We, as a group, have probably touched almost every state within the 48 continental United States of America if you added us all together. And no matter where you go, or what else changes, there are always your “constants”. “Constants” is the term that I often use to refer to the things that are guaranteed. You know… simple things. The sun is going to rise in the morning. Water quenches your thirst. Those types of simple things. However, many of our lives and trips are built and ran around things that are no where near constant. There can be so many variables that add into the normal stress of being #offthegrid for multiple days. Vehicle issues, weather, blocked or closed roads, physical illnesses that can strike, and this list goes on and on and on. So with this in mind, this is why I feel many people feel that the “sport” of Overlanding is sooooo expensive. And yes, I said “sport”… because I mean… really… we are all basically taking a vehicle to beautiful places, over a variety of terrain, and drinking a cold beer around a fire before we crawl into our RTT that costs probably three times what it’s truly worth.
So lets talk about that. Why do we all feel that we need the newest and best gear, to go riding around in our trucks and Jeeps in the woods for a few days? What makes a set of GSI cookware cost $150 (and yes I have one) ANY better than one of the less expensive copies that you can get for about $40 per set. My honest answer? Because we as humans have been bred to believe that you HAVE to have the best brands, the hottest trends, the most expensive piece of freaking plastic to stick under your tires when you’re stuck. WE HAVE! As we have entered adulthood, the people around us that we all feel are the most successful ALWAYS have the nicest cars, trucks, rigs, Jeeps, goodies, gadgets, and etc. So now I propose the real question…. WHY? Why have we fell into this “trap”. Again…. simple answer. Advertising! If you saw a Millionaire driving a Bentley, and a billionaire driving a 2009 Jeep Wrangler with 35″ tires, and a couple bumpers, well admit it! You’re going to assume the guy in the Bentley has more money. PURELY based upon the fact of what you can see with your own two eyes…. A nice, shiny, Bentley. All the advertising we see online shows all the “pretty people” with all the cool new things, and we instantly want it. Truly, these companies have done a fantastic job. Sooooo….. again. Why do we allow this to occur. I want to challenge anyone that reads this post to do something. As you are preparing for your next trip, take a good look at your gear. Ask yourself some basic questions.
1. Is it safe
2. Will it work
3. Does it show any signs of damage that might cause failure
4. And quite simply, will it do the job. Will it cook the food. Will it hold the water. Will it drag me out of a hole if I’m stuck.
It’s simple, and quite basic. Just because you purchase a piece of equipment from Tractor Supply, or Walmart, or WHEREVER… well it doesn’t make it any better or worse than some “name brand” that will cost you double the money. Now, I also want to add one other little piece of info. NEVER sacrifice quality. If the one you are looking at is sub par in quality, it can also be extremely unsafe. THAT is one thing that you’re never going to go wrong with. A good QUALITY clevis hook will outlast 10 or maybe even 20 of the $5 jobs from somewhere else.
Any who… just my rant for the day! Feel free to comment, and make sure you give us a like!