Buy Once, Buy For Life: Camping Gear


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Quality, quality, quality: never waver from it, even when you don’t see how you can afford to keep it up. When you compromise, you become a commodity and then you die.” ~ Gary Hirshberg.

By reader request, a Buy Once, Buy For Life for those campers out there. Do you like to go camping? Do you always need to buy new camping gear every year or so because what you recently bought already wore out? It may be time to upgrade your camping gear to goods that are made to last and Made in the USA.

Several times in my life I have spent money on camping gear at discount stores only to wake up drenched in a supposedly waterproof tent, freezing cold in a -20 degree rated sleeping bag, or worse yet, laying flat on the ground after my inflatable plastic mattress didn’t even make it through one night. Enough is enough.

If you spend any time at all in the great outdoors, you should check out some of these companies the next time you need new gear. Buy it once and make it last a long, long time… if not forever.

Butler Bags – For 25 years, Butler Bag’s philosophy has never changed: to make it in the USA and to make sure their sleeping bags are the absolute best. The company sells sleeping bags, bedrolls, tote bags, and assorted other products.

Wiggy’s – Sleeping bags, clothing, shelters, footwear, knives, and backpacks. If you’re going camping, you should check out Wiggy’s before packing up your gear. The company offers a lifetime warranty on their sleeping bags, which are made in America.

Mountain Ridge Gear – All products are constructed right in Colorado Springs, CO with mostly American-made materials. Veteran-owned, family-run, your order is made to order when you place it. Lifetime guarantee.

Survival Straps – If you are venturing into the backwoods, you really don’t want to be without one of these survival strap bracelets. Made in the USA from military-issued paracord. If you use it in an emergency situation, the company will make and ship you a new one.

Springbar Tents – Made in Salt Lake City, Utah, Springbar makes “The Best Tent Made in America.” The company sells a wide assortment of camping gear, and their tents are covered against defects in materials and workmanship for the life of the tent.

Jacob Bromwell – In business for over 190 years, Jacob Bromwell makes nostalgic camping gear and other goods in the USA with a no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee. If you’re not 100% satisfied, return it or exchange it.

camping gear made in america

Littlebug Wood Burning Camp Stoves – Littlebug manufactures their stoves in the USA and donates at least 10% of its profits to environmental charities and programs.

Maglight Flashlights – Still manufacturing its entire line of flashlights in the United States, Maglights are fantastic. I have one in my truck ready at all times for use. It could double as a weapon if need be, it’s so well-built and heavy.

Buck Knives – With a Forever Warranty, purchasing a knife from Buck is never a bad decision. They knives are made in their factory in Idaho and the company is family-owned.

Western Mountaineering – Sleeping bags, down garments, accessories, and comforters, Western Mountaineering makes them all in California. Products are guaranteed against manufacturer’s defects for an unlimited time.

So, what did I miss? Have any additions to the list of camping gear made in America and built to last? Stop buying crap. Buying a cheap product over and over doesn’t save you any money and leads to piles of junk in our landfills. Buy Once, Buy For Life.

Image Credit: CseaWillis/Flickr

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  1. I am in South Africa so buying USA stuff will not happen. I do agree with your basic idea though. Stick to reputed brands from well know manufacturers, that is the safest. It does seem very expensive, but if you see how long you will be able to use it, it suddenly becomes a viable option

    In South Africa we have a saying “goedkoop koop is duurkoop” what it basically means is buying cheap is buying expensive.

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