I just got a cool new catalog from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), which has several stores in the Denver Metro area. I found things I liked in it, such as the Vibram Five-Fingers Multisport Shoes. I’ve been thinking of trying to jog in them.

But I was put off by some of the camping gear. You can find everything for camping in this catalog except a modular house. There are easy-ups and pads and mattresses and rather ridiculous camping stoves. Whatever happened to roughing it? To adapting to nature? God forbid we get a sunburn or not have a gourmet meal for one weekend!

Plus just about everything in that store is imported. US jobs, REI?

Then I think, “I’m a grump.” That’s what the consumer society does to people like me who like nice things but don’t think we all need 2 houses and fabulously comfortable camping gear and our own yards and our own lawnmower and on and on and on. I just sound grumpy.

It makes me mad.

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  1. dana August 6, 2010 at 11:54 am - Reply

    well i hear you! as a gear head, i see where REI is headed. Fortunately, i can exorcise my gear addictions on camera stuff these days.

    in fact, i just picked up a great 2 burner coleman stove – well-used, well-loved – for $6 at the Salvation Army warehouse in Grand Junction. Hopefully people who upgrade recycle their old stuff!

  2. Beth Partin August 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    I like to buy used stuff too. My problem is, with certain items, I wait until the last minute, and then I just buy a new one.

  3. connie August 6, 2010 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    I think it’s funny when people say they are “going camping” & it turns out they mean they are driving somewhere in an RV. Around here (in Alaska), they may also be pulling a trailer with a couple of ATVs behind them b/c god forbid you should WALK anywhere.

    I bought a new tent from the REI outlet before heading north this year–their house brand, a big dome tent–& it was incredibly cheaply made. I set it up in the backyard to see what it was like, & the big windstorm in May pulled it right off the crappy stakes & rolled it down the street & trashed it. Fortunately, they took it back. At least they have good customer service!

    I think I remember you & Todd having a big inflatable mattress in your tent … ? 😉

  4. betsydornbusch August 6, 2010 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    I don’t love camping but if I go, I like to actually take a lot less stuff than other people do. Of course, camping for the mother consists of:

    getting all the stuff together
    setting up camp and trying to keep kids from killing themselves in various ways
    cooking for hungry kids with a rock and a toothpick
    dealing with throwing up child(ren) in the middle of the night if you’re way high up
    packing up everything (sand and dirt included)
    spending a week cleaning out all the stuff from the weekend camping trip

  5. Beth Partin August 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    Betsy, yeah, I’m the cleanup person on trip as well. Todd usually does the planning. Connie, we may have had an inflatable mattress in our tent at Pawnee, but we have pads now. We probably still have the mattress, but we let guests use it if we have more than can fit in our guest bedroom.