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QuietStorm
02-05-2017, 15:15
Just totaled my spending (excluding food) for the past year. I've made a few bad purchases and have been upgrading to lighter gear. The total came to $3,100. This includes a tent, three hammocks (one went to my daughter), one winter bag, three pads, top quilt, and two packs. Is this totally crazy?


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Decibel
02-05-2017, 15:18
Welcome to the dark side.

4eyedbuzzard
02-05-2017, 15:26
No worse than golf. If your house didn't get foreclosed on and your family didn't go hungry as a result, it's nobody's business but your own.

soumodeler
02-05-2017, 16:12
I wouldn't consider that to be too bad. If you are buying quality lightweight gear, it would be easy to get to that number rather quickly. Have fun using it!

Maineiac64
02-05-2017, 16:27
Thank you from bottom of my heart. You have lifted my last vestiges of spendthrift reservation.

I am going to guess I will have about $2K including clothing/footwear. If you average it out by the nights spent then it really means you have to get out a lot to make sure it is worthwhile investment. At $3K, 30 days it is only $100 per night, cheaper than most hotels I stay at.

FreshStart
02-05-2017, 16:35
It adds up so quickly, especially getting into ultralight gear. $2500-3000 comes very quickly.

QuietStorm
02-05-2017, 16:36
That's a great way to look at it. I section hike every weekend and part of the reason I have spent more than expected is that I regularly discover when gear works for me and when it doesn't. My daughter plans to thru next year, so much of my gear will go to her. I consider myself her scout--checking out the Trail and reporting back.


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DanTaylor
02-05-2017, 16:54
I think hiking/backpacking is almost expensive as bass fishing. Constantly upgrading to the latest and greatest. My problem is I am never satisfied so there always has to be something better

theoilman
02-05-2017, 16:56
You can get the load on your back as light as you are willing to let your wallet get!

Hikingjim
02-05-2017, 17:09
Reflect back on how much you used this gear in 10 years time, and you'll know if you were crazy or not.

Now that I have most gear that's adequate (but not outstanding), I try and make sure I hike at least 200+ miles for every piece of gear I buy (except for replacement of broken essential gear, or buying used and selling something of equivalent value). I know a few people that hike a week or two a year and buy a ton of crap and spend weeks a year browsing gear, which is a hobby in itself I guess!

This is from a section and short trip hiker perspective (max 2-3 weeks at a time). I find it easy for me to fall into the consumerism trap and buy crap I don't need unless I look at things this way.

dwcoyote
02-05-2017, 17:25
I am just getting back into this after about 30 year. I need everything and have been working on acquiring gear over the last 3 months to be ready when Spring / Summer arrive. In my mind I have an idea of what I have spent but I refuse to get the exact total. I am happy with my gear and am afraid when I see the total dollar in one lump sum it may spoil my enthusiasm for getting back out on the trails. Even though I have the money to buy everything at one time, I am going to just keep making smaller purchases for the next few months until my gear list is complete. Plus, I think doing it this way is keeping my wife from knowing how much this is going to cost since she hasn't complained, or maybe she is just ready to get me out of the house at any cost.

bigcranky
02-05-2017, 17:27
$3100 is 1/3 of a good carbon fiber road bike.

QuietStorm
02-05-2017, 17:33
I am just getting back into this after about 30 year. I need everything and have been working on acquiring gear over the last 3 months to be ready when Spring / Summer arrive. In my mind I have an idea of what I have spent but I refuse to get the exact total. I am happy with my gear and am afraid when I see the total dollar in one lump sum it may spoil my enthusiasm for getting back out on the trails. Even though I have the money to buy everything at one time, I am going to just keep making smaller purchases for the next few months until my gear list is complete. Plus, I think doing it this way is keeping my wife from knowing how much this is going to cost since she hasn't complained, or maybe she is just ready to get me out of the house at any cost.

I was hesitant about adding it all up, including all the small purchases, but thought it might be a good way to tell me to slow down a bit. I've been hiking through the winter, so I've had a chance to test all of it. Some things you think will work really don't, and others you use in different conditions. For example, I bought a poncho that also covers my backpack. I discovered it was almost impossible for me to put the damn thing on while alone and wearing my backpack. I've since ditched the poncho and bought Frogg Toggs and a Zpack pack liner. More $$$ but much happier.


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gbolt
02-05-2017, 17:33
If I had just ordered items once and never traded out anything to get exactly what I want for a Thru Hike, my total would have been $3,088.36. Of course I purchased items that wouldn't meet my needs or I found something better and lighter causing me to repurchase two and sometimes three times. Occassionally can sell but mostly just put into a give to someone pile. Afraid to think, how much I have spent total. Happy with my gear now...except for maybe....

Hikingjim
02-05-2017, 17:35
I was hesitant about adding it all up, including all the small purchases, but thought it might be a good way to tell me to slow down a bit. I've been hiking through the winter, so I've had a chance to test all of it. Some things you think will work really don't, and others you use in different conditions. For example, I bought a poncho that also covers my backpack. I discovered it was almost impossible for me to put the damn thing on while alone and wearing my backpack. I've since ditched the poncho and bought Frogg Toggs and a Zpack pack liner. More $$$ but much happier.
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I had one poncho where it took me forever to put on solo as well. Sat there in the rain getting soaked while I messed with the thing, and then refused to stop for breaks because I'd have to put the stupid thing on again!

PennyPincher
02-05-2017, 17:42
I should show my husband this thread! I posted that I was going to spend some of our tax refund on gear and nearly got a lecture on financial management from people on this forum. I think in the last year I have bought a new pad, a liner, and a water proof compression sack for my 25 year old down sleeping bag. So, maybe $200? Now I'm looking at buying a new bag and tent, zpacks both. That's not even a third of what you spent on gear this year. WOW!

Franco
02-05-2017, 18:01
I spent more than that on tents alone and that is including the money I got back re-selling several of those.
But I don't feed fish nor have children.
Actually I do have 7 comets (goldfish) but mostly they look after themselves.

JC13
02-05-2017, 18:03
I should show my husband this thread! I posted that I was going to spend some of our tax refund on gear and nearly got a lecture on financial management from people on this forum. I think in the last year I have bought a new pad, a liner, and a water proof compression sack for my 25 year old down sleeping bag. So, maybe $200? Now I'm looking at buying a new bag and tent, zpacks both. That's not even a third of what you spent on gear this year. WOW!I took it more as people saying that paying the government money as a savings plan was not sound financial management. I know plenty of people that use it as a savings plan though. Save Your Own Money

QuietStorm
02-05-2017, 18:04
I should show my husband this thread! I posted that I was going to spend some of our tax refund on gear and nearly got a lecture on financial management from people on this forum. I think in the last year I have bought a new pad, a liner, and a water proof compression sack for my 25 year old down sleeping bag. So, maybe $200? Now I'm looking at buying a new bag and tent, zpacks both. That's not even a third of what you spent on gear this year. WOW!

I should say that I started basically from scratch. I had a few items from when I used to hike in southern CA in the 1990s--fleece pants, snow pants, a Lowe Alpine pack, and gaiters. I started off last May with day hikes and built up mileage and weight slowly over the summer. I started overnighting in September and hammocking about the same time. So I basically needed everything, and needless to say gear has changed a lot since 1992.


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4eyedbuzzard
02-05-2017, 18:13
To add to my prior post (it's your business, not anyone else's) - I think you have to consider the conditions you typically hike in. Winter gear adds a lot to the cost. I think you can outfit for 3 seasons (above freezing temps) for a lot less than $3K though.
My 3 season gear, good to 30F or so (WM Caribou bag, BA Copper Spur UL1 tent, Golite Jam pack, Neoair, Jetboil SolTi, Lekis), cost total maybe $1000 plus perhaps $500 in clothing, shoes, and misc. It helps to shop sales, closeouts, and lightly used gear to keep costs down. Usually you can save 1/3 to 1/2 off retail.
For winter hiking, or even an early start on an AT thru, costs can add up quickly, especially for quality sleeping bags/quilts.

JC13
02-05-2017, 18:24
Good point, winter gear seems to be the costliest season to equip for. I think I spent $1000-1500 for enough gear for my wife and I to section last year. Everything I had from boy scouts was either way too heavy or had fallen apart from sitting in the attic for years. Tweaked some things for this year and catching stuff on sale has been huge. Every time I look at gearing up for winter conditions, I balk at the price, especially since I would really need to get 5 of most things as more than likely the kids would be coming.

Slo-go'en
02-05-2017, 18:35
I figure if I wanted to upgrade to the next level of UL gear I'd have to spend about $1800 for new pack, tent, bag, poles and down puffy jacket. But what I got now is still serviceable and not too bad weight wise, so I think I just stick with what I got for my next 500 mile LASHER hike this spring. Then spend the money I saved not buying new gear in town eating well :)

StubbleJumper
02-05-2017, 19:21
I would tell you how much I've spent on gear, but I am afraid that one day my wife might happen to read this thread and then I'm done! :banana:banana:banana

peakbagger
02-05-2017, 20:07
Stop by Western Mountaineering and Hyperlight Mountain Gears website and you will think you got out cheap. Of course you are paying a premium for ultrahigh quality gear with a great warranty and supporting US workers. A lot of the bigger brands gear is made in the Vietnam. Reportedly you can stop by a shop, tell them what you want and whose logo you want on it and it gets delivered the next morning.

rafe
02-05-2017, 21:43
I've surely spent several thousands on hiking gear over the years, but it's been a lot of years. The last time I kept track was about ten years ago. That season I spent about $1500 upgrading my gear for a 600 mile hike. I did such a bang up job of it that I've not had to upgrade anything much, since then.

Except for specific gear for winter hiking -- microspikes, snowshoes and crampons -- another $250-300 or so.

As a long term section hiker, I probably spent a huge amount on travel to/from the trail. And of course, on the normal expenses of thru hiking or LASHing -- food, town stops, etc.

Once you're in the woods, money is worthless. But you can sure spent a lot getting there.

Patrickjd9
02-05-2017, 22:14
The set of gear I'm actually using, far from ultralight at a 20 pound base weight, cost about $1000. I'll spend $700 or so this year trying to get 4 pounds out of my gear.

I don't buy gear other than boots all that often, but buy a pair of boots nearly every year.

El Gallo
02-05-2017, 22:16
Is $3100 a lot to spend on gear? Maybe. If I buy something and get a lot of smiles per mile I forget how much I spent on it. Money well spent.

dwcoyote
02-05-2017, 22:55
20 pounds base with about $1000 invested is actually a pretty good compromise for weight and money. From my research that extra 5 pounds is where you really start spending some money per ounce to get it down.

garlic08
02-05-2017, 23:14
My sub-10 pound AT kit including clothing and shoes worn cost under $800. That kit includes a nice Marmot Helium bag, a Gossamer Gear pack and a Tarptent, all bought new. Then I crossed the US on a touring bike that cost me $400 with new tires, and I used my AT gear for camping. My backcountry skis and boots cost under $100 used. I couldn't imagine spending a serious four figure amount on any outdoor gear.

QuietStorm
02-05-2017, 23:41
It's interesting to see what others have spent. I've counted literally everything, including stuff sacks, carabiners, moleskin, etc. I have a feeling some of these low figures are including only big-4 items like tents and bags.


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MuddyWaters
02-06-2017, 00:12
Heck Ive got a couple thousand just in dead geese

shelb
02-06-2017, 00:23
I have been lucky... as a section hiker who completes 100-200 miles a year, I have been able to work at lightening my load. Each year, I purchase one quality lighter item.

Wolf - 23000
02-06-2017, 01:07
A thru-hike of the AT is often a once in a lifetime for many hikers. It is also important to remember, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg to pay for the cost of a thru-hike. A common trap many new hikers will fall into is, "well this hiker is carrying this gear, so I must need the same gear". The true is gear can be extremely expensive but is still limit to how well the hiker knowledge of the gear. Some backpacks, for example, are well designed to handle gear weight extreme well. The same backpack is not much better than an Army ruck sack if the hiker does not know how to use it properly. My suggestion doesn't spend a lot of money on your gear until after you become familiar with the equipment. When possible rent your gear.

Wolf

4eyedbuzzard
02-06-2017, 01:43
It's interesting to see what others have spent. I've counted literally everything, including stuff sacks, carabiners, moleskin, etc. I have a feeling some of these low figures are including only big-4 items like tents and bags.


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The following has all been purchased over the last 8 years or so. Yes, that's a long time, but gear weight hasn't come down all that much, nor have prices risen, since I bought most of this - except for cuben fibre, and I'm not ready to pull the trigger on any of it yet.

WM Caribou bag $220 (going out of business sale at an outfitter)
Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 mtnglo $259 (just bought this last week from Basegear)
Golite Jam 50 $70 (when they went chapter 11)
Neoair (old/classic) 20x72 $90 (EMS had a coupon)
Jetboil SOL Ti $100 (EMS had a coupon)
Stuff sacks $15 at Walmart
Fleece lined pillow stuff sack $20
Leki Makalu poles $70 (sale plus coupon Sierra Trading)
Gloves (fleece) $20 at EMS
Hiking long pants - $50 Mtn Hardwear
Hiking shorts $30 LLBean
Poly T shirt $5 at Walmart
Patagonia Capilene base layer (tops and bottoms) $60
Patagonia Micropuff $75 (gently used off ebay)
EMS mid weight fleece $40
Marmot Precip $50 (on sale)
Fleece beanie $30 Mtn Hardwear
Nylon ball cap $15
Lowe Alpine long sleeve shirt $30 (sale plus coupon Sierra Trading)
3 pr wool socks $30 LLbean
Shoes $75 LLBean trail model II low hikers (last year)
Headlamp $40 Black Diamond Spot
Knife $15 Gerber LST
Ti flatware $20 (Brunton fork and spoon)
Gatorade Bottles - Free
Plastic bowl w/lid - Free
Small compass - $10
First aid kit - $20

Total $1459

Now, that's a reasonably light set up with some quality gear for under $1500. Do I have other stuff laying about? Sure, an Aarn pack with front pockets that I use if my back is bothering me, a Hennessy Hyperlight hammock that I'll be selling as I've decided that I'm "going back to ground", and some other gear like a sil tarp (keeping), an older 20F NF bag, some other clothing, etc. Probably about $1000 worth total. Some are purchase "mistakes", some I will sell, some I keep around as loaners.

But if you aren't in a hurry, and you don't buy things that don't meet your needs, you can wind up with a good outfit for well under $1500, and likely under $1000 if you buy gear used and/or at steep discounts.

Realistically gear gets used and worn and also better and lighter stuff shows up on the market. So it's an ongoing process. For me that probably amounts to $200 year on average - a pair of shoes and perhaps one other new major item every 3 to 5 years.

G-FOURce
02-06-2017, 06:19
I am at about $830 all-in, which includes my Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Platinum, Osprey Atmos 50, Big Agnes SLX pad, EE Enigma, and MSR MicroRocket w/Ti pot. It also includes my cold weather apparel with labels from Patagonia, Sierra Designs and Mountain Hardwear. If you have the expendable cash, go for it amd get it all new. If you dont, then just exercise a little patience and you can still buy quality gear on a limited budget.

Patrickjd9
02-06-2017, 06:24
20 pounds base with about $1000 invested is actually a pretty good compromise for weight and money. From my research that extra 5 pounds is where you really start spending some money per ounce to get it down.

Much of this gear I bought in about 2006, and have done well with it. Right now, it's looking easier to do things like not carry a full wallet/set of keys and move to lighter boots than to change major pieces of gear. I'm always going to be limited in going light by the fact that I'm a bit rough on gear.

Pack is fairly well shot (Granite Gear 65L), but I want to make sure I'm really carrying less stuff before going to a smaller pack. The $10 an ounce saved figure I've read seems to apply to my options.

Imasphere
02-06-2017, 07:10
The one thing I think most of us have to worry about is buyer envy. I often end up buying certain items just because they are discounted. Usually these are low priced items under $40 but still they can add up. One thing I try to do on any purchase decision is ask myself : do I really need it? That small question saves a lot of money.

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Maineiac64
02-06-2017, 07:24
By some of my other hobbies' standards (audio, boating, whiskey) this one is not too bad.

QuietStorm
02-06-2017, 07:52
The one thing I think most of us have to worry about is buyer envy. I often end up buying certain items just because they are discounted. Usually these are low priced items under $40 but still they can add up. One thing I try to do on any purchase decision is ask myself : do I really need it? That small question saves a lot of money.

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The little things really do add up. I was amazed when I went through my purchases that very few were over $50.


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EO.
02-06-2017, 10:28
It's interesting to see what others have spent. I've counted literally everything, including stuff sacks, carabiners, moleskin, etc. I have a feeling some of these low figures are including only big-4 items like tents and bags.

I'm with you. I keep close track of the cost of what is going in my pack (including stuff sacks, sunscreens, clothing, etc.) and if I end up purchasing everything on my current list, it will be worth close to $3500. And I specifically say it will be worth $3500. I'm patient in the hunt for what I want and between eBay and gifts/gift cards I'm hoping to end up spending <$2000 out of pocket.

Bronk
02-06-2017, 11:04
Some people here like to hike. Some of us like the camping aspect more than the hiking. And then there are people who enjoy shopping for gear more than they like camping or hiking. Most of us are a mixture of those three.

It all adds up...even the person who thinks they only spent $300 on their gear probably isn't counting the $110 pair of hiking shoes and the $45 shirt...just because it doesn't go in your pack doesn't mean you didn't spend it. You're probably just more honest about how much you've spent. Its like anything else, you can spend a lot of money on a hobby.

cmoulder
02-06-2017, 11:28
BackpackingLight has turned into basically a gearswap site with the occasional pertinent backpacking thread. Great place to get barely used, top-notch gear at a significant discount. Well worth the $5 annual basic subscription.

q-tip
02-06-2017, 11:36
My basic 3-season kit, populated with top of the line equipment, was $3,500. Safe, Dry, and Warm, this kit delivers. One could surely do it for much less.

QiWiz
02-06-2017, 11:49
Some good light gear can be expensive. Cuben and high-loft down insulation being the biggest $$$ items in my kit. I try to sell gear whenever I buy used or new gear. This lowers the cost of gear somewhat and helps keep the gear closet(s) in line.

kevperro
02-06-2017, 18:54
Like most hobbies it can be really expensive. It can also be very affordable if you don't get stupid about chasing every new gadget. I went almost fifteen years without buying hardly anything at one point. Once you own what is needed most of it will last you a couple decades or more. The last 5-6 years I've blown a lot of money updating my early equipment but I'm financially in a better place now than I was when I bought my first gear. I've bought and traded gear as a hobby more than hiking as a hobby.

Actual trips are affordable too. Just buy food and go walk.

gbolt
02-06-2017, 21:21
Is $3100 a lot to spend on gear? Maybe. If I buy something and get a lot of smiles per mile I forget how much I spent on it. Money well spent.

+1. Also, if it does that same job as another item but is lighter in the pack; money well spent.