Why Quality Gear Matters

We were camping on the beach about an hour north of Santa Barbara for a few days and were experiencing unusually high winds. The campsite was perfect, away from it all and right on the beachQuality Gear.

One of our favorite things about the stay was the nights because, being right on the beach, you could hear the waves just fifty yards away as well as the aforementioned winds kicking up nicely. All the while we were cozy, I mean cozy inside our tent, protected from the elements, feeling like kids again in our fort that could stand up to anything. And stand up it did, through that whole first night of fantastic northwesterly wind. Every once in a while one of us would wake up slightly and take note of the conditions outside, then drift right back to sleep without a worry.

I think the couple in the neighboring campsite slept ok too – once they settled into their car, their tent having been crushed and tattered by wind gusts in the middle of the night.

Kids Sleeping BagIn the morning the couple gathered what remained of their tent, got in the car and left. Shortly thereafter a family of four arrived and set up. That night the winds kicked up again, and man was it cool – our own ambient sound machine working overtime. Going to sleep listening to high winds and waves was perfectly capped by waking up to a sunrise amidst stillness. We stepped out barefooted onto the sand out, contemplating breakfast, took in the view of the ocean…..and three of the family of four packed into their truck, while the father slept defiantly under the flattened remnants of a tent draped over his body.

Now you can take yourself right on down to Target or WalMart and equip yourself with a tent. You will have a tent. Just as if you go down to Supercuts to get a haircut, you will have…a haircut. Of course, a tent won’t grow back.

Quality matters.

The above example illustrates several things:

  • The difference between fiberglass poles that come standard on a cheap tent, and aluminum poles that come on a quality tent
  • True three and four season rating.
  • Design intended to weather elements vs. design intended for backyard sleepovers.
  • It represents a principal that is applicable across the board in outdoor gear: you get what you pay for.

Now, for the fledgling camper, or the now-and-again camper, that principal can be prohibitive. The tent that stood up so well for us while beach camping is the Base Camp 6 from REI and retails for $400 – $450. It’s worth every penny, great tent, but there’s no getting around the price tag. And that’s just one item. Add in quality sleeping bags – prep for potentially miserable nights if you don’t have one – sleeping pads or air mattresses, lanterns, stoves, cook sets, and accessories – a lot of great gear that can add up to a great big bill.

If you’re not up for that bill, or don’t want to take the time to research and purchase all the right gear, you now have an alternative. There is a renting upside. And perhaps we know just the place to find it. And perhaps it’s on this page right here.

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