Tag Archives: REI
By Michael Lanza
My first tent cost about 75 bucks. It was a bit heavy and bulky for backpacking. I called it the Wind Sock because it snapped loudly in the slightest breeze, and its poles bowed disturbingly in strong gusts. (I learned to choose protected campsites.) But at a time when I could not afford good gear and was developing a passion for hiking, backpacking, and climbing, it sheltered me for about 150 nights in the backcountry and in campgrounds. It ultimately cost me about 50 cents a night.
When I started dayhiking and backpacking, I needed gear and clothing that was cheap. Yes, you usually get what you pay for. But over the years, I’ve learned the strategies for getting decent or even very good gear cheaply. If you’re much shorter on cash than on eagerness to get outdoors—or you just prefer paying less for your gear so you can afford more of it—these freshly updated and expanded tips will help you get out there without emptying your checking account.
Been a longtime reader of your blog. I am a father of a six-year-old daughter. When I was younger, my parents encouraged us to be active outdoors, and it is something that has stuck with me for my entire life. I am a huge fan of the way you have been able to encourage your kids to join you, and have been making a lot of progress getting my daughter excited about outdoor activities. We do a lot of geocaching, rock climbing, backpacking, and camping. The problem I am running into is the cost needed to properly outfit and gear my daughter. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
REI exploded a supernova in the retail universe when it announced last week that it’s closing all 143 stores on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and won’t process any online purchases until the following day. Employees will get a paid day off and be encouraged to get outside—and many undoubtedly will.
This is very cool if you work for REI, of course. But why should the rest of us care? I believe we should, for reasons that reach beyond REI’s walls, and because it’s good for our kids in ways not immediately obvious. And I think John Muir, Ed Abbey, and Jesus would agree. But more about those guys in a bit. Continue reading →
Hope all is well with you. I’ve contacted you in the past, and you have given me great information. I ended up buying things that you recommended (Zamberlan 230 SH Crosser Plus GTX RR boots and the Gregory Targhee 45L winter backpack).
I have a couple of different questions for you. First, I was hoping you could recommend a good pair of goggles for winter hiking and climbing (mostly for above treeline in New Hampshire’s White Mountains). I know you are very familiar how hairy it can get up there, so they would have to have great ventilation so they would not fog.
My next question is could you recommend a good, lightweight but warm, breathable fleece to go over a base layer, also for winter hiking? I also saw your review of the Marmot Alpha Jacket—would this take the place of a soft shell/fleece? Continue reading →