Prudence is likely to be the watchword for many this year, including myself. The overconsumption of yesteryear is over. We all have to live within our means now. One blogger is suggesting not buying any more gear this year. Once we have the basics, most outdoor gear is discretionary. Over the past few years, I’ve built up a portfolio of tents, rucksacks, sleeping bags and clothing that could easily last me through the next decade without adding to. The only thing I might need to replace is footwear.
If we all stopped buying, it would be a disaster for outdoor retailers and manufacturers and we might rue the destruction of choice in future years. Perhaps careful consumption is more appropriate. To be honest, there are very few new products that interest me at the moment.
However, the new SPOT 2 Messenger is one. Mark is currently using one and has posted this review. It seems to me that this is a very useful device for solo walkers (like me!), particularly in wilderness areas like Scotland. Version two is appreciably more compact and lighter (147g) than the original. One thing puzzles me, though. Why is there no GPS read out? If it could double as a GPS, it would save carrying a dedicated GPS. Maybe I should wait for version 3!
The other bit of gear I have my eye on is the Terra Nova Solar Photon 2 tent. The details have just appeared on the Terra Nova website. The price is a somewhat eyewatering £430. Hardly in line with the theme of prudence! However, it potentially looks like a very strong contender for best lightweight tent. It’s only 1kg, but theoretically a two-man tent. For a solo walker it should be palatial. It is also virtually free-standing and looks very aerodynamic. I would prefer the door to be half mesh rather than fully mesh. If anyone has seen it in the flesh, I would be interested in their views.
Apart from the Spot 2 and the Solar Photon 2, I can’t see much out there that I would like and nothing that I really need. So, apologies to my retailing friends, but I’m not going to be a source of much business this year.