So which is the better option? Top of the line or general run of the mill

12:48 p.m. on November 7, 2017 (EST)
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Last weekend took a buddies 2 sons age 26 and 13 hiking. Well the 13 yr old just about worried me to death. I had to take my top tent the Hilleberg cause 2 of my others were out of commission. One because it needs seam sealing and the other cause the same two broke a pole which I repaired but it broke again. And all this got me thinking about the costs, reliability and weight of all this gear. When hiking with kids and people who don't take it as seriously as we do it's starting to become an issue with me. When I hiked with Patrick that one weekend I knew I'd give him the whole pack and never have to worry about it other than normal wear and tear.

Then you get into issues like this piece of gear really isn't that much better than that. And you tend to worry about it.

so my question is this on normal weekend trip do you take you run of the mill and save your top of the line for yourself and also those time when you expect to face adverse conditions?

3:48 p.m. on November 7, 2017 (EST)
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John,

I tend to buy the better gear just to not have to replace it as often. 

But I like using inexpensive tents around campfires for sure. 

I guess I do hold some things back for certain environments. For example I love the Patagonia Houdini wind shirt but it's too delicate for overgrown areas around here so I only take it when I know I'm on a groomed trail (like the AT) or open areas like high elevation trails out west.

I have a policy about loaning stuff: I never loan something I'm not willing to give away (true for money too). It's served me well so far. :)

4:52 p.m. on November 7, 2017 (EST)
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Similar to Patman, I like better gear for durability and often lighter weight. However, back when I took the kids or loaned more stuff out it was definitely my older, cheaper, and heavier equipment and not near and dear to my heart.  Come to think of it, I have the same approach with my Scotch - I keep the good stuff for myself, only sharing it on rare special occasions, and share my cheaper stuff!

7:43 p.m. on November 7, 2017 (EST)
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Patrick & Phil  i buy the better gear because there is not a store out there and it's gotta work or your screwed so to speak. I never really worry about something breaking. Accidents happen. It's just when they carelessly abuse everything. Those 2 broke my go to tents pole which I'll have to reorder the younger one jumper into the sleeping bag with muddy clothes even after his older brother and I made it clear not to do it, and when he started jumping around it the tent, I grabbed him by the collar and made it clear enough was enough and from that point on he was to move slow and deliberate ( in other words think 1st and pay attention to what he's doing. That how I explained it to him. 

On another trip with a different buddy I handed his son a walking stick he started ramming it down on the ground and broke it before we even left the yard. Fortunately that was a wallys-mart that only cost me $16 

Then there full grown co worker who ive loaned gear 4 years in a row he's lost tent stakes, hood for sleeping bag lost my paddle for one of my kayaks (he did replace that 2years later)

im cool with things breaking but carelessness or maybe it's the oh well attitude that gets me. If either of you called and said loan me this or that I wouldn't worry or care if something broke cause given your reputations I believe y'all are like me. In that if you have it your gonna use it and if it breaks oh well things happen but you won't be throwing it around like these folks.

i also hold back on loaning out my Gregorys Hilleberg and a couple other things unless I'm there or it's someone I definitely believe I can trust. 

Guess im getting to be a grumpy old cuss  LOL I do enjoy company. hiking but I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking of letting these folks who come along use nothing but run of the mill and just be jealous, but I just can't seam to get past the what if problem if the worst happened when I would know I didn't give my best. 

How do y'all deal wit these kinds of issues? 

8:07 p.m. on November 7, 2017 (EST)
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I guess the real question is how do you feel about people who have no vested interest in the stuff we do  and are not like minded but need our help and encouragement? I don't mind one bit helping anyone but I am beginning to get I guess selfish is the word. In that I expect renters or freeloaders for lack of better vocabulary to pay however I don't expect peers to do the same because I know they are in the same predicament I am. Peers don't make carelessness a habit. And when they are they-don't parade it like some badge of honor 

10:52 p.m. on November 7, 2017 (EST)
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As you upgrade your gear, keep the old stuff as loaners.

7:13 a.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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that's a hard question John.I was always taught to give items back in better condition than received...Dads teaching...I guess when they realize someday that taking care of your things means they last longer...How old was the boy jumping around in the tent?

8:53 a.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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JR-it sounds like your saying write off the old gear and that makes sense to a degree but it still gets you mad.

8:58 a.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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Denis he is 13 and I make a lot of allowances for their age but man oh man one time we caught him trying to start a fire in some very high winds at Ivester Gap and I yell at him on that trip and his Dad was none to happy.

I was taught just like you. 

10:29 a.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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I only buy equipment I can depend on.  It does not have to be expensive.  I believe in quality tents, boots and sleeping bags especially.  Some equipment like gas stoves require maintenance. 

I am not saving any equipment for special trips. I use everything all the time. The older equipment gets given away to the Boy Scouts or friends. I have some extra equipment to use as loaners. 

I have lots of tents after 57 years of camping and backpacking. None are being saved for anything, they just have different uses, everything from a tarp to a heavy canvas tipi. 

10:36 a.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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While I do keep older stuff as loaners, I tend to purge as well.  I went through a real purge a few years ago and sold enough stuff on line to fund a new sleeping bag and tent.  I made about $600 and reinvested all of it in gear.

I would definitely cut off loaning stuff to someone who behaves like that.  In fact, I would outright refuse to go backpacking with them again.  Call me anti-social but while I don't mind occasionally meeting up with like minded folks, hiking with my wife, or taking someone new into the back country, I have no patience for lack of respect for equipment or the natural environment while out there.

1:50 p.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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FlipNC said:

.  Call me anti-social but while I don't mind occasionally meeting up with like minded folks, hiking with my wife, or taking someone new into the back country, I have no patience for lack of respect for equipment or the natural environment while out there.

 You expertly put into words what I was trying to say! The kids I can forgive up to a point but the adults are just plain rubbing me wrong and it's almost gotten to the point where I don't even want to take anyone other than my brother, Jeff or Steven the rest I'll just have to pray about. Those were just a few of the incidents that have happened on recent trips

then you get into the other side of the equation is all the worrying about the gear itself 

just as and example take the walking sticks , are My Black Diamonds really that much better than the Wally- mart ones? $140 versus $16, I say no but then I had the resources so I bought them. And on that last trip I'm laying in a $1000 tent in a$300 bag and wondering if having all this when some run of the mill stuff would work just as well.

its kinda like having a new Porsche and worrying about getting a scratch on it. I was plenty happy in my Kelty Gunnison but my hille sure is comfortable 

4:44 p.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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JRinGeorgia said:

As you upgrade your gear, keep the old stuff as loaners.

 This.

I use my high end stuff on all my trips, but I keep lots of my older stuff or otherwise budget gear and things I have found at thrift stores etc sitting around as loaners.

5:28 p.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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John Starnes said:

JR-it sounds like your saying write off the old gear and that makes sense to a degree but it still gets you mad.

 ??

Not sure what you mean about me "writing off" the older gear, or why any part of that would make me mad. All I'm saying is that when I make a choice to upgrade or otherwise replace a piece of gear, I then have the old/original piece still on my hands and I can either sell it, give it away, throw it away, or keep it. Some old gear I keep so I have some back-up capabilities built into my inventory and the ability to loan it to someone if I'm going out with someone who doesn't own his/her own. As long as I have the space I figure why not?

7:52 p.m. on November 8, 2017 (EST)
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I ment to say it makes a person (i.e.: me )mad when we give or loan ,especially our gear that we all worked and hunted pretty hard for and it's abused, with out a care.

Mine and I suspect most of us have pretty darn good 2nds and what I don't give away I as anyone expect to be used and eventually worn out not trampled on.

The way I took what you said was that if we do loan something out whether in be 2nds or top of the line that it is lost until we get it back cause no one takes care of our gear like the owner.

11:00 a.m. on November 9, 2017 (EST)
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Sorry John, I wasn't saying anything about whether or not someone will lose my stuff. I don't look at my older, duplicate gear as sacrificial, to be used when I know it could get trashed or lost -- though that might be a side benefit.

All I'm saying is that I don't have a particular approach to your dilemma because I look at it differently. It starts with my own decisions to replace/upgrade equipment. Then as a result I have a residual issue of what to do with the old stuff, and keeping it to loan out is a good option because it allows me the flexibility to support more than just myself -- if I have a buddy who has never been backpacking but wants to and doesn't own any gear, it's nice to be in a position to have extra to loan so that I can host him/her as a virgin backpacker and introduce my friend to the experience. Or, let's say a few backpackers congregate at my house to take one car to hit the trail and someone realizes they forgot this or that, it's nice to be able to go into the gear closet and solve the problem.

And in those situations, I very well might be the one to carry/use the older gear rather than my friends, if I'm particularly keen on making sure they are comfortable and have a good experience. It's not about protecting my new equipment, it's about finding myself with extra equipment on my hands and choosing to keep it because 1) why not, 2) it expands my options, and 3) it allows me to be helpful.

I wouldn't take older equipment and leave my new gear safe at home to protect it when facing adverse conditions -- while I don't want to ruin my new and presumably expensive gear, I also got a lot of it specifically in order to be as best prepared as possible if I do face adverse conditions. That's when I'll most need my "best" gear.

2:37 p.m. on November 9, 2017 (EST)
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John has raised a series of very significant philosophical issues that affect everyone:

  1. You have sold your life to purchase those goods; i.e., a tent may cost you twenty hours of labor. You will never get those hours back. How precious is your life? Are you willing to offer that life to someone else freely, even knowing that they may disdain your sacrifice and treat it with contempt?
  2. Should you offer to others only your finest? Do you get out your 18th century Worcester (1st period) porcelain dishes and vintage Waterford crystal water goblets for a six-year old's birthday party with friends? Would paper cups and plates be just as serviceable and appreciated just as much? Shouldn't form follow function? Will a 13 year old who is naturally producing sufficient body heat to warm a small county, really benefit from 750 down?
  3. Can you offer the item to your friend with your internal understanding that it may be ruined and that you will never speak a word of its loss to your friend? IOW, can you see every loan as a potential loss and still offer it willingly?

Good questions, John! Thanks.

8:57 p.m. on November 9, 2017 (EST)
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overmywaders said:

John has raised a series of very significant philosophical issues that affect everyone:

  1. You have sold your life to purchase those goods; i.e., a tent may cost you twenty hours of labor. You will never get those hours back. How precious is your life? Are you willing to offer that life to someone else freely, even knowing that they may disdain your sacrifice and treat it with contempt?
  2. Should you offer to others only your finest? Do you get out your 18th century Worcester (1st period) porcelain dishes and vintage Waterford crystal water goblets for a six-year old's birthday party with friends? Would paper cups and plates be just as serviceable and appreciated just as much? Shouldn't form follow function? Will a 13 year old who is naturally producing sufficient body heat to warm a small county, really benefit from 750 down?
  3. Can you offer the item to your friend with your internal understanding that it may be ruined and that you will never speak a word of its loss to your friend? IOW, can you see every loan as a potential loss and still offer it willingly?

Good questions, John! Thanks.

Man now that is deeeeep!

#1 many times I have all thou I  don't see it as sacrificing my life in as much as it is showing others a better way. The rub is that it took me a decade of sacrifice during very hard times and doing with out just to get these things and then to hand it to someone free of charge,who insisted that they wanted needed or just would like to try it and watch all your efforts and sacrifices go up in smoke in an instant is dang hard to put up with.

#2 I believe YES .and just about as long as I can remember have That It developes value in that person. They will know that someone thought that they were worth more than the here you can have this I don't want or need it anymore.ie: (it's garbage to me and that's all your worth that we throw at people daily)

#3 part one sometimes yes other times no.

part 2 yes but with money I've made it the habit of giving it as a gift so as not to lose a friend over it not being returned but with  possessions like the gear it is much more difficult in that it's more than just what it cost or the sacrifice; it's the constant searching done the 140 miles driven to the stores the agonizing over am I able to afford it at this  juncuture and the elation of owning it and finding out you made the right decision and it works good 

Thank You For getting me closer to understanding what is really bugging me and getting me closer to dealing with this problem. 

People are more important than what it cost but when it reaches past the carelessness into arrogance it's time to leave them to their own and move on.

2:10 p.m. on November 10, 2017 (EST)
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Kids are rarely going to take care of gear the way a diligent adult normally would, and it is often related to age. Mine today (youngest is fourteen) are pretty good about not abusing things, but they used to be a little more rambunctious. Even today, keeping them clean, airing them out, not so much.  i mention it and show them how (when i'm doing that for the gear they brought back damp or dirty). Hopefully, if they borrow gear from people other than dad, they will treat it the way I have suggested.

I am pretty good about loaning gear, and I fortunately have not had to cross some bridges that I would rather avoid. Have loaned two REI tents a number of times, and my friends were good about taking care of them. I had a good down sleeping bag ruined, but due to a bad injury and a long ground-based evacuation - hard to blame someone for bleeding all over my bag and scrapping the baffles under the circumstances. I loan smaller backpacks all the time without any big issues - broken buckles once or twice, easily replaced.

So far, no one has asked to borrow my winter gear. I would probably have a casual conversation about the borrower's experience with winter conditions and longer trips more generally if asked, because the price point is pretty high on most of it.   

4:25 p.m. on November 10, 2017 (EST)
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Our soon to be 28 year old and recently married daughter asked if she could borrow our Copper Spur UL2 for a month of solo bike touring in Europe. For a shorter period the answer would have been a definitive yes, but a month of continuous use, especially in a humid climate, can really wear on a tent. So we are hesitant, mainly because that is also my solo tent for those rare occasions when I go out on my own. Any advice from the TS pnut gallery?

7:39 p.m. on November 10, 2017 (EST)
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BigRed said:

Our soon to be 28 year old and recently married daughter asked if she could borrow our Copper Spur UL2 for a month of solo bike touring in Europe. For a shorter period the answer would have been a definitive yes, but a month of continuous use, especially in a humid climate, can really wear on a tent. So we are hesitant, mainly because that is also my solo tent for those rare occasions when I go out on my own. Any advice from the TS pnut gallery?

 Yup in your case that's daddy's little girl and the most valuable precious thing in your life. So my friend it looks like your out 1 tent For a month only I hope.

or you can do like I explaimed to one of the 20 or so neices that I have, when she made it clear that I should give her and her husband a piece of property that I own. I simply told her that, and I quote (honey I just don't love you that much!)

12:05 a.m. on November 11, 2017 (EST)
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BigRed said:

Our soon to be 28 year old and recently married daughter asked if she could borrow our Copper Spur UL2 for a month of solo bike touring in Europe... ..Any advice from the TS pnut gallery?

I agree a month of use puts miles on any tent; more so with the copper spur, given the LW materials used in its construction. 

If they can afford a month long trip then they can definitely afford to get their own tent.  On the other hand you can use this milestone to budget a new tent for yourself, if you are willing to part with the copper spur.

Ed

12:28 a.m. on November 11, 2017 (EST)
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I never loan out sleeping bags.  I obsess over keeping my bags clean, taking better care of them than anyone else I know.

I may loan out non-down apparel, based on my impression of how respectful I think the person is of others' property, as well as how they care for their own stuff.

I will loan out retired tents, but not tents in my active use inventory.

I will loan out durable stuff like kitchen gear, packs and non-climbing ropes.

My college age daughter has finally gotten interested in backpacking.  Given my sentiments over gear loans, I have started to outfit her, which gives me peace of mind regarding the welfare of my own stuff, as well as encourages her to get more into the sport.  To that end I have purchased her first sets of rain gear and boots, and a mummy bag.  I gifted her a Kelty external frame pack that was lightly used before someone gave it to me - it fits her but well but way too small for my torso.  So  win win on that one.  And I also gifted her a lightly used MSR Hubba tent, which I replaced in my inventory with a cuben tarp.  She also has an ancient 2p dome I retired decades ago that is good for car camping, but I would not trust it to the elements on a BC hiking trip.

Ed

7:56 p.m. on November 11, 2017 (EST)
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Oh they can afford their own tent, a year or so ago they got a 3p Nemo with a huge vestibule that she calls The Palace of Spaciousness and Luxury,  but she wants to celebrate completing her PhD with a solo cycling tour and so needs a lightweight solo tent. We might be upping our tent quiver by one pretty soon but not quite in that category. The youngsters are coming over for a visit in March, I guess we'll decide then.

Ed, it sounds like your daughter is doing pretty with Dad's retired inventory!

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