The stability of prices of many items of backpacking gear over the past ten years has been remarkable. Think tents or waterproofs. While there have been some relative movements, prices have tended to be quite stable. The main reason for this has been the rise of China as the workshop of the world. As production has expanded, unit costs have fallen and productivity has risen, meaning that prices have tended to be stable (allowing for quality improvements and currency movements).
However, this could be on the verge of changing. A considerable proportion of backpacking gear sourced from China will be made by small and medium-sized companies (SMEs in the jargon). Because backpacking is still a specialist market, it is unlikely that much production will be produced by the very large domestic Chinese companies. In a blog that I read regularly on Chinese economics, Michael Pettis is suggesting that many Chinese SMEs are finding access to credit difficult and that many are facing bankruptcy.
If this is true and there is a wave of bankruptcies in SMEs, then supplies of cheap backpacking gear may be disrupted or even disappear altogether. Admittedly there are other countries used for production like Vietnam (Osprey) and Columbia (Paramo), but look at the labels in any outdoor shop. A lot of product still comes from China. We might be witnessing the start of a radical shift in the outdoors industry. If companies cannot rely on cheap Chinese production, they will have to rethink their strategies and business models dramatically.