Plan on going camping soon? Don’t forget to pick up camping gear that will surely maximize your outdoor experience!
1. Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag should be a given when going out on long trips, albeit camping, hiking, or any type of backpacking adventure. Those longs days (sometimes nights) are sure to bring on the “z’s”, so be sure to pack a sleeping bag that’s simple to set up and makes you comfortable. In addition, make sure that the sleeping bag is durable on any type of terrain, especially the rough and rocky kind. Plus, as you know, weather can be a very tricky thing, so make sure that you choose a sleeping bag that you feel will have enough insulation when the time comes. But just remember that when your hiking, you want to keep that excess weight to a minimum, so choose wisely what kind of sleeping bag you’re looking for.
Of course with a sleeping bag, you should have a tent with you. Be sure to get yourself a tent that can balance out with weight and size, all the while providing the maximum benefits. The Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, for instance, weighs about 2 pounds, is 90ins x 52ins x 42ins, and can hold up to two people. A bonus is that this tent can easily fit in your bag, so don’t let the weight and size fool you.
Where are you going to put all of this stuff? Choosing the right backpack is essential, as it can either add weight or help you support the weight that’s already on your back. Also, you don’t want half of your things hanging out of your bag while you’re walking the trail and they keep falling out. Look for a pack that can handle the weight and has enough storage for your hiking equipment. Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 is the right backpack for you if this is your ideal backpack. Of course, there are smaller packs if you feel that you won’t be taking a lot of extra things.
4. Proper Clothing
Wear fitting and enduring shoes. Obviously, open-toed shoes are out of the question. Most likely, your trip is going to be long, so be sure to pick up shoes that fit your feet, and are not too stiff or heavy. Make sure your shoes are able to last long periods without any wear and tear. The Saucony Peregrine 5 is beneficial for its padding, traction, and soft soles. Additionally, be sure that the shoes can endure any kind of terrain. Boots like the Outbound Mid GTX are highly adept at to the task at hand and are also highly recommended for hiking. Some are even water resistant and help with shock absorption, all the while serving your feet as a padded cushion. It all depends on what you feel, so try a few things out before you choose. Besides shoes, making the right choices for jackets are a must. As mentioned before, you never know what the weather has in store so be prepared. Make sure that you bring a jacket that can protect you from the potential rain as well as harsh winds. Again, we want to keep the weight down, but if you are okay with it, go for it. It also depends on what kind of hiking you plan on doing (3-seasons, etc.). There are heavy duty jackets like the Quince Down Jacket that can provide extended insulation. Just know that there are thinner, lighter jackets such as the Patagonia M10 that can get the job done as well Now, that’s clothing for the worst case scenario. Let’s talk about clothes for warmer weather. Trail shirts are a must-have for the warmer days of the journey. Trail shirts come in both short sleeve (Craft Trail Shirt) and long sleeve (Trail Dash Half-Zip Top), so choose wisely. Trail shirts sport sun protective material and quick drying, so don’t worry much about the sweating. As for pants, you can either take your chance with comfortable and flexible shorts with built in liners, or you can bring along a pair durable hiking pants, such as Sierra Trail Pants, that feel comfortable on the skin.
5. Tracking Device
Unless you somehow know where you’re going at all times, bring a tracking device with you, whether it’s a compass or some sort of GPS. They even have these things integrated into watches these days.
6. Grills/Portable Stoves. You’re going to need to eat, but don’t use public grills. You’d be better off bringing your own grill/portable stove with you. The 8.5 oz Jet Boil Sol Ti Premium can surely get the job done as it comes with a bowl and cooking vessel. Or, if you want more, you can go with the 14.6 oz Jet Boil MiniMo that comes with more features such as, a button igniter and extensive simmer control.
This is a no-brainer.
8. Lightlf you’re a night person, bring some sort of light with you. Maybe you prefer a headlamp to a flashlight so you can keep your hands free. Whichever you prefer, be careful. For a flashlight, make sure you use a high power flashlight that goes easy on the battery while still providing a strongly lit path. If you’re going to choose a headlamp, make sure that the headlamp doesn’t hinder you in any way, such as weight.
You never know what you may need, so be prepared and take one with you Get one that has the major needs, such as a knife, pliers, and maybe even scissors.
10. Something to Do
You’ve been walking too much. Sit down and read, or do a word search. Play sudoku. Maybe even take pictures on your camera. Hiking can be stressful and strenuous, so take something with you that will keep you busy in between sleeping and walking. To conclude the list, yes, some of this stuff is pricey. But! There are tons of alternatives out there, these are just a few of them that I’ve mentioned and I’m sure they can get the job done just as well If you’re new to the backpacking experience, it is strongly advised that you wisely equip yourself with these items (as a minimum). But more importantly, be careful and have fun. Hiking is supposed to be an incredible adventure and experience, so don’t let anything intimidate you!