When was the last time you walked into the local back-packing outfitter? If you are just entering the world of backpacking and climbing, prepare to be there for a couple hours. Leave your wallet in the car. Just look.
Boots, back packs, sleeping bags and tents have gone through massive technological changes in the past few decades. They are amazing items, but the one item that will catch your eye like a magnet is the tent. They are amazing! Rip stop in multiple colors with doors that open in various ways and wall inside. Some have entry ways, little porches to keep your boots! The rain flies are cool too and the shock poles come in lots of colors! There are six-person domes and one person flashlights. There are tents for parties and some that are combination sleeping bag and tent in one. Guess what? You can drop over six hundred dollars on these nifty toys. That is why you left the wallet in the car.
Are you new at this? What’s the difference between a two-season tent and a four-season tent? Price is clearly one difference and if you are hiking a beach in Maui you don’t need a four-season North Face or Sierra Designs. They are amazing tents to be sure and if you have money to burn, go for it. Most people don’t care to drop six hundred dollars on a onetime event.
If you are just deciding to enter backpacking and don’t really know if it is something for you, rent the tent and don’t rent more than you need. Every ounce in your back pack is an ounce closer to pain. If you really need the four-season tent, you are not a novice. Get it? So rent wisely. This goes for the back pack as well. Make sure you have spent plenty of time getting fitted. Know what feels good to you and then see what the outfitter rents. Dropping two or three hundred on a back pack you use only once? You could hang it on the wall of the living room as art!