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When do you know you have a real problem???


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I'm starting to think I'm something between a hoarder or just plain nuts. I do a mix of 4 kinds of camping, mostly Kayak camping (and I have the 4 sea kayaks to comfortably tote it in), second would be motorcycle camping on dual sports (street legal dirt bikes), then comes backpacking which is rapidly approaching even with the motorcycles. Lastly, and only as a last resort would be car camping. The good news is that once you have all the gear set for backpacking it works on any of the others with that much more option to take extra luxuries with you.

So what's the problem? At the moment (give or take finding another stupidly ridiculous deal that I can't pass up) I have multiple sets of gear.

5 tents:

Eureka Solitare 1 person

A still in great shape Eureka 2-man tent that I bought new in '88 that's an A-frame style

Mountain Hardware Optic 3.5 (which is supposed to be a 3 person but I think works better as a large 2). This one gets the nod in clear skies and star-gazing.

Big Agnes Slater UL 3+ which, like the above, is a fantasticly huge 2 person tent or a snug 3. This one works better for cold nights or potential rain with that cavern of a vestibule

Then there is the Behemoth 6+ person tent that is only a car-camping option.

5 Hammock Camping rigs

Hennessy Explorer Asym-Zip was my go-to hammock

Hennessy Expedition Asym - bottom entry that I got for whoever went with me)

2 Ticket to the Moon singles with tarps and bug nets that make the regular Eno single look/feel like junk. (that Eno single has been relegated to a role of holding gear under a camping hammock)

And as of yesterday I picked up a Clark Vertex 2-person hammock...which is about as big inside as the 3 person tents! This thing is huge!

Then we have the sleeping bags:

2 older rectangles from a company called HiPoint which worked fantastically for the last 20+ years until I made the change to mummy bags. Bonus, they zip together and fit perfectly on a queen air mattress.

A newer synthetic Kelty (?) mummy bag that I got as my first for backpacking but it didn't compress down to much better than a basketball and weight more than it should.

The Cat's Meow long bag is awesome and quickly became one of my favorite bags up until I added the last one:

Western Mountaineering Alpinlite. Compressible to the size of a softball and will fry you out of anything north of a 20 degree night. The price is steep but the quality is there.

So here I am with what amounts to 2 separate options for outfitting 5 people completely and comfortably year-round (didn't mention some of the things like multiple cook sets, etc.) and it all sounds good... except for one thing. Did I mention I was single? FML.... Why is it so hard to find people who actually want to get out and GO instead of just sitting around talking about it? It's enough to almost (almost) make me start throwing some of these things on Craigs List.. Almost...

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I've definitely accumulated some gear as well. I've been able to offload most of what I don't use...I do like having the multiple tent options since I can definitely feel a difference carrying a 4 person tent vs. a 1 person, but on the other hand I like having one go-to sleeping bag and a single daypack plus a single backpacking pack that will cover all of my trips. Most of the time however it seems like as soon as I try to get rid of something, someone comes along on a trip that needs it!

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That is kind of why I keep ending up with multiples of everything from kayaks to motorcycles. I enjoy my hobbies and a lot of my friends want to try them but don't have the gear. I figure if I have enough for everyone they will actually get off their butts and go! (It's still a theory as only one person consistently goes with me and she's accumulating her own gear... But it's a start!)

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We use our backpack gear for all our camping. About the only "luxury" we include if we know we will end up "Jeep" camping is the inclusion of an extra Thermarest. I tend to keep our older stuff also, comes in handy when friends visit. I have 6 tents, 5 down mummy's, 8 thermarests, a couple dating from someplace in the 70's, and at least triplicates of everything else.

Then there is all the stuff from my grandfather and father, most of it from the early 20's to mid 50's. That equipment should be in a museum someplace.

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Good to hear that I'm not totally crazy! :)

Grizz, don't worry about older gear. Some of what I use I bought in '88 and '89 when I first got heavily into camping. (Yes, an 18 year old that bought camping gear alongside stuff for the car... made dating a lot more fun, too!) Even after 25+ years much of it still looks/performs like it's new because it's been taken care of. If you keep it in good shape you don't have to keep buying it over and over. That was one good lesson I got from my parents. :)

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