There’s no avoiding the Black Friday Sales. And Cyber Monday? How did that even come about? Even if you’re actively trying to avoid the sales (which I’m sure many of your are), they’re still in your face at every given opportunity.
So to help you keep hold of your sanity at this interesting time of year, here are my top tips for those of you struggling against this crazy world of bargain hunting, for the sake of it:
The absolute best way to avoid getting suckered into mindless buying is to get away from civilisation and get outside. Get your fave buds out of the chaos and hit up your local hiking trail. Organise a bike ride with your family. Take the kids to the park. Have a campfire on the beach. Go for a run on your own. Climb a tree. Do a beach clean. Go surfing. Rent a canoe. Session the climbing gym. Heck, go skydiving if that’s what it takes!
Disconnect from technology
If you can’t get out the hills, at the very least, get away from your computer. Disable the internet from your phone or better still, leave your phone some place you can’t get to it. That way, you’ll not be tempted to order that shiny new pair of hiking boots, just because you can nab them for 40% less than usual. Your current boots are probably fine. And if they’re not then make them fine. Clean them up. Re-waterproof them. Replace the laces. Re-sole them if you need to.
Consider your “need” to buy
Warning: I’m about to talk about you potentially buying stuff in the sales…
As much as it would be wonderful for the planet for consumerism to just stop altogether, it can’t. The economy would collapse and there would be mass unemployment. Plus, we are all born consumers, whether we like it or not. If we want to wear shoes to protect our feet from freezing then we need to buy shoes (and socks). And those shoes (and socks) will, at some point, need replacing.
Additionally, if we want to enjoy our amazing planet and all the wonders that #optingoutside brings, we need to wear appropriate clothing or use specialised gear, although not all of the time. And yes, that means buying clothing and gear to make that happen.
So keep consuming, people. BUT, buy only what you need. And for goodness sake, don’t buy stuff just because it seems like a great deal. If you need it and it happens to be a great deal then win, blooming win.
However, before you make the decision to buy that mega cheap Rab jacket because it would be a good addition to your gear stash, I urge you to consider your ‘need’ for it…
- Do you already own something or a combo of things that do the job of the new thing you’re eyeing up?
- Does your existing item really need replacing? Have you washed it, fixed it, taped it up, sewn up the hole?
- How often are you likely to use that new item? Could you rent or borrow it instead?
- Is the item you’re after available second hand somewhere? Have you checked out REI Used Gear?
- Will owning the new item save your life/prevent hypothermia/enable you to do your sport/encourage you to get fit?
OK, good. So you’ve got all of that clear in your head. I think you’re ready to make informed, mindful decisions about buying in the sales.
Yep, I’ve gone and done it. I’ve pushed some EPIC sales right in front of you (see below!). But you’ve got this. You know what you do and don’t need. Plus, what I’ve outlined below are no ordinary sales. These are products and brands that are doing great things to push the outdoor industry closer to a more sustainable existence. The more we #opteco and buy from these brands, the more they will be able to develop their existing commitments to sustainability. This will have a knock-on effect to other brands. And so the cycle will hopefully gain traction and grow into an industry that does more harm than good.
Much like bagging a great deal on something you really can’t live without, opting eco is another win, win.