Before you set out on a camping trip, it is important to make sure that you have packed everything necessary to help it go off without a hitch.
It is even more important if you plan to head off the beaten track, because finding yourself in the middle of nowhere without the right equipment is a recipe for disaster.
To ensure your trip is a success, you need to make sure that you have ticked everything off your list, but also that it has been carefully selected. Here are some tips to help you choose the right outdoor gear.
Choosing Your Backpack
First off, obviously, you need something to put all your equipment in! Depending on where you are headed and what your intended activities are, your bag may need to withstand a lot of harsh weather and conditions, so it is a wise idea to make sure it is waterproof.
If you are simply driving to your destination, then a hiking backpack is probably unnecessary, but if you are backpacking, you need to decide between a day pack, overnight or long haul.
A day pack will be useful for carrying the essentials like water, a map, a first aid kit, and snacks, whereas a long-haul backpack will need to hold your clothing, your sleeping bag, and any other essential equipment.
Buying a Tent
Buying a tent is not a decision you should take lightly. There might be some models on special offer at your nearest outdoor gear store, but you need to make sure that they are suited to your needs.
Not only that, but you will obviously want to choose the best backpacking tent that falls within your budget. When you know how much you ideally want to spend, you can narrow it down before you make a selection.
You then need to consider whether you need a three-season tent or a four-season tent. A four-season is made from more durable materials so that it can handle snowdrifts, but if you are headed somewhere hot, you will probably want something more lightweight that you can also carry if you need to.
You will also need to consider the size of the tent, based on how many are going. For example, do you need a three- of four-person tent?
Consider other things such as space, ventilation, and any added luxuries you may wish to have.
Packing the Right Footwear
Hiking boots are obviously made specifically for camping and hiking, so it would be a good idea to invest in a quality pair before you set off.
Assuming that your everyday sneakers will be good enough is a bad idea. They are not designed to offer as much comfort and support, and you are likely to be on your feet and walking for most of the daytime.
A good pair of hiking boots will provide stability and padding, meaning you will avoid blisters and sores. You can also purchase boot waterproofing spray to ensure that your feet stay dry.
Finding the Right Sleeping Bag
You may assume that all sleeping bags are the same, but there are many different varieties when it comes to camping. They come in different weights, and so, again, you will need to determine what the weather conditions will be like at your destination.
You will need to choose between a summer, winter, or 3-season bag type – a summer sleeping bag is recommended for temperatures of 30°F, a winter sleeping bag for 15°F and lower, and a 3-season for 15-30°F.
In addition, you can choose between rectangular, semi-rectangular, mummy and double shaped, so consider which you would feel most comfortable in.
You may also want to invest in a sleeping mat if you find yourself camping on uneven ground. On top of the basic essentials, you will also need to pack maps, a first aid kit, flashlights, cooking supplies, and plenty of water to keep hydrated!