Outdoor camping is great fun when you have the right equipment. For campers new to the hobby, however, trying to figure out just what they will need for the kind of place they will be camping can be tough, and finding yourself without the right gear can be a nightmare and ruin the entire experience. If you are new to outdoor camping, or have had a hard time enjoying yourself because of equipment issues, here are some pointers on how to choose the right outdoor camping gear.
Consider The Excursion Type
The type of excursion you are planning is perhaps the most important factor when choosing the right outdoor camping gear. Choosing gear that will be able to sustain the kind of trip you will be taking is imperative. If your camping trip will involve trail hiking, you’ll need a backpack with good back support. In addition, make sure your backpack has enough room to pack the supplies you will need on the trail. Of course items such as food and water are important, but you should also be able to carry a first aid kit and emergency supplies as well as dry socks and underclothes or perhaps an entire change of clothes. Remember you may find yourself a good distance from your base camp site, so you will not only need to anticipate the gear you will need, but also the gear you might need if things don’t go as planned.
For tent camping having a tent that is easy to set up will save time on this chore and allow you to get to enjoying yourself that much faster. Also, make sure your tent provides enough room for everyone who will need to shelter in it, nothing ruins a tent camping trip faster than a cramped tent! An all-weather tent that provides adequate wind and rain resistance will keep you prepared if the weather takes a turn for the worse, allowing you and your camp mates to remain warm, cozy, and comfortable no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.
How Much Camping Experience Do You Have?
An experienced camper can fashion tools from their surroundings if they need to, but these skills come from experience and a new camper cannot simply rely on their wits. A beginner will need to carry the necessary tools such as camp cookware and utensils, a utility axe which may also include a knife and compass, a fire starter, a flashlight and lantern, and a camping stove. Also, a map of the area where you’ll be camping is never a bad idea.
What Environment Does The Camping Area Have?
This determines the weather you will experience, the wind strength at night, the direction rainwater drains, among others. You should also be aware of the kind of animals in the place. If there are mosquitoes, you will need to bring bug repellents.
This factor is perhaps most important when considering the kind of sleeping bag that you will need. Three season sleeping bags are designed to keep you comfortable through late spring, summer, and early fall, but if you are planning a winter trip you will need a bag that is specifically designed to withstand the temperature range you’re likely to experience. Remember that it is always better to be a little warm than cold. During the colder months, Choose sleeping bags with nylon materials as these will be able to provide you with enough warmth while remaining lightweight.
What Is The Function Of The Gear?
Consider what functions your gear will need to perform when choosing the right outdoor camping gear for your trip. If it is likely you will will have a chance of rain, then you will not only need a tent that can keep you dry but also a stove that can provide heat and for cooking since dry wood to start a fire may be hard to come by. In this case, having some pre-cooked meals that only require warming might be a good option. If you need to venture out during inclement weather, make sure you have some sort of poncho or rain gear for that purpose.
If you’re trail hiking, consider the rating and of the trail and length of time you intend to spend on it when choosing your shoes. Good fitting shoes or boots that also repel moisture and have good arch supports will keep your feet comfortable, and the comfort of your feet is perhaps the number one consideration for a hiking trip. Definitely make sure that you include a first aid kit, and water purifiers will ensure that you don’t run out of drinking water.
Always Test Your Gear First
Before embarking on your camping trip, test your equipment so that you not only sure it will do the job, but are also familiar enough with it to use it properly. Set up and break down your tent a few times so that you are familiar with the steps and cab do it with ease. Take a walk in your hiking boots to make sure they are comfortable enough for the trail. Practice packing your backpack so that you know the most efficient way to pack it and make sure that you can carry it comfortably when it is fully packed. Use the stove at home a time or two so there won’t be any surprises at the camp site when it’s time to eat. Test your lights and lanterns and ensure that you have enough batteries to power them for the entire trip, and then pack a couple extra just in case. Speaking of “just in case”, experienced campers know exactly what they will need for their camping trip, as they have done it many times before. For new campers, however, it is a good idea to have a few extra essential items such as food, batteries, and clothing so that the possibility of running short of something is not a concern.
When choosing your outdoor camping gear, try to think of and anticipate every possible need. When you are new to the hobby it may seem that you pack heavy, and this is okay. As your experience grows this feeling will surely fade. Even worse is the feeling of wishing you had brought something you don’t have when you are miles from home, This feeling can not only ruin the trip, but also ruin the hobby for you as well.
The best advice is to make sure you have everything you will need and that the equipment you choose will serve the purpose you need it to. This way, you won’t have to worry about outdoor camping gear issues and can instead concentrate on enjoying the great outdoors with your family and friends, and isn’t that the real reason for the trip in the first place?
Have fun and stay safe!