One of the things I learned in sales is to give the best product for the person's needs. Never negotiate price or functionality. Let the client do that if they choose to. This setup is $1,141. Yes, that's expensive, but it's not a cheap activity.

I put myself in the place of a professional sales person at REI and recommended what will work. I'd be sure to explain the benefits of what I recommend vs. make-do gear. Given the opportunity, I'd take several hours to do this focusing on the benefits of the gear I recommended. At the end, I'd just sit back and let the client make the decision.

This setup comes in at 27 pounds for a 4 day trip including food and water. (Water could be cut by 4 pounds in most cases as I included a gallon in plastic bottles.) This setup is reasonable when overnight lows are around freezing.

From here, a person can decide to put off some purchases. Especially with clothes. They can also do things like share a stove and water filter. Some may know about other things that work equally well and I can substitute those.

Someone may buy all this gear out and decide they hate backpacking. No problem. REI has a very liberal return policy. Same if item doesn't work for them. If they decide they love backpacking, it also works. All the gear can be used until worn out. With make-do gear, there is the initial cost plus the cost of the replacement for the person that likes backpacking.

(I did leave out a few things like plastic bags and line for hanging a bear bag and probably some stuff I didn't think about. Add a pound or so for all that.)

Edited by Gershon (10/25/11 12:29 PM)