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General Gear Discussion The General Gear Discussion forum is for the discussion of traditional and lightweight (ultralight) backpacking gear that is not covered in other Practical Backpacking™ forums. [Please post about Backpacks, Shelters, Sleeping Gear, Backcountry Kitchen (Food, Stoves) in those respective forum areas.]


View Poll Results: Does Gear Color Matter?
Yes, it matters 106 42.06%
Somewhat 128 50.79%
No, not at all 18 7.14%
Voters: 252. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2007, 02:39 PM
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Perkolady Perkolady is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
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Does Gear Color Matter?

I find that since I am a female who hikes solo most times, I prefer to be "stealthy" while hiking and in camp.

I prefer my gear colors to be more muted and able to blend in with surroundings.

I stop to consider that it is not only easier to spot a "pink" pack, but it could also cause a hiker to be identified as female.

Does gear color matter to you, and if so, why?
What are you thoughts on this issue?

Perkolady
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2007, 03:07 PM
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Franco Franco is offline
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Location: Melbourne Australia
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It does for me but not in the same way. A few years ago I noticed that most of my gear was yellow, now it is grey, dark blue and black. I guess with us guys it's a fashion thing.

I figured out that my major reason for buying the new ULA Amp pack it is because it matches the Rainbow colour scheme. Keep in mind that I have that salmon red Prolite 4 to brighten up the landscape.

Franco
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2007, 03:16 PM
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aroth87 aroth87 is offline
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I voted 'somewhat.' Color isn't the first thing I look for, but I may be influenced if the pack is say, hot pink or some kind of neon. I don't try to color coordinate my gear, and I have gear ranging from black to a pretty bright blue shirt and sleeping bag to my awful mustardy-brown MS Phantom. I get lots of comments about my shiny gray windshirt and pullover I made but they are highly functional, so I live with the color, especially since I made them to use in the woods, not to have something fashionable to wear on campus.
Most gear I have come across that is made with the intent of being used for backpacking is an acceptable color, though there are always exceptions.

Adam
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2007, 03:23 PM
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big_load big_load is offline
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If I have a choice, I'll go for natural colors that will blend in. I avoid most bright colors if possible. My Dunham Waffle Stomper Premiers are an especially hideous shade of red, so I'm not immune to compromise if the price and features are right.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2007, 03:34 PM
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Seeker Seeker is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Louisiana
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Perkolady,

i'm with you... i choose the colors of my gear so they blend in... my packs have been or are black/green/dull red-rust. my hammock is coyote brown, ,u tarps are OD green, and clothes are similar. no camo anything though, 'cept my desert boonie hat, but that has sentimental value. i too camp alone most of the time, so stealth is good. took me a long time to get used to the bright "JRB Green" of my underquilt, and i like having the light brown rain shield to cover it with. still wish it (the quilt) came in brown. i've also quit using triptease liteline because it's so bright at night. you can see it from too far off, which i didn't realize when i first got some. (it's good stuff though, for being light and strong.)

i often cringe, inside anyway, when i see a big blob of bright color hike past me... florescent anything is especially rough on the eyes, but i'm not big on the brighter 'normal' colors either. just seems disrespectful somehow, like yelling in church. but i understand some people like bright colors, and respect their right to hike their own hike. it's just not for me.

one exception is some of my smaller gear, like my lighters. all of them are either bright yellow or orange, so i can find them if i drop them. i'm also considering making all my zipper pulls from triptease, so i can find them faster in the dark.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2007, 03:35 PM
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JustAGuy JustAGuy is offline
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Location: Buckley WA
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Color usually comes after function and price for me. When I can choose the color I do ( matching does not matter ) but colors are limited sometimes so I end up with some odd colors and then some that end up "matching" . The loudest item I own is a Marmot Driclime windshirt that is the "krypton /lava" scheme. ( kind of neon yellow ) It does not bother me and also can be used a flagging device in an emergency...I definately stand out :-)

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  #7  
Old 02-05-2007, 04:14 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Short answer: Yes!

Long answer:

There are various reasons why I feel that the color of my gear matters to me. Some of my thinking is based upon practical reasons and some on aesthetics and other lesser important factors.

Some gear provides greater usefulness in certain colors. For example, an orange pack cover is more readily seen during hunting season. Natural or earthen colors can blend in with the environment (dependent on location) - and likewise bright/vibrant colors may attract attention or stand out (if desired/needed). Black umbrellas aren't that great in the desert heat, so lighter colors are in order. Brightly colored shelters help to liven up the interior and/or mood of an otherwise dreary rainy season (for some). Darker clothing doesn't show the dirt (body oil) as much, for those whom this is important to. And on and on and on... There are MANY other examples.

I must admit, some of the color choices that manufacturers use leaves me wondering about the market research they rely upon. Granted some companies choose certain colors based upon cost. Perhaps they were able to get a better deal on certain fabrics which are only available in a limited amount of colors choices.

Apparently some use research statistics that are based upon color preferences in an unrelated market. Perhaps research for what is popular for school bookbags is carried over to backpacks for men(?)

I've spoke with many, certainly several dozen, backpackers over the last several years regarding gear color. Every single one of them did not prefer pastel or brightly colored gear (e.g. backpacks, shoes, tents...).

Many backpackers that I know, personally, have reluctantly went with a color that they did not like, in order to have the features that are important to them. This does not help statistics. In other words, sales should not translate (entirely) into color preference figures. What one buys may indeed be radically different from what one desires.

Something that I know all to well is that it is difficult (albeit impossible) to please everyone. Manufacturers have tough decisions - and many know that something as simple as color can mean the difference between a winning and losing product (and marketshare). And sometimes the public does not know that they want something until the market manipulates convinces them. [There's food for thought in that history lesson.]

Reality
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2007, 05:51 PM
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Herm Herm is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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I do look at the color of the stuff i buy. I like to have some bright colors such as my granite gear pack that is black and bright green and my air mattress that is bright red. Normaly color is secondary to price and weight, like the TI goat bivy I recived in the mail today. The bottom is purple and the top is green.
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2007, 06:02 PM
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Sim Sim is offline
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I voted for "yes".

I also tend to go for muted, natural colors that blend in. I want to participate in nature....and fit in....not stand out.

The exception is during hunting season. Then, a orange vest strapped to the back of my pack does the trick.

Steve
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2007, 06:23 PM
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hoosierdaddy hoosierdaddy is offline
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For me the answer is sometimes.

For 3-season hiking / backpacking most of my gear is muted, however for winter the opposite is true. Let me explain:

When I'm on a big snowfield, on a mountaintop above treeline, on a glacier, or just really "out there", I want to be able to find my camp again! My Hilleberg tent is bright red and is much easier to see in a whiteout or blizzard than something muted. The same reasoning goes for my Mountain Hardware hardshell. It is also bright red, 'cause I want to be able to be seen while in poor weather conditions.
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