2 things i've noticed

6:40 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
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in reading forums and reviews, i have noticed to trends that bring questions.

why do so many backpackers seem so concerned with products not US made?..more so than other folks.

why do some people criticize gear when it doesn't "blend in"?

Probably questions I should know answers to...but I don't.

7:07 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
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It is good to keep the dollars within.

And,

Trying to have a soft effect is often the case.

8:01 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm not to concerned on where gear is made. And the blending in issue depends on where I'm going. If I'm going into a deep wooded area I like dark blues, Grey's, and a light green. If i'm out in the sands I like orange, yellows, and light blues. It's a matter of whether you want to be seen or not. 

8:09 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
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neither is an issue for me. I want the best gear at the cheapest possible price. If I can rely on it and it doesn't break the bank, I don't care what color it is or where it's from.

8:35 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Gear made in USA issue:
People tend to believe they get better customer support, some gear you might come across from manufacturers overseas might be more complicated to get warranty in the USA, and to support local gear manufacturers.  Most of that doesn't really apply though, because some american manufacturer has awful customer service and some international have excellent service.

Gear blending in:
When backpacking some people enjoy the feel of being isolated and away from the city impact, when you come across big yellow and white tent with all sort of colorful pretty gear laying around camp kinda crashes that feeling, so to respect others ppl tend to use more discrete gear, but beware, if you are somewhere where hunting is allowed you should always have alot of blaze orange in display. Same idea as the leave no trace ideology.

8:55 p.m. on July 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Another reason for blending in for me personally is if I do a dayhike away from my camp it is less likely to be notice which means I am less likely to get raided for my gear while I am out & about.

As far as the Made in the USA thing I really can't comment because I have various gear manufactured from all over the globe.

3:24 a.m. on July 29, 2012 (EDT)
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I think the folks that get really wound up about these two issues do so as a symbolic expression of their group affiliation:  Look like this and talk like this and thusly wave the flag for your side.  The made in USA thing is a patriotic nod.  A nice credo to express, but difficult, if not costly, to practice comprehensively.  The blend in thing is kind of a way of saying I read the manual, I am a PC camper - or among less pretentious circles, I like looking like Joe Camper.  And then there is the 4wd gun rack survivalist cami crowd - a whole ‘nother culture altogether.  Likewise if we wish to address the blend in crowd, let us not forget the folks who like to draw attention onto themselves.  They wear the iridescent ski outfits on the slopes, and purposely choose gear with garish color schemes, because they think it makes a statement, albeit I haven’t figured out what they are trying to say.

I'll buy USA when the quality warrants, and the price is within reason.  And I will buy muted colors when performance and quality between alternatives is equal.  My one exception is tents.  I usually sleep under the stars.  When I pitch a tent it is to escape the elements.  Being cooped up in a drab or dark tent is psychologically depressing, thus my tents are on the bright side.  But others equipped with loud colors in the back country does not bother me the least bit.  Jeez, if someone's orange tent bothers you, divert your gaze elsewhere.  You have the whole mountain to look at; don't tell me an orange spot the size of a small boulder is spoiling the experience!  And if your need to feel alone is so compelling, I suggest going somewhere where there actually are no other people.  If you can't find such a spot in the wilds, I suggest trying your hall closet.

Actually I think very few of us give either of these topics much thought.  Those in the know admire the virtues of old school Kelty packs, be they red or green, and don’t feel any great need to dress like Dr Livingston in recycled hemp fabric garments loomed by organic bean sprout eating hippies that were purchased from a Banana Republic store.

Note to forum readers: No animals or keyboards were harmed, and only solar power was harnessed and equity farmed coffee beans brewed and consumed, while producing this ramble. 

Ed

9:49 a.m. on July 29, 2012 (EDT)
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lol Ed thanks for the humor as always

2:28 p.m. on July 29, 2012 (EDT)
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so...i knew more than i realized.  thanks for your input, guys.

1:05 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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whomeworry said:


Actually I think very few of us give either of these topics much thought.  Those in the know admire the virtues of old school Kelty packs, be they red or green, and don’t feel any great need to dress like Dr Livingston in recycled hemp fabric garments loomed by organic bean sprout eating hippies that were purchased from a Banana Republic store.

Note to forum readers: No animals or keyboards were harmed, and only solar power was harnessed and equity farmed coffee beans brewed and consumed, while producing this ramble. 

Ed

 uh..Ed...I love my Livingston look.....you wanna make sumpin of it?????

7:55 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I was looking on this site in April before i went on my trip to the grand canyon in may.  I hiked on the south kaibab trail and took that down to the phantom ranch.  I camped off the tonto trail and then hiked back up the south kaibab trail and i had a blast.  from the reviews i read..i ended up getting the Osprey Aeither 70 backpack and i bought it online.  I received an email from Campgear.com where i bought my backpack.  I received a 30% off coupon code and i bought a small osprey talon backpack but the coupon code seems to work still for more than one use.  The coupon code is: MCCARTHYFF30      i figured i would pass it on to the rest of you guys since the forum was a great spot for beginner like me to find out some basic info before my backpacking trip to the grand canyon.  -scott

11:36 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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The livingston look is fine with me, its the gallon of petchuli that goes with it that bothers me. A little goes a long way with petchuli.

11:38 a.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I posted a separate thread about colour choices last week, and there have been a few interesting responses. Most people seem to put cost and performance well ahead of colour.

I buy Canadian when I can, as Americans buy stuff made it the US. I also buy foreign brands; my Salomon boots are from a French company, but made in China. My tent is from MEC (Canadian) but made in Vietnam, and my Deuter backpack is German-designed, but also made in Vietnam.

There was a thread a while back about boot sources, and the variety of countries where they were actually made (in spite of being 'American' or 'Italian') was pretty interesting.

1:31 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Safety issues with China made stoves. 

Duane

1:38 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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peter1955 said:

There was a thread a while back about boot sources, and the variety of countries where they were actually made (in spite of being 'American' or 'Italian') was pretty interesting.

Peter, this one?

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/comments/topics/112494.html

6:21 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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giftogab said:

 uh..Ed...I love my Livingston look.....you wanna make sumpin of it?????

Well my dear, then you must drop the haberdashery recommended by Captain Spaulding.

If you're in the wilds
For more than just a while
Then Livingston‘s ok
Hooray hooray hooray!

Some prefer tech fabrics
And some a fine wool tweed
In colors that do not bleed
Hooray hooray hooray!

Should go bird watching
I wish to come along
But please don't sing this song
Hooray hooray hooray!

In fact don’t even whistle it; you’ll drive me to drink!  But if you drive me to drink, I’ll gladly pay for the gas!

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
He filled the tank with gas
Please someone fill his glass
Hooray hooray hooray!

Ed

7:37 p.m. on July 30, 2012 (EDT)
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I always try to buy us made products when possible, if given a choice between a made in USA or made in X and the item is equal or better quality no matter price I will buy USA made. I don't have to replaces gear too often so when I do make a gear purchase I like to support us manufacturers and business. I have been buying alot of gear from us cottage industries lately such as hammock gear , and war bonnet for all my hammocking tarps, quilts etc.

As far as color goes I am generally a fan of darker or earth tone colors. I think color is a largely personal choice, and bright colors do have a true purpose at times ( such as hunting season etc) but can really be an eye sore at other times. all in all though I don't really care if the person I bump into or see out in the backcountry is a walking rainbow of neon colors.

9:57 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
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That was it, Rick. Thanks.

10:15 a.m. on July 31, 2012 (EDT)
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peter1955 said:

That was it, Rick. Thanks.

 No problem at all. Anytime. 

12:26 a.m. on August 13, 2012 (EDT)
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I try to blend in as much as possible, but during hunting season I wear orange. My dog wears bright orange too because when he runs though the woods you would think he was a deer, same color and just as fast. As for the ski slopes, my preference is low key too, but in watching some of those videos I finally have realized that in the big avalanche prone resorts it should be the norm to wear neon extra bright if you want to be found in the pile of snow. As far as buying Made in the USA............. Very few things are actually made here. Have you looked at the Patagonia labels ? Made in Colombia, Cambodia, vietnam etc. I'm with the guy who said he likes to buy the best possible gear at the cheapest price. One last note. While camping in Denali national park, many years ago, a ranger hiked to the top of this mountainside where some people had set their tent up. It took him several hours to get up there and find the folks who had pitched their tent within view of the distant road, it didn't matter to him that the tent was tan in color, it was visible from the road and he gave them a good ol ticket and made them move. So in this case color did not matter.

September 23, 2014
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