Cheap vs Expensive Gear - The real difference is quality and price.
I always recommend buying the best gear you can afford. But! Don't overspend, and it will ruin you in the long run! How to decide how much to spend? There is the question of how often do you plan to use it. What are your expectations about the product?
I have always been told by my Dad to buy once and buy well.
My Dad's advice served me pretty much all my life. I drive my old Landrover for nearly 20 years, and I have even older tools. That is just my way of thinking. Let's look at my camping gear in a bit more detail. There are some core items, in my setup where I'm just not able to compromise. Tent, Sleeping bag, Cooker and Cot(bed) For you, it is maybe entirely different because you may have a different style of travelling. You ride from hotel to hotel or hostel to hostel you don't have to worry about a tent and a stove. So the question is really what do you do and how often do you plan to do it. This has to be the main criteria when investing in your gear. Now I'm no gear snob. But certain brands do have a pedigree in providing equipment at a higher quality than others. They are proven solutions for a task in hand. And this definitely reflected in the purchase price of the item. Buying a tent in your local supermarket will keep you dry for a weekend trip and maybe a bit longer if you take care of it. But you wouldn't bank on it if you travel for three weeks on a cross-country track where you set up camp every day expecting all sun, rain and high wind. So if you are very clear what your objectives are, you can make the right choice.
Cheap vs Expensive Gear - Personal choice goes hand in hand with your habits.
I love camping when I'm on the road. There is nothing more beautiful than waking up in the morning and getting the coffee on. Opening the tent and enjoying a cup off coffee and take it all in. But my criteria on this has changed over the years. I don't like to sleep on the ground anymore. So I take a Cot with me. The penalty for all this comfort is apart for space is also the cost. Again there is the question of quality and price. Do I buy quality, or do I go for something cheaper? That brings me back to the tent. I don't like to crawl in and out of my tent. I'm 6'1 I want to be able to stand upright in my tent because it is easier to get in and out of my motorbike gear. So my decisions are based on what I need to get the most out of my trip. My sleeping bag is nearly 30 years old. I spend back then a lot of money on it. It was expedition grade, and the company manufacturing it is long gone. Yes, it was washed countless times, and I hade to stitch some rips and tares. But it is still my home from home on any trip. The bottom line is reliability, quality and comfort come at a price. Most of the time, it is reflected in the purchase cost or other times the physical size and the weight of the product in question.
Quality costs money there is no getting around it.
Being sensible with your spend on gear and prioritise what you need will not only save you lots of money in the long run but also give you a better experience on your trip. There is nothing worse than stuff failing on you during your precious time on the road. For information how to choose the right stove,
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