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Thread: Gear isn't everything

  1. #1

    Default Gear isn't everything

    I wasn't sure where to post this Craig Medred article, it being pertinent to many outdoor activities, so I'm putting it here. Ive always liked his writing, though I haven't always agreed.

    Gear is fine but won't replace skill or good sense
    Published: May 4th, 2008 03:25 AM
    Last Modified: May 4th, 2008 03:25 AM
    When did everything become so much about the gear?

    Want to catch more fish? Buy a better -- and, of course, more expensive -- high-modulus graphite rod with state-of-the-art ceramic guides.
    Want to be safe from avalanches? Buy the latest beacon with digitized tracking.
    Want to be secure in your ocean kayak? Buy not only the best personal flotation device but a Gore-Tex dry suit too.
    Want to be faster on the bike? Buy a new ultralightweight carbon frame.
    Buy, buy, buy!
    Pick up a lot of outdoor publications these days, and they look more like advertising supplements, right down to the quote-unquote "gear reviews."
    Why not just run a pretty picture of the newest, hottest piece of gear and a headline simply saying, "Buy this!''?

    Most of the stuff being reviewed has clearly never been out of an office anyway, let alone bashed, trashed and truly judged as to how it performs and wears.

    I've used a fair bit of this state-of-the-art gear. Some is very, very good. Some is not.Article continued here
    Last edited by Brian M; 05-18-2008 at 12:14. Reason: copyright rule

  2. #2
    New member
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    Oct 2007


    As I get older I'm heading back to , and staying with the tried and proven.

    Wool, leather, down, 440HC , etc...

  3. #3


    I can't believe how bad he's been flamed in the comments section of the article. Does everyone in Alaska hate this guy?

  4. #4


    Seems like only one or two of the posts flamed him, most people seem to agree with what he said. Gotta remember its the ADN, and a few people probably don't like him because he hunts, eats meat, etc etc. They wouldn't like anything he said, just because he doesn't share their beliefs.

  5. #5
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Eagle River

    Default Gear vs gettin' out...

    Here's a good older post by mauserboy. In the article, Medred says, "And no gear yet invented will build you a fire". As usual, he makes a good point.

    There seems to be a spectrum of outdoorsfolk, from wanna to fulltimers. At the wanna end is reading, talking, researching, getting ready to get out. This happens a lot among urban dwellers (my hand is up) and there's plenty of good that comes of sharing info esp during winter planning. For many, other commitments make it easier to shop than to get out, easier to prepare for getting out those few times a year. Factors that tip folks toward this end might include, lack of time/opportunity/experience or something... maybe commitment or interest...etc. But lots of people start on this end. Just the way it is.

    At the other extreme are the fulltimers, people who live in the wild all the time ... bush dwellers, who do with very little gear and lots of wisdom hard-won from the day-to-day. They spend the most time outdoors and maybe see the most and learn the most that the outdoors has to offer.

    Gear is great, best applied to making it possible to get out(side). Beyond that, gear can make outdoor life safer, more comfortable, more fun somehow...and at some further level, and to each his/her own on this, the gear is overemphasized. It's a personal thing in many ways, but Craig Medred has a point that ...there's far more to be learned in the woods than each season's ads allow. Unchecked, the focus on gear can be a distraction. Our opportunities differ maybe, but the best lessons arguably require no gear at all.


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