You really want to start going camping more, however camping gear is just so freaking expensive! I mean once you buy a basic sleeping bag, a small tent, a few cooking utensils, and many other basic camping essentials, you can easily get over $1,000+ extremely quickly! But this begs the question, why is camping gear so expensive?
Camping gear is so expensive because camping is such a popular hobby and the items are made out of high-quality materials in order to withstand the extreme outdoor weather. Also, a lot of companies that sell camping gear have built up a strong brand with a loyal customer base, this alone allows them to charge more.
In this article, I’m going to be going a little deeper into why camping gear is so expensive. However, if you want to skip directly to the part of the article where I show you how to get name brand gear at a HUGE discount, then scroll down to the part of the article where it says, How to Get Name Brand Gear at a Discount.
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How the Popularity of Camping Can Increase the Price of Gear
Camping is an extremely popular activity, not just in the United States, but throughout the entire world as well. In fact, did you know that upwards of 77 million people go camping in the U.S. each year? That’s insane. That doesn’t even account for how many people go camping in other countries, such as Canada and European countries.
And since camping is such a popular activity in the United States, as well as in other countries, it leads to camping gear being more expensive. The reason for this just comes down to a higher demand equals higher prices. It’s not because manufacturers and retailers cannot keep up with the demand, it’s because there is such a huge demand for the products that the companies can charge more for their products.
Just do a quick Google search for, high demand higher price, and you’ll soon start to see what I’m saying.
How a Strong Brand Increases the Price of a Product
Just like we covered how popularity can increase the price of an item, the same is the case for the company’s brand who is selling the product.
Let’s take Apple, for example, the popular iPhone maker who needs no introduction. Over time, Apple has built up quite a massive community of people who absolutely go crazy over their products, maybe you’re even one of them. This means that people are willing to pay a lot more for their iPhones, or any other Apple product for that matter, than they’re actually physically worth. To further prove this point, read this article about Apple’s famous computer stand.
Anyway, name-brand companies who specialize in camping gear are no different. They have a community of people who love their products and are willing to pay a lot more for it. This in return allows companies to increase their prices.
Does High Priced Gear Mean High-Quality Gear?
When purchasing anything that is expensive according to your own personal budget, it’s always very important to do your research. Many products out there, whether camping related or not, may have a fancy price tag, but aren’t worth it at all.
One such example is the Bear Grylls line up of products. A lot of those products have premium price tags, but unless you’re just purchasing it because you’re a Bear Grylls fan, for the same price you could have gotten a product with a lot better quality.
So how do you know that a product is actually worth it’s price tag? A simple answer is, check the reviews. If you’re trying to determine whether or not to buy a specific sleeping bag or not, look at what other avid campers are saying about it. If you’re still unsure, spend time doing more in-depth research about the specific sleeping bag.
Is Expensive Camping Gear Even Necessary?
You might be wondering at this point if purchasing expensive camping equipment is even necessary? There is really not just one answer to this question. It will highly be determined by the products and the brands selling the products. However, popular name-brands are going to charge more for their products because, well, they’re popular. So if you’re on a budget, do your research and try to look for products that are close in quality to expensive items, yet with a cheaper price tag.
Let’s take the Hummingbird Hammock (view here on Amazon) vs. the OuterEQ Camping Hammock (view here on Amazon) for example. The Hummingbird Hammock is almost 3x times more expensive that the OuterEQ Camping Hammock, but is it worth spending the extra money? Both are made out of parachute material, however, a few of the differences are that the Hummingbird Hammock weighs half as much as the OuterEQ Camping Hammock, but the OuterEQ Camping Hammock is capable of holding up to 330lb (150kg), while the Hummingbird Hammock can only hold up to 300lb (136kg).
Both camping hammocks are great choices, but if you’re on a tight budget, there’s no reason why the cheaper hammock won’t get the job done just as good as the more expensive one. This example applies to all camping gear as well, not just camping hammocks.
Have You Thought about Purchasing Used Gear?
If you still find most camping gear to be too expensive and just outside your budget, maybe think about going the used route. There are many different ways that you can get your hands on good quality, affordable camping gear by just purchasing it second hand. There are quite a few sites where you can buy used camping gear, but you can find a few popular ones below.
On REI’s website, they have a dedicated section for used gear! In fact, I don’t think a lot of people know about this part of their website. If you go there, you’ll see items marked down almost 50% from the price brand new! But the best part is, all the items are still in relatively good condition! To go to REI’s used section of their website, go here.
Facebook Marketplace is a great place to get used items that are also in great condition. If you’re unfamiliar with how Facebook Marketplace works, it’s very simple. When you find an item listed for sale near you, you’ll have the option to message the seller through Facebook messenger. From there if the item is still available, you and the seller just work out a date/time on when you want to make the transaction. I use Facebook Marketplace all the time as both a seller and a buyer, it works pretty well. To go to Facebook Marketplace, just go to Facebook.com/Marketplace.
Another option is Craigslist, which I’m sure you’ve heard of before. If you haven’t, Craigslist is basically the same kind of format as Facebook Marketplace but with an early 2000s website design. If you’re wondering why I even included this as an option is because there is still a lot of quality items on Craigslist. And since a lot of people are using other platforms, such as Facebook Marketplace, you may find products on Craigslist at a price that you can’t find other places. To use Craigslist, just go to Craigslist.org.
How to Get Name Brand Gear at a Discount
Ok, so if this is the part of the article you’ve been waiting for, you’re in for a treat! In this section of the article, I’m going to give you a small tutorial on how to use a very simple online tool that will help you to get name-brand camping gear for a lot cheaper!
Ok, so the tool is a browser extension called, Wikibuy! A browser extension is just an app that you install on Safari or Chrome on your computer. How it works is when you’re done shopping online for your camping gear, or anything for that matter, it will automatically valid coupon codes to your order to help you get the best price possible. I’ve been doing this for some time now, and it is absolutely amazing! Here’s how to set it up.
Go here on Wikibuy.com and create an account, it’s FREE.
From there, it will prompt you to install the Wikibuy app on your browser (this is just like installing an app on your phone). If you’re on Safari, it will take you to the Mac App Store, and if you’re on Chrome, it will take you to the Chrome Web App store. If you run into an installation issue, go to this help article on Wikibuy’s website.
It should look something like this:
From here, you’ll have the option to fill out a small questionnaire about the places you shop online, but once done with that, you’re ALL SET! Now, every time you go through the checkout process on a website, Wikibuy will notify you if there are any available coupon codes that you can use to get the lowest price possible on your order!
Ok, so that was a brief rundown on why camping gear is so expensive, and, how you can get name-brand gear for a lot cheaper! If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it!