Every outdoor activity has its industry to provide gear. Mass production is what makes products affordable, because some company makes them in quantity.
Mass production giveth, but it also taketh away. Once a company is devoted to large production runs, perhaps from a factory in a distant land, it has a strong interest in moving a large quantity of those products at regular intervals.
Frugality does not help the economy. Money that stays in your pocket is not the circulating blood of healthy commerce. So how does one separate the wise from their money?
Outdoor explorers are frequently independent-minded people who value other things besides money and the mere ownership of objects. This makes them lousy consumers. But in order to thrive, a mass-producing industry needs consumers to buy things.
Unfortunately, the mass-producing industry responds more and more to its own needs, trying
to detect and fulfill consumer wants, but still having to empty the warehouse of masses of produced products regardless of their actual effectiveness. The marketing department becomes more important than the design department. Make it look good. Make it sound good. Make it sell. Empty that warehouse.
Customers providing their own muscle to move their toys want some credit for their efforts. That drives the demand for lower prices, putting pressure on suppliers to keep production costs low enough to preserve profits.
The industry is not a cynical creation of evil geniuses, although I have my questions about certain bike companies. The industry is a creation of all economic forces. So I don’t suggest a particular remedy at this point. This overview just collects my observations for further study.
Personal adventure brings the irreconcilable difference between durability and rapid consumption into direct conflict. Stuff that holds up doesn’t turn inventory very fast. People who don’t live to shop don’t shop often. But gear that doesn’t perform can actually kill people, and too much planned obsolescence can drive people away from an activity.