something pains me each time i walk into an outdoor store. the gear head id in me is elated, excited, intrigued at all the shiny new toys and clothes that will keep me entertained whilst pursuing outdoor fun. i want to try them all on and have an unlimited gift card to purchase said gear. this half of me is in conflict.
the quieting force that seems to be stronger in me is the anti-consumerist ego that fights its every id whim. i'd just as soon keep the same old stuff and old clothes and old pickup, but in this american society, it's pretty difficult to do. i read not buying it by judith levine a while back. if you've not read it, it details the trials and tribulations of the author's challenging project of not buying anything but needs for an entire year. i thoroughly enjoyed the book and identified very strongly with her internal conflicts on doing so. i'd say in climber fashion, this is the strongest statement we make. thrift store finds, flea market used pants, army surplus wool sweaters. to top it off, it's all chalked up because wearing clean clothes to climb in seems to be a ridiculous faux pas.
of course, this is fought by our craving for new shiny carabiners and cams and ropes and packs to stow it all in. granted a good bit of our climbing gear carries our life in its function. substandard gear doesn't cut it. in the snowboarding realm, i've had to drop a few bills on new gear just to get started. it ain't top notch stuff...yet, but it gets me outdoors on the weekends when the rocks are too wet or snow-covered to climb on them. this weaker id loses far more often. were it stronger, i'd have a kayak, a new mountain bike, and and and.