Sunday, August 12, 2007

OMG, outdoor equipment is really expensive...

As someone who spents most of his "shopping-budget" (what's left after travelling, eating and going out) on computer hardware I had no clue how expensive outdoor equipment is. Once you start looking for a light-weight tent, a decent sleeping bag, a self-inflatable matrace, a jacket, quality trousers and whatnot you'll quickly realize that getting all that stuff requires a hefty sum. Sleeping bags for €350, what? Jackets that *only* cost €559, WTF? Backpack for €380? Socks with "toe-tip protection" and other fancy features for €25? Am I hearing right?

The lesson I learned was that it's even easier to spend a grand on outdoor gear than on computer stuff.

In the end I only bought a warm pair of trousers (€90) and a good windstopper-jacket (€99). According to my checklist I still need:

a sleeping bag
a light-weight tent (as a backup in Mongolia and for our time at Lake Baikal
a small matrace of sorts
a backpack
some warm clothes and good socks

With regards to the tent we found a good one (only 1.2kg) that was even on sale (€99), unfortunately the shop had run out of them and wouldn't be restocking them anytime soon. I also saw a sleeping bag that looks like a good choice and I'll probably get that one next week.

Yesterday evening I spent some time researching outdoor equipment websites and looking for local specialized shops in Vienna. I'll probably hit one or two of those on Monday morning, after my visits to the Mongolian and Russian embassies. I also found what appears to be a good backbag by Northland. A German online-shop sells them for €79 a piece which is significantly cheaper than the ones we saw in the shops yesterday. My buddy also stumbled across a suitable tent by Salewa (1.7kg, €159) which we'll probably order early next week.

Looking at our e-tickets for the flights to Bejing and home from Moscow I realized that we're allowed to bring 20kg on both rides. With all the equipment that we're carrying along staying below that will be a bit of a challenge. This is probably the one thing I like best about travelling to places that are generally warm, you don't need to bring along as many clothes and other equipment.

One last amusing detail is that both me and my friend are basically buying all the same stuff, so we're going to look like ridiculous twins once we hit Mongolia. :-)

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