Photo Credit: Paleontour
Is it just me, or do people out there seem strangely obsessed with getting the “right” travel gear?
If you browse travel-related sites online, you can find threads, articles, and reviews in ABUNDANCE about shoes, jackets, backpacks, and gadgets.
I don’t get it.
I’m certainly in favor of preparing for a trip ahead of time. I don’t believe in wasting money on useless products. I want things that won’t fall apart. And I do want to feel “put together.”
But I don’t understand why people need so much gear. And why they need to constantly update it. And why they desperately seek advice about it.
I’ve travelled extensively in a range of conditions since 1994 (desert in Africa, rain forest in Central America, cold European winters, snowy Alaska, steamy jungle in Asia) with the same exact few pieces. So in my own opinion, most of the travel gear touted out there is extraneous. (unless you’re climbing Everest or something, in which case, I’m not talking to you).
In my own “gear” category on this blog, I hail my Vasque boots owned since 1991 and a Mountain Hardwear cold weather jacket. (I also mention a fun suitcase but could live without). When it comes to backpacks, I usually borrow a random one from a friend, or use a $8 fake North Face bag bought in Thailand.
I don’t even bother with whether an item is designed for a particular terrain or climate. I’ve just always used what I have, and I’ve never thought, “Darn, I really need … ”
I do recognize that for some people, contemplating gadgets or cars or makeup or photography equipment or whatever is interesting. I don’t question that.
But often I wonder if some people fall into the trap of thinking GEAR will make them “better” travelers. Or worse, they want to look the part more than anything.
How do you feel about gear?