When I first started camping, I was surprised by how much outdoor camping equipment costs. Although it was possible to find cheap camping gear, sometimes it was hard to come by.
Camping gear stores try to sell you everything from new outdoor clothes, high-tech sleeping bags to synthetic thermal underwear – you name it, they sell it.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that a lot of outdoor camping equipment is only necessary for difficult, advanced camping trips.
If you first learn what you need and what you can go without, you can save a lot of money and make wise purchases that will help you enjoy your camping trip more thoroughly.
A good friend of mine – a serious outdoorsman – says that the two most important things on a hiking trip are hiking and sleeping.
This might sound obvious, but a lot of people don’t make provision for this. What it means is that you need camping equipment for hiking and to sleep in the outdoors.
A very important part of a hiking trip is your boots. Hiking boots are crucial. You shouldn’t spare any expense on this one thing. You need shoes that are heavy and padded enough, yet comfortable.
You also need a comfortable sleeping bag. It can get cold at night – especially if you are up in the mountains – so it is worth investing in a good one. Look for a sleeping bag that is rated 10° lower than you expect it to get – at the very least.
A good jacket will also be needed There are plenty that are designed to keep you warm. A thermal jacket is a good investment because you do not need to wear it only on camping trips. They are usually very attractive, well made and are getting more and more popular in urban areas.
There is no need, however, to buy serious outdoor shirts for every step of the day. You can get by with a cotton T-shirt, khaki pants and boxers or thermal underwear.
You do not have to buy high-tech thermals either. Plain cotton ones work well unless you are on an extremely demanding trip.
Finally, you need a good backpack. If you are just going for a couple of days, you don’t have to spend money on an expensive one. Any longer, however, and you’ll be happy to have a good internal frame hiking backpack.
Decide what you really need, prepare well and enjoy your camping!