A new crop of companies has popped up to beat back the trend of high-priced hiking gear.
According to Outside Magazine, people born in the 80s and 90s (millennials) don’t want the same characteristics in their hiking gear. Traditional outdoor gear has focused on the high-end and high-tech, giving even weekend warriors the same gear as their heroes.
In contrast, a new crop of companies like Rumpl, Sunski, and Hipcamp have popped up, which share a focus on inexpensive. This trend extends to new casual gear lines by industry stalwarts like REI (see Evrgrn).
Outdoor Magazine quotes multiple brand advisors in the industry, who see millennials as still wanting to hike, but turned off by high prices and gaudy brands. People still want adventure, but have no interest in becoming the next Ueli Steck, or purchasing $1,000 worth of gear for a weekend of adventure.
Gaia GPS – The GPS of the Millennials
Many people who use Gaia GPS remark on the low price, compared to a traditional handheld Garmin GPS. When Gaia GPS launched, it cost $2.99, but even today (at $19.99) buyers still gush about the low price of Gaia GPS. And at the same time, they see the product as superior, from the big screen, to the customizable interface.
Traditional handheld GPS units like those made by Garmin now fall into the category of MP3 players and Digital Cameras. These specialized, bulky GPS devices can run upwards of $600, and the maps cost extra of course. In contrast, for a 30th of the price, you can add Gaia GPS to your phone or tablet, and use a vastly superior user interface, afforded by big touch screens and continuous software improvement. This technology doesn’t limit itself to the casual outdoorsman, either. Gaia’s user base includes search and rescue technicians, pilots, biologists, and firefighters.
So, hopefully as the price of gear drops, more people can get out there and see the beauty of nature. But hopefully not too many.