Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Halloween Capital of the World
• Horses: 0
Let me preface this by saying I don't really know squat about riding specific apparel. However, almost every activity is chock full of specialized gear and apparel, some of which is a lot different from general purpose stuff, and some of which is just about the same, but with labels added to make it more expensive.
My advice is to figure out which items are essential for you and where getting the real deal really matters. For those things, bite the bullet and get the best gear you can afford, then do what you can with the rest.
A couple of years ago I bought a canoe and recently took my first trip in many years to the BWCAW in Minnesota. I bought one specialized bit of gear, which was an excellent quality Bending Branches canoe paddle. That is, quite obviously, essential gear for canoeing, and it was money well spent despite being ridiculously expensive. For everything else on that trip, I used gear I already owned, or made things myself.
The trick, I think, is for you to figure out which things are your canoe paddles.