Outfit Your Family…..Or Else

While brainstorming new ideas for articles on this illustrious site, I thought an entry that encourages you to spend more money then what you may be comfortable spending would be a terrific idea, and surely would be well received by my faithful followers.

I’m a gearhound. To those of you who are not familiar with that terminology, allow me to give you a brief education. A gearhound is someone who seeks out great deal on outdoor recreation gear and can never seem to reach a point where they feel totally outfitted for whatever adventures they choose to undergo. If you were to look at the definition in some fictitious outdoor dictionary you would see a picture of my smiling face.

My gearhoundedness (this word can also be found in said fictitious dictionary) is not without reason. It serves a great and noble purpose in my life. Its genesis can be found in my love for my family and for the outdoors. Before you begin to blow me off and think I’m pitching you a line, humor me a bit while I weave a tapestry of gear related dialogue that you can wrap yourself in and keep you warm, dry, and comfortable all at the same time.

He was so comfortable he decided to ride a dino


I am a firm believer that comfort is king (I know that cash is king also, but comfort is his cousin and rules a totally different kingdom, keep up.) When you are comfortable you have a tendency to stay out longer, go farther, try harder, and enjoy your adventure even the more. The downside to this is, you guessed it, comfort cost. (You see how this all works together, it’s a family affair: cash and comfort.) Now this may be hard to swallow, especially if you’re not sponsored and get new gear to try out and advertise. We’re not a sponsored family (now wouldn’t that be nice, I could think of a few of our favorite brands….hint hint) so I can understand your apprehension, but please hear me out I’m not finished making my case.

Geared up. He stayed warm and dry the whole 6 hours on the trail.

So why is it so important to wear certain fabrics that cost so much money? Certain fabrics (polyester, nylon, and my fav merino wool) insulate and wick moisture better and because they offer more, they cost more. Sure you can throw on that Van Halen t-shirt you’ve had since the 1980’s when you head outside for a hike, but have you ever felt dry and comfortable in a wet cotton shirt? Let’s put aside that “cotton kills”, a wet cotton shirt just feels wrong. Now imagine your child soaked to the bone in a wet cotton shirt? That just SCREAMS fun doesn’t it? Or imagine them fighting blisters with their feet looking like ground hamburger, aren’t we having fun yet?

Why Is Good Gear So Important?

Cutting corners on quality clothing and gear can often lead to additional stress during periods of recreation and outdoorsy fun that should be helping you relieve stress. Two summers ago I cut a few corners to make a trip happen to Yellowstone National Park, in spring no less. I got some quality gear for my wife and son, but for myself not so much. My son stayed dry and warm which helped deal with the miserable conditions. While hiking the rain jacket, fleece pullover, and waterproof pants he wore saved him from all the mud, rain, and cold we experienced. I bought my wife a quality pair of base layers that she still today thanks me for getting her. I spent the time damp and cold because I decided to just get by on what I had.

Where Can I Get Some Discounted Gear?

You don’t have to break the bank to outfit your family. I primarily use a few different websites to make sure my family gets the stuff we need to fully enjoy our trips where our comfort is never an issue. So here is where I shop:

Moosejaw.com – My favorite. Why do I like Moosejaw so much? Three main reasons.

1. Great deals, they often offer additional discounts and free shipping on orders over a certain amount. Cycle through the  home page for discount codes and follow them on Twitter.

2. Moosejaw Rewards – When you order from Moosejaw they give you rewards points. You can use them to get more gear for free. Earn enough and you can earn an additional percentage on all orders helping you get more stuff sooner.

3. Price Match – They’ll match any price (cannot use with a coupon offer) and they’ll give you Moosejaw rewards points for items costing more then $100.

SierraTradingPost.com – Great deals, they have daily barn burner deals where one item gets a deep discount as well as daily coupons for additional discounts (usually 20-25%, plus some items have websale discounts too)

Backcountry.com – Free shipping on orders over $50, tons of deals and deep discounts.

Quality gear leave everyone feeling this way

So with all this knowledge and resources there is no reason why your family should suffer and you shouldn’t be giving them quality clothes and equipment to make your outdoor adventures that much nicer.

[Disclaimer – Some websites I am an affiliate with so if you click through from The Bionic Chronicles and purchase gear I will receive compensation.]

So that we might help others with their gear addiction, what is your must-have piece of gear?  Please share!

Until next time……Buy On!

Categories: Backpacking, Camping, Climbing, Family Vacation, Gear, Hiking, Outdoor Recreation | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Outfit Your Family…..Or Else

  1. Great post on gear! Our thoughts exactly! Gear is where our paycheck goes… 😉

    • I’m in the same boat! I just put in several orders for our summer trip and much more to go before I get everything I feel we should have for hiking in Colorado. I don’t know why I even bother having it put in my bank account, I should just have it deposited to the retailers on credit! Thanks for the comment, keep up the great work over there at Tales of a Mountain Mama, we enjoy reading about your adventures!

  2. We love gear, too. We try not to go too crazy, but it can be vital like you say. Our kid carrier was expensive, but there’s not way we could do long day hikes as a family without a good, durable, and comfortable one!

    • I agree. Some items you just have to pony up the dough to get. Some you can get a less expensive brand and it works just as well given the situation. (I’m certainly not going to advocate you outfit your ever growing child in Arc’teryx from head-to-toe!) I’ve found that certain items (tent, bags, etc) are worth getting quality because of how long it will last. A tent that runs you $500+ that lasts over 10 years means you paid $50 a year for lodging, when you could shell out $500+ just for a hotel room for one vacation! It is vital like you say, but their are some great options to make things happen. Thanks for the insight!

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