Why Is Camping Gear So Expensive? (5 Affordable Options!)

why is camping gear so expensive

You are planning to start camping with your family. However, you are concerned that camping gear is so expensive. In this article, I am going to figure out why camping gear is so expensive and come up with 5 affordable ways to get camping gear.

Camping is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Big brands and companies spend huge amounts of money in the research, design, testing, and marketing of their products which is then reflected in the prices. Apart from that, camping gear is made from high-quality, lightweight, and robust material which is difficult to work within the manufacturing process and requires more man-hours. 

That being said, there are affordable options available for you to get camping gear. So you don’t always need to go for the most expensive gear. 

3 Reasons Why Camping Gear Is So Expensive:

Camping Gear Is Made From Lightweight And Durable Materials

Camping gear needs to be strong and robust in order to withstand the harsh climatic conditions outdoors. The materials used to make the camping gear are expensive because they are lightweight, durable, and waterproof.

High-quality materials such as Aluminum (used to make tent frames) and Titanium are difficult to work within the manufacturing process. They require more workmanship to make the product. This results in your camping gear becoming more expensive.

In addition to that, the raw materials are finite. Cottage vendors charge more because the camping gear is tailored to your needs. For example, your sleeping bag should keep you warm on a cold night. 

It requires skill and man-hours to make these products to fulfill your needs. More work hours mean more wages for the employees. That makes camping gear more expensive.

The construction of a product determines its price. For example, there are two sleeping bags, both are made with the same cotton fabric. 

Although the material is the same, the construction is different. The one with an even distribution of the fill power down and good stitching will loft better and keep you warmer than the one having poor construction.

A tent made from heavier cheaper nylon material will leak and fall apart quickly. However, a tent made with durable, robust, and waterproof material will last a lifetime for you. 

Manufacturers And Retailers Invest In Research And Design

It takes a lot of time and effort to bring a product to the market. The company has to do research and test the product first. After that, they pay innovative designers to make the products. Once the product is made it is heavily marketed. All this costs a lot.

Manufacturers and retailers need to cover their expenses such as wages, bills, building costs, warranty, customer service, insurance, rent, and more. Therefore, they charge more for the products. They’re investing in something to make a profit.

So you are not only paying for the product itself but also paying for the brand, its trust, and reliability.

Products from reputable brands come with rock-solid warranties. Also, they have a repair facility in case your product is damaged.

Brands also need to lower their impacts on the environment. So they look for materials that are environmentally friendly.

People love to spend time with their friends and family outdoors. Camping provides you the opportunity to connect with nature and forget all your worries.

The number of people going camping around the world will completely shock you. According to Outdoorindustry, KOA, Forbes 77 million households in the United States contain someone who camps. One million families in Canada like to camp.

The demand for camping gear is huge because more people are going camping. High demand also comes with high price tags. Therefore, they are charging more.

The rise in popularity has made the camping industry much more lucrative. People are willing to pay the extra money because of the trust and reputation of popular brands. 

Some of the big players in the industry are North Face, Patagonia, MSR, and Hilleberg.

Do You Need To Purchase Expensive Gear?

Not all expensive camping gear is worth it. Similarly, not every inexpensive gear is bad. You don’t always need to purchase expensive camping gear. Make informed decisions. Do your research properly and check the reviews.

If you’re totally into camping and do it in all the seasons then you should go with a more robust and durable product. That will cost you a bit more but is totally worth it.

However, if camping is a once-in-a-year thing then look for something that can get the work done for you. You don’t need to purchase an MSR tent to look like a real backpacker or Mountain Hardware to feel like a mountaineer.

You don’t need to purchase the latest models. Look for absolute basic necessities first. Then you can think about other items laters. Avoid purchasing unnecessary gear. 

If you’re car camping then you can use your kitchen utensils like cookware and dishes for camping.

Affordable Options!

Used Gear

You can find some excellent condition used gear in the flea markets. Some of the big websites which sell second-hand gear are REI, The North Face Renewed, Patagonia Worn Wear, and Outdoorsgeek. They have a dedicated section on their website for the used gear. 

Sometimes you will find the best product second-hand. So you have the opportunity to purchase branded items at an affordable price that will last a lifetime.

Take Advantage Of The Sales!

There are a lot of websites in the camping niche which offer sales, look for them, and take advantage. REI anniversary sale is 20-30% off. There are new year and Black Friday sales. Purchase your gear during end-of-season sales. 

Install The Wikibuy App!

Install a browser extension called Wikibuy on your computer. You can also install the app on your phone. This browser extension provides you with the available coupon codes during the checkout process. So you can get the item at the lowest possible price.

Rent Gear

You can rent gear at REI rental, Outdoorsgeek, and Arrive Outdoors.

Borrow Gear

If you don’t want to purchase brand new items then you can borrow gear from your friends who are campers.

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