The camping and survival gear industry is currently worth over a billion dollars annually. But like the supplement industry, there is a lot of hype created, often by big-name sellers,with no real science behind the gear they advertise. All too often, people find that the fancy new gadget they bought to make camping more fun and less hassle turns out to be problematic. It is for this reason that we’ve put together a list of the most common purchasing mistakes made, so that you can avoid them and make your life easier, not just your wallet lighter.
Mistake no. 1: Opting for the most expensive gear
When buying survival and camping gear,high price does not always mean high quality.As a matter of fact, many manufacturers will price their gear insanely high just to give the illusion of it being high quality. If you’re going to buy expensive gadgets and gear, make sure that you find out what sets them apart from all the others. Read reviews and compare them with cheaper counterparts to determine if you really should spend that much – mid-range gear may be just as good. Remember, in this instance, you don’t always get what you pay for.
Mistake no. 2: Going the high-tech route
Even though it’s absolutely recommended to have a GPS device loaded with the maps of the area you’re camping in, too many people go overboard with the tech they carry. The whole idea of going camping is to enjoy the great outdoors. So, why invest in an electronic lighter, or a heart rate monitor or some other high-end gadget which costs a pretty penny but has no use outdoors? You’ll probably be spending money wisely by investing in something like the Pocket Chainsaw, which uses a low-tech approach but makes it easier to saw through underbrushthan a regular saw, or even a machete.
Mistake no. 3: Not checking the weight
People rarely read the description of a product to determine its weight. When you’re buying camping and survival gear, keep in mind that even a few ounceson each item can quickly add up to over a pound. As a rule of thumb, always make sure that you buy the lightest gear possible and when comparing similar products always favor weight over useless extra features which you may never use. Take for instance the SG Solar Battery Charger which weighs a little under 8ounces, making it one of the lightest truly practical pieces of camping gear.
Mistaken no. 4: Buying from unknown sellers
The problem with many newbie camping and survival gear sellers is that there is no way to know if the quality of their products is good; they have no track record, no proven experience in the field, and very little in the way of customer feedback, so how do you assess the quality and durability?
Mistake no. 5: Not reading reviews
Buying survival gear online is a good idea because it helps you save money. At times, online sellers price their items up to 20% cheaper than regular shops. However, you shouldn’t just buy an item with a great description and a couple of pictures to vouch for it. Search for, and read, reviews. If you buy from Amazon, the reviews there are very helpful. If a product is relatively new, with few reviews, it maybe a good idea to wait a while before you buy; unless, of course, it just costs a couple of dollars and has free shipping.
Mistake no. 6: Not researching the brand
The good thing about buying from a well-known manufacturer is that you can be sure of quality. However, there are quite a few brands in the camping and survival gear industry competing for the top spot. While some may be particularly good at supplying rugged gear, others may be better at functionality. If you are new to buying camping and survival equipment, online or offline, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the strengths of each brand. Stunning Gadgets for instance, focuses a lot on functionality and durability. Though the company may introduce only a handful of new products each year, it makes sure that every one of them lives up to the company’s brand image.
Mistake no. 7: Just buying because you think it’s needed
You should never buy survival gear just because you hope it will come in handy. You should have a check list of ‘must-have’ items and if a particular gadget is not on it, then do not buy it. It’s all too easyto invest in fancy survival gear that just gather dust and refuse to work when the time comes. You are better off investing your money in survival gear that does not have a use-by date, like a carbon fiber knife or perhaps an SG Solar Battery Charger.
Mistake no. 8: Buying from overseas
Never buy your camping and survival gear from another country. If you do not receive what you ordered,it is infinitely harder to send it back, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a refund. Even if some types of camping gear are cheaper in China, the quality may well be sub-par and there is always a chance that what you receive will not be what was advertised in the first place. Always buy from a reputablecompany within your own country, even if the prices may be slightly higher. You might find you get the difference back in the reduced mailing costs anyway!