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Shortage of hiking gear: plan well in advance!

Nemo Hornet two person tent? Sold out for months and waiting for the 2022 model. Hanwag's Tatra II trekking shoe? Not available for months. La Sportiva's TX4 hiking shoe? With luck, somewhere in stock. A footprint for an MSR Hubba Hubba? Not to be found. The Torrentshell 3L Jacket from Patagonia? Regularly unavailable.

You may have noticed, but during the last few months, you will not have found these in a lot of shops if you were looking for the aforementioned items. But it is not only these items that you could no longer find in outdoor shops: all brands are still struggling to keep up with demand and there is only one thing responsible for that: corona.

Anyone who thinks that the manufacturers are now back to full speed is wrong. Due to the lockdowns, the extraction of raw materials was halted for a while. This, coupled with a halt and then a slow start in production, due to, among other things, fewer staff due to illness and deaths (especially in Asia, where a huge number of factories are located), new procedures, extra checks, etc., means that there was little stock to begin with. Rising raw material prices also have an impact, not to mention fuel prices. In addition, hiking came more into the spotlight because people could no longer travel. Holidays in one's own country became the norm. The demand for equipment rose rapidly everywhere. Sometimes up to three or four times more than usual. So you understand that there is a shortage of equipment and that these shortages will continue for some time. You can count on at least another year, perhaps two or more, before we can return to normal.

Therefore, a clear message to my fellow hikers! If you still need some equipment, don't wait until a week before you leave. Make a packing list months in advance and check which things you need and take the time to do your shopping.

Also: waiting times for repairs are increasing for almost all brands. It is due to the extraordinary situation of the moment. So be patient. A simple repair can take up to 2-3 months, because yes, the demand for repairs has also increased enormously. And that is not surprising considering that sales of hiking equipment have exploded. If you want to have some things repaired before the summer or want to have your shoes soled, now is the time and in some cases it may already be too late!

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