Everyone and their monkey’s uncle is shopping today. Some online, others are going out to wait in lines to participate in the ensuing mosh-pit. Yeah, I think that the whole scene is a big ugly boil on the ass of our society–frenzied materialism isn’t exactly a selling point. But I am not here to preach about materialism as much as I am here to suggest some good alternatives to the conventional shopping strategies since buying “stuff” on black friday is a foregone conclusion.

Sustainable clothing–that is worth its weight in gold. Thats right–I am THANKFUL for MERINO WOOL. What else can you wear for months on end without washing it and it still won’t stink?! Add that to the fact that its soft, durable, sustainable (harvested from Merino Rams in New Zealand) and will keep you warm even if it’s wet and you have a winner. There are many quality brands, but I have been a fan of Icebreaker clothing from way back and I have worn them on countless adventures and I will be wearing them during Project 365. It looks amazing too.

Am I biased? OBVIOUSLY. But I am biased because I use what works and if it’s good, well thats going to skew me in its favor! Another company that makes some pretty awesome gear that I have been looking into recently is Stoic–a fairly new company that is worth taking a look at! They also make some Merino garments–in fact they make everything from soup to nuts, not just apparel. What makes them interesting to me is that they weld the seams of their outerwear which is pretty cutting edge and not easy to do by manufacturing standards. If you Ski, snowboard, run, climb or hike–or wear clothes, you need to check them out.

Lastly, if you’re going to be shopping for gear–do yourself a favor and don’t pay full price. Shop out of the mainstream and you can score some killer deals.  Sure, Ebay is one way to do that, but Steep and Cheap is a unique way to catch deals one at a time and with a little luck you can make out like a bandit.  They put items up for sale, one at a time. The selection of items are completely random–but if you happen to be on your computer a lot you can download their desktop APP that will pop up and notify you each time a new item goes up for sale. They also have an iPhone app for those of you who roll that way.

Ok, well be safe out there and don’t get trampled. I’d be spending every nickel I have on more Merino if I didnt already have enough to buy out a Swiss bank. I am thankful that on Black Friday I can just go back to sleep and let the world go by because I have enough gear to do what I need to.