Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Camping Consumer

So, I'm going on a camping trip to Big Bend this October with some friends. Woo hoo! I've never really actually been on a camping trip before unless you consider high school drinking at the lake or a few times at a campground in Iowa with my dad and sisters when I was a kid (usually one of my sisters and I would end up putting the seats down in the car and sleeping in there). Since I've never really been camping, I don't have many supplies, and while I'm hoping I can borrow most of what I need, I'm only just beginning to realize the wonderful possibilities of outdoorsy consumerism.

There is a lot of stuff out there. And it is all fun and cool and brightly colored. And I want it all.

So far my only major purchase are the radical hiking shoes pictured above. I also bought a hat. But there are so many other neat things to covet: like a tent cot (which looks a little claustrophobic, but also like a personal fort); absolutely anything from the outdoorsy section of American Science & Surplus (possibly my favorite browsing catalogue on earth with surprisingly good copy writing and a little hand-drawn illustration for every item), but especially the survival kit, and the Maxi-Cool Multi-Tool (I love things that do more than one thing); some Superfeet insoles that the shoe guy got me thinking about; plus all the many camping items that fold, compress, pack neatly, and perform either a very specific task or a whole multitude of them.

And now I have to stop writing before I go buy this exciting stuff. Do you have any camping things I can borrow?


Joolie said...

I love all that stuff too. Even before I started camping we got the Campmor catalog and used to cruise around Academy and REI looking at all the ingenious camping contraptions. Although I've found in real life all you really need for a successful camping trip is good shoes, food, and beer. Oh, and ice.

jlowe said...

If I don't go, you can borrow my sleeping bag. It's light and packs small and is rated for 20 degrees (or close). It's also square rather than a mummy bag, because I like to have room to wiggle my feet.
I like Academy for cheap stuff, but I find the best overall field gear at REI and hunting stores like Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops.
You will want to get some Smartwool socks if you don't already have any. They're warm when it's cold, cool when it's warm, and they wick moisture. They also dry quickly when they do get wet.

Spacebeer said...

Smartwool socks are totally on my radar -- they sound nice and I don't really have any good socks to wear with my hiking shoes (everything is either too thin and girly or giant thick Nebraska winter socks). And I might take you up on that sleeping bag offer if you don't need it -- we have one (Josh's from high school), but it is pretty bulky.

Amelia said...

Everyone in seattle dresses like they are going camping every day- it gets kinda old. However, I highly recommend Superfeet! I have both the full ones and the "dress" versions, and they make a huge difference with my bad knees. They are manufactured in Katie Daugert's hometown of Ferndale, WA, and apparently Jerry Seinfeld is such a fan of them that he toured the factory.

Oh, and have fun in Big Bend!