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  1. #1
    Registered User foodbag's Avatar
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    Default REI Dividend "Angst"

    The annual REI dividend has always been something to look forward to in March of each year. This year I had $88 and change to spend, plus their usual 20% discount coupon for a full-priced item and something from the REI garage.

    After scouring the REI website for something that I actually needed I finally burned out on looking, and realized that I have finally hit the "peak gear saturation point". After spending a cumulative total of about three hours looking, I discovered that I don't need or want anything outdoor-related any more. "How could I possibly have found myself in such a first-world dilemma?" I asked myself.

    After giving this a lot of thought, I would like to postulate the unscientific theory that there's just too much out there nowadays. Dozens of companies selling tens of thousands of items; hundreds of backpacks to choose from; multiple cooking systems; tents, tarps, hammocks, bivvies made of every conceivable fabric, and in every conceivable configuration and color; thirty or forty different headlamps, and; umpteen different types of tent stakes, etc. etc. etc.

    We are truly spoiled these days. I remember my Boy Scout days when all I took with me on an outing was a pack, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, some matches, a cook kit and some food and clothes and a canteen full of water. I didn't weigh my pack or study each piece of equipment to see how it could be improved upon - I just shoved everything in the pack and went.

    Sorry for rambling and maybe ranting a little but I'm curious what everyone thinks about the giant industry that has sprung up, from some very humble beginnings. Oh, and I eventually did find something to buy - the new 38L Granite Gear Crown 2 pack. I think it's time to start divesting myself of some of the trappings, now that I have a smaller pack....
    Long-distance aspirations with short-distance feet.... :jump

  2. #2
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    Yeah, I hear you. I actually have everything I want and need.

    Except a zPacks Duplex tent. THAT I could go for ... and, maybe a spork that's 0.1 ounce lighter than my current spork, and ... oh, never mind...

  3. #3
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    Your thoughts are spot on for those of us who have been looking at gear for years and upgrading each year; however, there are those who are new to the backpacking world - and those who are not only new, but they have extremely limited funds.

    As the advisor of our high school's Adventure Club, I see both. I have seen kids who need to borrow shorts because they only own jeans or cut-offs... as well as kids who borrow socks because they normally don't wear any. Last year, I had a boy pay for the three-day backpacking trip in three installments ($10/wk) from money he made in yard work. My club has a collection of backpacks and tents. I actually had to laugh when the furnace man came in this year and said, "you seem to like backpacks." (We have accumulated 11 so at this point - to use as lenders for the kids.)

    Yes, Foodbag (OP), you are correct about hikers getting to the point of not being in need. Consider donating your REI points or extra gear to your local scout group... or see if there is another group, such as an adventure club, youth group, or camp, that could use any materials you don't need. That may make the difference whether a kid gets to go or not...

  4. #4
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    Iíll gladly dispose of anyoneís unwanted dividends!!! Damn Altras eat up my $$$ so fast! New Timps already separating after one hike of the ALT!! Iíve already been advised by Rei to seek professional help with footwear! Aka no more returns!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by shelb View Post
    Your thoughts are spot on for those of us who have been looking at gear for years and upgrading each year; however, there are those who are new to the backpacking world - and those who are not only new, but they have extremely limited funds.

    As the advisor of our high school's Adventure Club, I see both. I have seen kids who need to borrow shorts because they only own jeans or cut-offs... as well as kids who borrow socks because they normally don't wear any. Last year, I had a boy pay for the three-day backpacking trip in three installments ($10/wk) from money he made in yard work. My club has a collection of backpacks and tents. I actually had to laugh when the furnace man came in this year and said, "you seem to like backpacks." (We have accumulated 11 so at this point - to use as lenders for the kids.)

    Yes, Foodbag (OP), you are correct about hikers getting to the point of not being in need. Consider donating your REI points or extra gear to your local scout group... or see if there is another group, such as an adventure club, youth group, or camp, that could use any materials you don't need. That may make the difference whether a kid gets to go or not...
    Thanks for what you do!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    ha ha...I find myself doing the same thing. I do want something like an inreach...but don't get out there enough to justify it.
    So...I've got the same 20% coupons burning a hole in my pocket
    As well as a similar thing from Camping World for my RV stuff.

    I'll prob do what I've done in the past.... look for some clothes....just stuff for general wear.

  7. #7
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    I likewise have enough gear so I use my dividends to buy maps and fuel.....

    figure I can always use a map to look into trips and the fuel will be used on those trips...

  8. #8
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    With a $35 divi, 20% coup, and discontinued ultra green/forest green color I bough a Pat Micro Puff XL for $130 @ rei outlet. Beats the 250 they normally charge.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by foodbag View Post
    The annual REI dividend has always been something to look forward to in March of each year. This year I had $88 and change to spend, plus their usual 20% discount coupon for a full-priced item and something from the REI garage.

    After scouring the REI website for something that I actually needed I finally burned out on looking, and realized that I have finally hit the "peak gear saturation point". After spending a cumulative total of about three hours looking, I discovered that I don't need or want anything outdoor-related any more. "How could I possibly have found myself in such a first-world dilemma?" I asked myself.

    After giving this a lot of thought, I would like to postulate the unscientific theory that there's just too much out there nowadays. Dozens of companies selling tens of thousands of items; hundreds of backpacks to choose from; multiple cooking systems; tents, tarps, hammocks, bivvies made of every conceivable fabric, and in every conceivable configuration and color; thirty or forty different headlamps, and; umpteen different types of tent stakes, etc. etc. etc.

    We are truly spoiled these days. I remember my Boy Scout days when all I took with me on an outing was a pack, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, some matches, a cook kit and some food and clothes and a canteen full of water. I didn't weigh my pack or study each piece of equipment to see how it could be improved upon - I just shoved everything in the pack and went.

    Sorry for rambling and maybe ranting a little but I'm curious what everyone thinks about the giant industry that has sprung up, from some very humble beginnings. Oh, and I eventually did find something to buy - the new 38L Granite Gear Crown 2 pack. I think it's time to start divesting myself of some of the trappings, now that I have a smaller pack....
    REI used to be the ONE place I went for gear. Now, almost everything I use is sourced from a cottage vendor I discovered through Whiteblaze or Hammock Forums. So, it is not that there is nothing I covet, it is that the gear I desire is not what REI sells.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    In years where I have that problem, there's always replacement clothes, like trail runners and socks. Then there's consumable stuff, like stove canisters and freeze-dried meals.

    This winter my trusty fleece jacket bit the dust--catastrophic zipper failure on top of the frayed cuffs and a hole in one of the pockets. I sent it to Patagonia for repair. For wear in the interim I bought a Nanopuff jacket. Patagonia condemned the jacket, but softened the blow considerably by giving me a generous coupon. Anyway, clothes do wear out, and REI is one place to get more.

    This year, since I'm getting ready for a three-month hike, I've splashed out for some new gear. The biggest-ticket item is an 8-oz Therm-A-Rest Neoair Uberlite. But I've also bought a handful of other things, like an Ursack, a Sea-to-Summit inflatable pillow, and a silk sleeping bag liner. Add in a few smaller items, like a collapsible cup to replace the one a mouse chewed a hole in this winter, and some consumables, and I'm having no trouble spending the 2019 dividend.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

    ME>GA 2006
    http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=3277

    Instagram hiking photos: five.leafed.clover

  11. #11

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    I'm getting either a PLB or an Inreach Mini thing in the next few weeks, but only for my parents' peace of mind when I'm on solo trips out West. Bought a windshirt for those trips early this year, too, but think that was the first new piece of backpacking gear I've bought in ~3yrs. Had 3pr of hiking shoes, but am on the last one, so that'll probably be next.
    It's funny, though. I shop gear all the time, just never actually buy anything.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by foodbag View Post
    The annual REI dividend has always been something to look forward to in March of each year. This year I had $88 and change to spend, plus their usual 20% discount coupon for a full-priced item and something from the REI garage.

    After scouring the REI website for something that I actually needed I finally burned out on looking, and realized that I have finally hit the "peak gear saturation point". After spending a cumulative total of about three hours looking, I discovered that I don't need or want anything outdoor-related any more. "How could I possibly have found myself in such a first-world dilemma?" I asked myself.

    After giving this a lot of thought, I would like to postulate the unscientific theory that there's just too much out there nowadays. Dozens of companies selling tens of thousands of items; hundreds of backpacks to choose from; multiple cooking systems; tents, tarps, hammocks, bivvies made of every conceivable fabric, and in every conceivable configuration and color; thirty or forty different headlamps, and; umpteen different types of tent stakes, etc. etc. etc.

    We are truly spoiled these days. I remember my Boy Scout days when all I took with me on an outing was a pack, a sleeping bag, a flashlight, some matches, a cook kit and some food and clothes and a canteen full of water. I didn't weigh my pack or study each piece of equipment to see how it could be improved upon - I just shoved everything in the pack and went.

    Sorry for rambling and maybe ranting a little but I'm curious what everyone thinks about the giant industry that has sprung up, from some very humble beginnings. Oh, and I eventually did find something to buy - the new 38L Granite Gear Crown 2 pack. I think it's time to start divesting myself of some of the trappings, now that I have a smaller pack....
    When I started in on backpacking, there were a few manufacturers, each with a limited selection. People still got into holy wars over what stove (or whatever) was best.
    Just keep a little perspective, and use the classic REI option of buying socks with your dividend.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral Bill View Post
    When I started in on backpacking, there were a few manufacturers, each with a limited selection. People still got into holy wars over what stove (or whatever) was best.
    What a relief those days are over!

    I too feel a bit of all of the above. Paralysis by analysis, plus the stuff you want most isn't sold by REI. You're not alone!

    BTW, IDK if this makes it better for you or not, but I did notice that REI pulled a number of sale items I had been following just as their 20% coupon went into effect. Call me cynical but I bet they show up again after the coupon expires. I've seen stuff come and go and then reappear later. Maybe the re-appearing stuff is from returns, but this latest observation has led me to suspect that they know what they're doing.

    That said, to the extent you can use 20% off of stuff that pretty much NEVER goes on sale at REI, you may do well. However, sometimes I've found that it just ends up equating to what other retailers have the item selling for everyday. But at least if there's an issue, or you change your mind, you can return to REI within a year and not have to pony up $10-15 in return shipping costs. [on the other hand, on the other hand, on the other hand ... how many hands does a flummoxed shopper have? See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice ]

    Happy befuddlement!

    TZ

  14. #14
    Leonidas
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    Used mine and the coupon to grab a BV500. I most likely won't receive a dividend next year so, no worries there.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  15. #15

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    As an option, if one has all the gear they need or want, you can use dividends to purchase national park passes (Adventure Pass?) that are good for all national parks and forest lands entry and parking. If you really want to be admired by a group, donate one of these passes to a scout troop or adventuring group that provides back country opportunities to youngsters.

  16. #16

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    Consider donating your dividend. Plenty of organizations would find what they needed!

  17. #17
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    TU Traveler. Great idea to use the dividend to contribute to others more needy if we're gear tight.


    If wanting to use it on your self buying a NP Pass could be a big savings beyond the dividend amt or 20% coupon. Never thought of that. Appreciated.

    Another option is tripling up savings by applying the dividend, 20% coupon, and additional 10% buying eight or more dinners. Applying all these discounts could make the dollar cost of dehydrated meals palatable. Further you could add extender ingredients making more meals tweaked to individual desires.

    How many backpackers or hikers have bought all their gear, food, and drink, at one stop? As a picky ULER and Foodie and spender of do re mi when keeping my mind open and creative I can always find something at REI that appeals more so when stacking discounts.

  18. #18
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    I wonder what REI dividends go for on the Black Market!

    (Seriously though ... a Parks Pass? I had no idea, that's awesome.)

  19. #19

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    I'm in the same boat as the OP. For now my basic gear needs are met, so I used my dividends towards a gift. My sister is planning a major bikepacking trip this summer, so I used my dividends to buy her one of Big Agnes' new bikepacking tents (the Fly Creek HV UL2).

    As someone mentioned, consumables are always a good bet. On my last day of work at REI I took advantage of my employee discount and bought a bunch of fuel and food.

  20. #20
    Registered User ant's Avatar
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    Consumables and footwear, but I hear you. Haven't bought anything at REI other than stove fuel in awhile now..

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