So... have any of you heard of the ridiculously thrifty quatri-annual (did I just make up a word?) event known as the REI garage sale? Behold:
All this for $120! That's a sleeping bag, pair of Chaco sandals, pair of Keen waterproof hiking shoes, a headlamp, and a new daypack. Surprisingly, the most expensive (originally) item of the bunch was the pair of Keens, at $115. Overall, by not buying new, I saved $200. Pretty good in my book. And now I'm almost set for next season. All I need is a cookset, a backpacking burner, and maybe a tent.
Even though I brought my tent along on two trips this year, I didn't set it up once because the other people I was camping with brought theirs. And you're asking me, "well then why did you bring your tent along if you were going to use theirs?!" Well... there's this little thing called group planning that my group is not good at. We'd rather swing it, and when everybody brings a variety of things, we usually have everything covered.