So much in there I agree with 100%I have had good kit, the best money could buy at the time and it took me ages to get my kit together, but I lost it all due to a marriage break up, (that and £4k worth of Snap on tools). Now I am getting back into this stuff again, I notice the outdoor gear prices even higher than they were in the past, yet in the US things are affordable, which leaves me with the thought I am not going to buy into what is obviously a scam. So, for me, I source all of my gear second hand, I have become good at fleabay sniping, and with that my ethics have changed, for pre owned sits well with my ethics. Military surplus gear I use, I adapt and make some things and obtain other bits where I see it, be it Lidls, Wilkinsons, the charity shops, fleabay and junk shops. No, it is not starter gear for me, but perfectly adequate for my needs, if not, adapt it, customise it to my requirement, make it personal to me.
I am investing my time and money in learning skills, defunct skills from the past, so the idea being I can make or repair what I need when out in the boonies, that to me is bush craft and experience in frugal living which I take on into my normal life.
I find that a good mix of gear helps me on my way, ive got a couple of fairly expensive (£30ish) berghaus microfleeces, that i combine with a crappy hoody ive had since i was about 20, i think it was about £10 from primark. You dont need to have amazingly expensive gear, its just that sometimes you need to pay for quality.
The first axe i bought was a gransfors and it was around £55. Now, ive got friends who skimped on their initial costs and have, over time, spent more money on worse quality items. Whereas my gransfors is as splendid as the day it arrived (with love and affection of course).
If someone is worried about blowing cash on things like clothes for bushcraft when theyre not entirely sure if theyll get their monies worth - why not just buy a couple of high quality/expensive things that you can sport around the city (fleeces, craghopper trousers.etc) and be used while camping. Then just protect the 'better' items with cheaper clothes. As long as you're layering you shouldnt have a problem! I never have really!
As far as tools go though, i spent a fair amount on my axe, good boots, good saw and a fairly good knife - and ive never looked back.
Dont spend money you've not got, but dont buy cheap just because its cheap
That is sheer genius!!!......What I did was empty the bottle, cut it up into little strips, and use the little strips as flourescent glow in the dark markers for my zips, my buttons, and things that I want to be able to find should I drop it in the dark / dusk.
They are so bright I have used them for all sorts of things.
theres a site called "goofbay" which picks out all the spelling errors and mistakes on ebay. its the stuff that sells cheapest cos its only viewed by the dyslexic and those who know about the site, now including you!I can't help loving the system of barter and getting new kit is no exception.I made a wedding cake for a family connected to The North Face which we swapped for a 4 season down bag!
Also check "freecycle" in your area as folks literally give stuff away free that they no longer have use for.If you have skills try and swap them for some kit : I did a weeks garden labour for an old guy in town and he gave me a box of tools in return.It's also worth checking out Ebay for stuff that's going silly cheap because of poor descriptions ; more common than you think.You can buy and re-sell or trade up for the good stuff that will last you a long time ; I bought a lot of climbing helmets and harnesses and gradually converted them into some serious kit for example Msr Whisperlite stove with Titan cookset as a swap for two sets of helmet/harness - Arcteryx Bora 35 pack for another set.It just takes a bit of patience and you will get the kit you want without spending a fortune.
On the other hand I have spent enough over the years on various knives to finance a South American coup d'etat so probably saved nothing in the long run!!