The hunt for gear

To make sure that I kept this promise to myself, and to spread the cost of gear over a longer period, I’ve started buying my gear.

First, the tent.

The debate was between weight and comfort. I decided that comfort was worth an extra pound or two. I bought an REI Passage 2 – a 2 person 3-season tent in a truly ugly orange and brown combo. It has a bathtub floor to keep out moisture, bugs and other creepy crawlies.

It’s very easy to put up, I know, I tried it in my living room last Saturday! I was surprised how intuitively the tent went together… and how not intuitive the rain fly is. But, a couple of redneck’ish YouTube videos later, I know how that works too.

I’m not a little girl. I decided it was worth the extra weight to be able to move around in my tent, have a decent amount of space to set up my bed, take off my shoes, take off my clothes, and hide from the elements when I needed to.

At just under 5 pounds, it’s a hefty investment, but one I think is worth it.

I also bought trekking poles in this same order. I am not going to give any sort of review on them until after I have hiked with them a couple times.

REI used Gear

REI has to be my favorite outdoor retailer, hands down. I’ve loved their customer service, their attention to detail, the ginormous amount of information they give you on each and every item. Now I love them for their used gear section.

Only available online, they sell gently used clothing, shoes, and gear at steeply discounted prices. Why does this matter? In a word, shoes. I’ve been debating hiking shoes / boots for months without being able to come to any decision. Five minutes walking around the store isn’t going to tell you if you can stand wearing these shoes / boots for six months and how they will hold up.

Then, I discovered that REI will sell you gently used shoes for around 50 dollars a pair. Now, I can afford to try several styles and brands to find the right fit for me.

For my first pair of try-outs, I chose the Merrell Moab 2 trail running shoes. I’ve read many good things about Merrell and Keen, so those are going to be where I concentrate, I think. They are scheduled to arrive this week, so hopefully TiAna and I can plan a training hike soon to try them out.

Miscellaneous gear

I found a sale at Mountain Warehouse this week, up to 70% off… so I bought myself a hiking shirt, some sock liners, and a Pakka rain jacket. Again, I’ve heard really good things about Pakka, so I was excited to find one on clearance, in my size, for $20. OH yeah, it’s bright red, too!

My MW finds should also be arriving this week, so I will let you know how they work out.

The List

Of course, there is a list involved. My revised-revised-revised gear list is long and complicated, but it made me really happy to be able to mark a few things off. Maybe next week I will type out a copy of my list and see if you have any ideas for improving it.

What gear do you use?

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