Care for Your Gear
Would you agree with people saying that expensive gear lasts longer than the cheaper one?
Well, I would argue with that. However, the answer will depend on many factors.
- Merino Wool
Is Expensive Better?
There's been a lot of improvement in gear in recent years. Things are getting better and they're costing less. There will be situations where investing in an expensive item may not be worth it. For example, a hat for £5 will be very similiar to a hat for £40 from a top brand.
I've heard many people say that there is a huge difference between the mountain boots that cost £20-30 and £200. Well, I have a different opinion about that... and it's based on actual usage of the gear. I have used mountain boots that cost me £15-20 and I have used mountain boots that cost close to £200...
Care for Your Gear
I think the ultimate point here is how you care for your gear. If you care properly for your gear (whether it cost you £20 or £200) it will last longer. If you don't care for it it won't.
There will be items where you don't need to spend a lot of money, spend more money on gear that will make a difference to your comfort like buying a waterproof/breathable jacket (but don't worry it doesn't have to be a GORE-TEX®).
Gear that seems to be getting most tear-and-wear is what's being used most like your mountain boots or your jacket (it could easily get destroyed when walking through a dense forest/bush).
Don't wash your waterproof jacket using a regular washing powder as conventional washing powders can destroy the water repellent coating on your jacket.
Performance of waterproof jackets or boots usually seems to decline with time, however you can buy some products for cleaning them. It's usually recommended to treat your waterproof gear twice a year (or more often if you use it more often).
Boots are usually neglected the most. But they're so important. They'll keep your feet dry so you should take proper care of them. They will last longer if you take good care of them.
Start by cleaning your boots with some warm water and a soft brush (and a toothbrush in some hard to access places). Then use a specialist boot cleaner that will keep them last longer, i.e. Nikwax boot cleaner.
When you're finished, don't dry your boots on the radiator! Leave them outside on a warm day or just leave them in room temperature to let them dry, which will reduce risk of materials shrinking and cracking. And it's not just leather boots that may shrink and crack, fabric boots too.
Re-proof your waterproof boots to stop their membranes from rotting.