After a recent email exchange with Martin Rye about the possibility of buying his surplus sleeping bag, I thought I’d mention how I decide were to spend cash when it comes to outdoor kit.

The quest for lighter gear is a never ending and expensive pursuit. I have everything I need for camping out year round in the Scottish hills, but in winter particularly, and coupled with 4+kg of camera kit, the pack gets heavy. I’ve come up with the following method for identifying the most cost effective way to spend my cash:

I’ve mentioned my kit spreadsheet in previous posts, I have a column where I can add alternative, lighter kit for comparison alongside my existing gear. The spreadsheet will then calculate the weight saving and bang for buck [price divided by grams saved]. For example, I can see the most cost effective thing at present is to replace my Marmot Precip Overtrousers [375g] with Montane Featherlite Pants [152g], saving 223g for £33 [15p per gram], particularly given they spend most time in the pack. Of course, this criteria isn’t the be all and end all of kit purchasing decisions, it doesn’t take performance into account, but it helps keep my impulsive purchasing gene in check. The most expensive method of cutting weight? Replacing my Alpkit Headtorch, with a Petzl Tikka XP2 [£2 per gram].

This is all a bit Rainman of course, and it’s a bit embarrassing admitting I go to this level of analysis before making a purchase, but maybe it’s worth considering for those on a tight budget.