@tadoerner, meh why not... Everyone was a beginner once, except me, being born was my first summiting expedition (my mom would attest to the crampons. Sorry mom, OUCH!) Anyway, we've all been there, even those of us lucky enough to have a mentor/s, at first, we have ALL been "gear heads" (often more interested in what we DON'T have). But eventually, you learn it's more about a few key pieces. Used and old gear are fine, as long as it's safe to use and suits your needs. Personally, I can afford high-end stuff and have bought (and returned) a lot, but the question is does it do the job and does it suit you? For example, I was recently shopping caraniners. I knew there were more recent designs, but I told the salesperson that while I like the fancy-shmancy magnetic and auto closures, and that I was sure they're safe to use, I've been using the ol' "screw-lock" 'bieners for so long that I would feel funny changing now (and there's NO way I would only buy a few!) So go, buy a lot of gear you may use once or twice and never use again and ultimately give away, or buy someone else's stuff and find out why they sold it (then sell it at the next REI Garage Sale). WE all did it, now it's YOUR turn! Seriously, you'll KNOW if you really "need" it because you won't be able to think of anything else 'til you have it!! AND if you spent a lot of money, but you LOVE it, you won't be able to remember what you paid for it!!
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