Question from a reader: quality
Why is all the gear and clothes you recommend so expensive?
Well, RW, first of all I believe in quality. Good craftsmanship and quality materials are expensive. However, with proper care these items will last you a lifetime.
I make it an effort to buy American-made when possible. Sure, you pay a premium, but you get two things: you get quality and you help people get jobs in this country. The US has amazing workers and the raw materials produced in the country are superior to any cheap Chinese-made knock-offs.
Here are some of examples of gear and clothing made in the USA. Yes, they are expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Rucks (Backpacks) by GORUCK
Hats, GORUCK and Viper Headwear
Fleece and softshell jackets by TAD
Shorts by Olivers Apparel
Boots by Red Wing
Field gear by Crye Precision
Of course sometimes I can't find something that either fits me right or it's made in the USA. So, in those cases I try to find quality-made items in their countries of origin, made there by their workers. Like watches, best made watches are made in Switzerland, so I got mine from there.
Here are some examples. These are not made in China.
Watch by Tudor (a smaller company owned by Rolex)
A Merkur Razor made in Germany
The best hydration bladder in the market, by Source, made in Israel.
Alpine climbing boots by La Sportiva, still made in Italy
Hiking boots by Asolo, I bought the ones that were still made in Italy.
These are just a few examples. I make it a point to research the best options out there and I try to buy the best I can afford. It is important to mention that you have to take care of your gear. Keep it in good shape and these items will last you a lifetime, or better, they might save your life in the field.