.  Still not sure if that was good or bad.  lol.

My mom was a den leader, even after we went on to boy scouts
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