Personal Locator Beacon
I used to waste a lot of money buying the wrong hiking gear – everything from wrong sized clothing and hiking boots to an emergency personal locator beacon that was illegal in the country I expected to use it in (despite the advice of the retailer.) Thanks goodness that major retailers now offer no-questions-asked return policies in case you buy the wrong size, gear doesn’t perform as expected, or it breaks down way before it’s time.
Here are some of my worst gear mistakes:
- Hiking boots and trail runners that turned out to be to a 1/2 to a full size too small. Sometime you can’t judge fit until you’ve hiked outside in them.
- Watches and electronic altimeter/compasses that had irreplaceable watch bands that broke, never worked after the battery was replaced, or generated seemingly random results despite constant calibration.
- Numerous hiking shirts, pants, jackets, and socks that were too small or turned out to be sub-optimal in use.
- A sleeping bag with a vastly over-optimistic temperature rating.
- Backpacks that were too small in the torso or had hipbelts that were too small.
- Carbon fiber hiking poles that snapped unreasonably quickly ( multiple pairs of them.)
- A custom made square tarp that didn’t have symmetrical tie-outs (oversight on my part) and and just didn’t work for me.
- A series of balaclavas that were either too big or too small, or fogged my glasses too much.
- A dozen or so of gloves that were either too big or too small, too cold or not waterproof enough, etc.
- Several pairs of snowshoes that were either too big and awkward to walk in close quarters with, or not aggressive enough.
- The aforementioned Personal Locator Beacon ($600).
The list goes on and on….
What are some of your more expensive gear blunders?