Stop Buying Awful Gear

05/23/2024 - I was at an unnamed, giant retailer the other day perusing what I like to call the "man stuff" area in the far left corner of the store. You know the section. It includes automotive, fishing, camping and boat accessories and it's the only reason that I get even a hint of excitement when trekking to any mega-store. 

Being that I work in the industry that I do, it behooves me to explore the fishing/camping gear section even if I'm not in the market for anything in particular. I'm a gear nerd. Sue me. One of the things that I notice almost every time I do this is the absolute garbage quality of outdoor gear being offered to the unsuspecting consumer. It honestly tortures me and yet I do it every time. 

From range bags to tents to cots, the selection is nothing short of disposable. Now I'm no fool. I understand that big box retailers offer low-cost selections for folks who might not otherwise be able to fully embrace an outdoor lifestyle. Even still, it used to baffle me seeing this type of gear on shelves knowing how quickly it'd fail in real-world scenarios.

And I've seen it firsthand. 

On a recent trout fishing trip to Montauk State Park in Missouri, I saw a fisherman struggling with both a tackle bag and a pair of subpar hip waders at the same time. This poor guy was trying to fix a zipper that skipped a tooth while simultaneously fighting a flood of 38° water pouring into his waders. I took a minute to offer help and in doing so, immediately noticed the brands of both of these products and was in no way shocked in their catastrophic failures at the worst possible time. And just when I couldn't be more surprised, the fisherman boldly proclaimed, "I just bought these last week!" 

I won't disclose the brands because I'm not here to make other products look bad, namely because they do a terrific job of doing that on their own. 

I digress. I used to really rack my brain trying to figure out why companies knowingly sell junk to people they know can't necessarily afford or be inclined to replace that equipment after only one use. But age and life experience makes it pretty obvious why this happens; if equipment fails, they'll have to buy a new one, and the faster that happens, the faster the company makes more money. 

It's a good business model if you don't mind kicking your own customers in the teeth. Then again, multi-billion dollar retailers don't mind sacrificing individual customers when they know there are ten more lined up to take their place. 

We do. 

At Osage River Gear, we sell quality gear meant for those who just discovered their love for the outdoors or the life-long, veteran outdoorsman and everyone in between. We use products like heavy-duty metal zippers and 600d ballistic nylon; military-grade stuff that's made to take an absolute pummeling and still maintain its lifetime integrity. But don't let that scare you. Our prices mirror those of the garbage being sold by the big box retailers almost to the penny, so either way, you win.  

We know you have options for quality gear. But we definitely encourage you to give us a try. At Osage River Gear, we don't just make this stuff and we're definitely not a collection of suit-wearing bean counters trying to pad our pockets. We're avid outdoorsmen here with hundreds of years of combined experience, so, simply put, we wouldn't sell a single product if we wouldn't (or haven't) used it ourselves. 

So do yourself a favor and toss that junk range bag that you've been cursing since you bought it into the nearest bonfire and score a quality product from Osage River Gear today. You won't be disappointed.

Jason Smith - Marketing Manager