Buying Outdoor Gear
Hani wrote to ask for recommendations on buying outdoor gear in Singapore, for a Nepal trek. I started off squeezing a few tips into the comment box and then finally decided this was long enough to merit its own post. Here it is...
First, you've probably already got a list of gear you need. It helps to consult with an experienced friend to write up the list, if you don't want to be making six trips back to the outdoor stores like we did!
If you've got a couple of days in Kathmandu before you start your trek, you might want to consider buying a few things there instead. Some outdoor gear is much cheaper in Kathmandu than in Singapore, and you'll have a wider range of choice.
Items better purchased in Kathmandu include waterproof jackets; warm external clothing - fleece jackets, hats, gloves, and even fleece pants if you need them; and trek poles.
Next, hiking shoes. These are best bought early because you'll need time to break them in. We bought ours two weeks before our trip, which was cutting it a bit close. I wore the boots everywhere those two weeks, even to the office! We bought our boots from Camper's Corner. The staff there are friendly, knowledgeable, and will patiently offer advice while you try on different pairs of boots to help you get exactly the right fit. The shops at Peninsula Plaza also sell a limited range of hiking boots and shoes.
Campers has a wide range of trek pants and thermals, and if you buy a lot of gear from them they'll give you a nice little discount.
Then, bags. Sports Connection at Funan mall, Plaza Singapura, and Peninsula Plaza is a good source for a wide variety of backpacks and day packs. I liked the branch at Funan because they, again, patiently helped us out with fitting and trying day packs to get the right fit. The store proprietor loaded three day packs with books so I could try how they felt when loaded, and let me browse around the store for half an hour carrying different bags to test them out. In addition to our bags, we ended up buying our Nalgene bottles, Camelbak-style water bladders, and a bunch of other stuff from here.
Regular sports shops like Royal Sporting House, World of Sports, and the many stores at Queensway are also a good source for bags.
Our entire list of sources:
We sold some of our gear, like the trek poles, on eBay after we got back.
Enjoy your Nepal trek, tell us all about it! I love the anticipation of planning for trips.
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