What’s worse, is that I even worked at a big-box outdoor store so paycheck after paycheck was “re-invested” right back into the company, or the numerous pro deals I “had to have.”
You know the feeling right? No trip to the gear store is complete without bringing something home.
If you’re only into camping and backpacking then good for you, I can only advise you to stay away from hunting, fishing or climbing – because the addiction only gets worse, and more expensive.
All humor aside, there’s a dark side to fueling the fires of our outdoor passions with unending gear purchases – what we really need is TIME TO BE IN THE OUTDOORS.
Strolling through the aisles looking at fishing flies and camouflage safari hats it hit me, every dollar I spend on outdoor gear is one more dollar that keeps me chained to my job and NOT outside hunting, fishing, hiking and camping i.e. the things I really want to do with my time.
The trap of consumerism is that buying the goods that prepare us for our adventures elicits comparable feelings to actually going on those adventures – but HOLD OUT!
On the front-end, you may get that buzz but will buying a lighter backpack leave you with memories?
Where’s the badge of honor you EARNED paddling through the tempest vs. just buying your carbon fiber paddle?
This whole article may seem counter-intuitive because I OWN an outdoor brand. And as mentioned, I own a LOT of outdoor gear.
But in my heart of hearts, I’m just like most of you – shorter on time than I am money, so I spend what I’ve got hoping it makes me feel closer to the things I love doing.
As your gear adviser – I encourage you: buy the minimal amount of gear you need for each pursuit, and 120% focus on maximizing the amount of time you can invest in getting OUT THERE.
Each season, think about a goal you can make for yourself that will demand you spending more time outside. Maybe it’s “catch your first trout on the fly” or “spend 20 nights in your hammock.” And jeepers creepers please don’t turn it into “work.”
Chances are you’ve already got the gear you need, so don’t worry about the money. Time will be the only cost, but remember the outdoors never fails to restore us, when we give it a chance.
If you do need to buy gear, then please by all means buy equipment that stands the test of time. We can help you with that.
And if you’re fully stocked, like I am, then shift your mind into what you can do to just spend a little more time doing what you love – one more cast, one more unexpected night in camp, take that road trip.