Do you sometimes feel that cheap camping equipment might be suited for you, and then your avid camping buddy is geared better with the more expensive stuff?
I feel ya, and you are definitely not alone.
There is a confusion amongst the camping community where many people believe that you don’t need to go all out for a camping trip, when others think expensive equipment is a must if you want to have the best experience in the great outdoors.
So the question still remains.
Is expensive camping equipment really necessary or can you get away with cheap gear so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg just to have a successful camping trip?
I’ll be answering all of that in this very article. Enjoy, fellow campers 🙂
What Is The Definition Of Camping Equipment?
First and foremost, we need to determine what camping equipment really is.
In my eyes (an avid camper), camping equipment varies from the basics all the way up to the more advanced stuff.
The basics include:
- Sleeping bag
- Cooking equipment
- Air conditioner
- Outdoor chairs
- Outdoor rugs
- Etc, etc
The more advanced equipment include:
- Hiking boots
- Fishing rod
- Bushcraft knife & pouch
- Rain jacket
- GPS system
- Etc, etc
I think you get the gist. The basics are [mostly] used by family and/or seasonal campers – the ones that go on camping trips just for a vacation and not as a hobby.
“But Brandon, that still doesn’t answer the question.”
Slow down cowboy, I’m about to get into the rest of it now.
Cheap VS Expensive
What Do I Mean By Cheap Equipment?
Cheap equipment is exactly that.
It is made with low quality materials, constructed in a fast amount of time and has a low price slapped on it (for maximum profits).
This means it’s likely NOT going to last that long and will work as intended to for a short time only – if that.
What I mean by “if that” is simply because cheap camping equipment can sometimes arrive with a defect or can only be used one time before the stitching comes out, poles break, or any other similar damage.
What Do I Mean By Expensive Equipment?
With the more expensive equipment, you will have to pay a much higher price.
But the difference between the cheap stuff and the more expensive is that the expensive will (99% of the time) perform much better AND last a lot longer!
The manufacturers have spent more time planning the design and constructing the product, which is why the price is higher and the quality is much better.
What Cheap Equipment Is Best Used For
Now that you’ve got the gist of the two differences, you’re probably thinking that cheap camping equipment is just worthless and a waste of money.
However, they do have their place in the camping community and I’m about to explain HOW.
Drum roll please…
Cheap camping equipment is good for people on a budget and most especially seasonal campers.
Seasonal campers do not need expensive equipment, for the simple fact that the items are not needed for a very long time.
To summarize all of this up; who will benefit from cheap equipment the most?
Occasional family campers, seasonal campers (especially a couple or group of friends), and one-time campers that want to give it a try before going all out.
Cheap Family Tent Pitched In The Wild
What Expensive Equipment Is Best Used For
Expensive camping equipment also has its place in the outdoor world.
It is mostly used by AVID campers and backpackers.
These are the people that camp as often as they can and backpack for a LIVING!
I am a great example of an avid camper. I live and breath camping. Hence why I created this site, to share my knowledge about it all.
So who will benefit from expensive equipment the most?
People who absolutely love the outdoors and go out as often as they can.
Weekly hikers will also benefit from the more expensive stuff more than the cheap, as they are using the equipment more often. They need gear that’s going to stand the test of time.
Campers and backpackers that go out every month, or at least 3-5x per year will definitely need expensive equipment.
You are using the equipment more often so you need something that’s not going to break after the first few trips.
THAT’S when you need the expensive gear.
To conclude this article: No, expensive gear is definitely not needed.
It all comes down to your needs and wants, WHAT you plan on doing for your trip, that’s all.
You’ll be wasting your money if you go out and purchase a $500 tent for a weekend festival event. There are much cheaper alternatives.
And you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot (not literally) if you get a $50 tent for a mountain trip where there is snow, strong winds, and heavy rain.
Do the right thing and get camping equipment that you will benefit from the most. That’s what you should be focusing on when shopping around.
Thanks for reading.
I’d love for you to share this article with friends and family!
I’m sure they need to know why expensive camping equipment isn’t really needed if you’re a seasonal camper. So go ahead and share now 🙂 I’ll wait…
If you choose not to, you can always leave a comment below 🙂
1. Are you currently searching for camping equipment? Do you need help choosing something?
2. Have you had bad experiences with cheap products you bought even when you thought you were getting a bargain?