I emailed Stan's a few years back to ask if it's OK to dump sealant at the side of a trail if fitting a tube, from an environmental viewpoint. They replied yes no problem, non-toxic, etc. Looking at the front of a bottle I bought this summer it does indeed state "Non hazardous, non-corrosive, non-toxic".
Yes, "Buy nice or buy twice" is true, but my point is that you probably already own stuff that will work fine to start out, avoiding the need to buy anything at all. "Bike specific" clothes, shoes, helmet, etc are all nice, but if you're starting out and already own safe and usable versions of these things then you can save some money and spend it on riding and travelling more.
I'm firmly of the "get by without the fancy stuff" when starting out opinion too. My first summer of real riding was on a second hand €600 Ragley steel hardtail, Dickies shorts, normal t-shirts, old DVS skate shoes and a Protec skate helmet. I bought a new old stock Dakine bike pack, mini pump, multitool and levers and was set. The money saved went on lift passes and road trips. In its own way that was one my the most fun summers I've had on the bike and helped shape how I ride today.
"It's highly recommend by most mechanics I know that riders remove the seal head and re-lube the upper tube every 50hrs of riding or so. This can be accomplished without removing the post from a bike and is a three minute job at most."
I ditched lockons a few years back once all of my controls were the type that didn't require grips to be removed first. Sensus were wore out very quickly for me but ODI Longnecks feel just as good and last a lot longer. I install with isopropyl and use four pieces of wire per grip.
Related: DD vs EXO & CushCore rear, opinions/experiences?
I've been on DD equivalent rears on my Patrol for a while (Michelins currently) but ended up needing to run 28-29psi recently to avoid flats from rim dings. Put a CushCore in there for the last few rides before the snow arrived and dropping to 24-25psi felt great. Wondering if I could get away with an EXO with CushCore to save a bit of weight. Sidewall durability isn't really a concern - only ever slashed one and that was a very lightweight Schwalbe. Guess I'll only know if I try it. Or just run what I have now and not worry about it? 80kg rider in a very rough part of the Alps and take a BC trip each autumn.