Sometimes it is not the most expensive gear or the most well known brand that makes a piece of gear your favorite. Even though it is no longer available, Outdoor Product Design and Development student David Heine’s favorite piece of gear is a 1980s Camp Trails external frame hiking backpack.
“It is my favorite piece of gear because it has the most memories with it, and it’s what got me into OPDD,” Heine said. “My backpack isn’t really available in stores because of its age and all the modifications I made to it, but I still love it. My dad bought it because he wanted a good backpack to use when he was backpacking across Europe, and according to him it was the best one available. He eventually handed it down to me.”
Used gear is sometimes the best way to get a bang for your buck. If you are trying out a new sport and are unsure whether it is for you, try borrowing gear from a friend first. You can even rent gear at Utah State’s Outdoor Programs (OP) for discounted prices. The OP also has a gear sale every so often where they sell old but usable gear, and REI and Campsaver have similar sales.
“Last spring break me, my brother, his girlfriend, and our friend David went to canyonlands to do some backpacking,” Heine said. “We were hiking a loop trail in the Needles and we stopped for lunch. I was carrying all the food in my backpack. When we were eating I noticed a crow about 10 feet away, just watching us. It watched me open and close my pack a few times, and then when I stood up to stretch my legs, the crow actually unzipped the pocket with my apple core in and stole it right out of my backpack.”
Don’t let high prices stop you from getting outside. Check back next week for another Aggie Gear Guide.
By Summer Vaughn