With Black Friday behind us and the holiday season ramping up, it’s a good time to think about our relationship to... stuff. The stuff we buy for others, the stuff we buy for ourselves, the stuff left over when the new stuff arrives.
One of the wonderful things about going outdoors is that it doesn’t have to require a lot of stuff. I started hiking when I was a kid, in my usual clothes and shoes. My parents picked up some cross-country skis and boots at a garage sale, and we skied in the winter for free on the trails near our house.
As a teenager, I started to venture further into the backcountry on canoeing and backpacking trips, and my family equipped me with a backpack and sleeping bag. I still wore a pair of secondhand army boots that I found comfortable, but my sleeping bag kept me warm and my backpack allowed me to carry all the stuff that a newbie camper thinks they need 😉. ᨏ
After my last year of undergrad (that’s Canadian for “college”), I splurged and spent the $500 I got back from my tax return on a tent and camping stove. These two pieces of gear were the last things I needed to go camping on my own, with my faithful doggo. They opened up a whole new world of possibility for solo camping trips.
You know what? I still have that same old camping stove. And that old backpack? I finally replaced it with one I bought off Craigslist this year. As I’ve taken up more outdoor sports and ventured further into the backcountry, I’ve certainly added gear to my closet, including some fancy safety gear. But I typically buy something high quality and use it until it wears out, buy secondhand if it’s available in good condition and donate/re-sell my used gear.
Despite what outdoor gear
manufacturers, retailers and influencers will tell you, you don’t need a lot of gear to go outdoors. You can get by just fine with a few pieces of quality gear. This holiday season, save time, money and the planet by buying only stuff that you and your loved ones really need. 🙏 - 2 minutes ago