Why is Camping Gear So Expensive? 9 Reasons To Buy Them Now

Many people get intimidated by the thought of going camping because of how expensive it can be to buy your first pieces of gear.

If you’re reading this, you might be trying to find good reasons to buy these expensive camping gear. I understand, and I believe that you don’t need to have the absolute best products if you’re just getting started. After all, it can be really difficult to buy something without knowing if it will get used often enough for it to be worthwhile.

However, I wanted to answer this question about why camping gear is so expensive to highlight their benefits, and to encourage you to make that initial investment.


1. Durable Camping Gear Can Be Used For A Long Time

High quality camping gear is meant to be used over many years and several seasons. Not all companies are able to create gear that is lightweight while maintaining durability.

That’s why you need to look out for durable camping gear that is able to withstand the elements of the outdoors. With all that said, make sure you clean your equipment before packing it away for the off-season.

Tents: You may encounter rocky terrain or have branches protruding from the ground. A good tent should hold up in these situations.

Sleeping pads: Similar to tents, some ultra lightweight sleeping pads may have such thin material that they are prone to punctures. Weigh the pros and cons of each sleeping pad, and see if you are able to add a protective layer underneath to protect it.

Backpack: If you’re going on a hike, you want your backpack to be able to withstand the tugging that comes with putting on and taking off the pack. Knockoff products might have cheaper strap stitches or plastic pieces that break easily.


2. Getting The Right Camping Gear Even If It’s Expensive

The right camping gear depends on the type of activity and this will vary from person to person. Remember that because you want this gear to last for a long time, try to imagine the type of adventures you want to go on. That will help you save money later on since you have gear with great performance and functionality for your needs.

Type of activity: Multi-day backpacking trips can be a little more costly because you need gear that is lightweight yet does not compromise on performance. Sleep systems including sleeping bags and pads are great examples where you need warmth and compactness. Naturally, the more efficient the camping gear, the more expensive it is.

Weather conditions: Shoulder seasons like late fall, winter, and early spring are great times to go camping. However you will need the right camping gear to make your experience enjoyable. It’s important to prepare a sleep system that will keep you warm during the time of year you want to camp. No matter which season, you should always be ready for windy or rainy weather. Here are some tips on picking out the right gear for cold weather camping.

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3. Well-Reviewed Camping Gear Gives You Peace Of Mind

Camping gear expensive

Frankly, quite a lot of the expensive camping gear is being promoted by outdoor blogs. Understandably it drives their bottom line to promote these products. Before you click away, let’s look at it another way.

The sheer amount of product reviews, tests and commentary available online allows you to get to know the products easily. You can also check out how their safety and reliability features perform when put to the test by passionate outdoor people.


4. Each Brand Has Their Own Product Strengths

As you might know, some brands are well-known for their specialisation in certain products. That means that they have done something right to deserve this reputation and naturally their products might be more expensive.

As camping trends evolve, camping gear companies innovate and expand on their specialised features to remain competitive. Here are some examples of companies that managed to earn high praise with their products over time.

Backpacks: Ergonomically designed backpacks with adjustable features to cater to different body types (Osprey, Gregory, Deuter). If you’re not too picky about the technical aspects, you can even find some hiking backpacks under $100!

Tents: Advanced ventilation and weather-proofing in tents (MSR, Big Agnes, Mountain Hardwear)

Sleeping bags: Thermal efficiency, ventilation and sleeping bag shapes that include quilts (Sea to Summit, Mountain Hardwear, Zenbivy)

Sleeping pads: Insulating and compact sleeping pads that provide comfort while keeping gear weight low (Therm-a-Rest, Nemo)


5. Reduce Waste and Support Sustainable Manufacturing

Environmental considerations are also another reason why camping gear might be expensive, in terms of production and repairability.

As people who love nature and the outdoors, it’s good to know that the products we purchase are produced sustainably. For example, you can often find products that are made from recycled materials even if it costs more to make them.

There is also a greater emphasis on repairability and durability to make the products last longer. Since you can use high quality camping gear for a long time, it reduces the waste associated with disposal of low quality products with short life span.

Wouldn’t you say that’s great for both the environment and your wallet?


6. Expensive But High Quality Camping Gear Has Resale Value

Due to the popularity and durability of some of these expensive camping gear, you can sell or trade in your used gear. This helps you to recoup some of the initial cost and make room for gear upgrades. In fact, if they have been cared for properly they might still be in excellent condition and will be easier to resell.

This also means than you have the option to buy used high quality gear if budget is a concern. For example you can look at Facebook Marketplace, REI Re/Supply, Craigslist, Ebay etc.

High quality gear does not have to be super expensive, which is great news for all of us. Personally we bought sleeping pads and some backpacks from REI Re/Supply for a fraction of its original price.


7. Committing To The Purchase Enables An Outdoors Lifestyle

Going outdoors is part of personal growth and helps you to develop an outdoor lifestyle. Now that you’ve spent money on camping gear, you’ll want to use them to make the purchase worthwhile.

Do you know of this saying, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”? Although the origin of this quote is super different from our topic, I’m trying to say that you may enjoy the outdoors much more after spending money on gear.

With the right gear that you’ve invested in, it will open up so many options for you. Even though you may be a beginner now, you will gain experience camping as you take your gear out on trips.

Being able to enjoy the holidays and weekends outdoors is priceless. As you know, we have a finite number of summers (insert your favourite camping season) in this life. That’s why I’m encouraging you to just do it!

Read more: How To Get Started Tent Camping: Simple Tips for First-Timers


8. Bonding With Other Outdoor Lovers

Now that you have your own camping gear, you can pass your knowledge on to others by sharing your own thought process when making the purchase decision.

You can also make spontaneous camping plans with others just because you don’t need to borrow or rent camping gear anymore. Camping can be a social activity and having quality gear allows you to share these outdoor experiences with friends and family.

Need some outdoor trip ideas in US? Check out these other articles!


9. It’s Still Cheaper Than Staying In Hotels

It’s no secret that camping gear is expensive, especially if you are looking for backpacking or four-season equipment. If there’s one thing to rejoice about, that’s the savings you will now have because you don’t have to pay for a hotel just to enjoy the outdoors.

Campsites cost so little compared to hotels. For example, in Yosemite you can snag a campsite for $36 per night at the popular Upper Pines campground. Hotels, on the other hand, may cost hundreds of dollars a night, especially during the peak periods.

Saving money on hotels is a great way to be able to travel more. Whenever I’m at a campground, I’m always amazed at how we can get such great views at a low cost.

To sum up, investing in camping equipment is truly essential for many outdoorsy weekends to come, even if the initial cost is expensive.

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Psst… You can even bring camping gear abroad! Here are more ideas:

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