Buying used camping and hiking gear can save you a bundle, but first you have to know where to look.
Question by djinvinceable: What hiking and camping gear should I buy?
Ok here’s the scoop…
I want to get into hiking and camping with my wife. I currently have no gear. What should I buy? I have about $ 800 to work with. I am planning on camping through 3 seasons, spring, summer, and fall (a little in the winter perhaps). I am going to need a two person tent, his and hers sleeping bags, and his and hers backpacks. I am looking for gear that would take me on 2-4 day hikes. Should go with internal or external backpacks. What’s the difference? Is there a good rain resistant tent within my price range? I’m thinking I would want a mummy type sleeping bag. Again, not sure though. Brand names with reasons for purchasing would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Answer by WhiskeyGuy
Go to www.cabelas.com and browse around, or better yet request a catalog. It’s the best outdoors outfitter I’ve ever used. First off, since you’re talking about backpacking, you need to think lightweight. Interior/Exterior just has to do with whether the frame is inside or outside the “pack” on a backpack. To decide on which type is better fo you, go to a good sporting goods store in your area and look at them/try them on. Sleeping backs should definately be the “mummy” style bags. They are around $ 100 each, but are very lightweight and can handle moderately cold weather (sleeping bags will have a rating in degrees to how cold it can get and you can still rely on the sleeping bag). They can also be compacted better than classic sleeping bags. Any brand in Cabela’s would be a good brand, including its own brand. Also buy you and your wife sleeping pads… they are light, compact, and your back is worth it. I like the self-inflating type, but you can also get foam ones. Again any brand in Cabela’s (this goes for all their products) is usually a good brand.
Tents are usually rated by seasons they can be used in (summer, 3-season, or all weather are popular ratings). Definately go for a dome-style tent rather than the boxier tents. Dome style tents are usually more sturdy, deflect water better, and are usually lighter. Also you’ll want one with a good rain cover that goes close to the base of the tent, and a high waterproof rating (in mms)… 1,500mm waterproof ratings are pretty good. Also, pay attention to weight. Aluminum weighs less than fiberglass, but costs more also. A two person tent probably weighs around 15 lbs, and you and your wife can split this weight (she takes tent, you poles) or you can pack it yourself, but weight is the largest factor (besides neccesities) when hiking.
Alright, now that we have the major equipment out of the way, here are some neccessities.
-First Aid Kit and maps or knowledge of area, or GPs
-Flashlight w/extra batteries and lantern would be nice
-Good all-purpose knife/survival knife
-water purification pump AND purification pills… start out with at least 1/2 gallon of water each
-Waterproof matches AND waterproof lighter (just in case)
-Lightweight stove. Sporting good store can recommend good ones for backpacking.
-Food: lightweight, non-perishables, such as top ramen, energy bars, canned food, chocolate. Fatty foods are good to have in the woods since you will be burning a lot of calaries. They say one of the best things you can eat if your lost is butter. You may burn 3,000 or more calaries a day, so don’t try to go on a diet right then. I recommend some type of powder flavoring for water… it doesn’t always taste great when used with purification pills.
-Dish soap, eating utensils and backpacking pots. They usually come in a nice kit that doesn’t take up much space. Look on Cabela’s or at a sporting goods store.
-Permits. You usually have to get permits to camp in public parks/Forest Service land. You go to the closest Forestry office to pick these up. These are important if for no other reason than if you don’t come back when your family expects you, they know where to start looking.
-Clothes that can be layered, gloves, beanies, good hiking boots and tennis shoes if you dont mind the extra weight (for camp).
-Cell phone or handheld CB at least
-Camera (for obvious reasons)
-Rope(hang your food away from camp so predators dont get into it).
There’s probably more that I am missing, but those are the most important. The most important thing to do when going camping is to tell at least two responsible people you know where you’re going, and give them a timeframe for coming back. Also I recommend you both take a First Aid Course… they are usually free and something could go wrong quickly (although unlikely) in the forests… snake bite, broken leg, heat stroke, hyperthermia, bear attack, drinking bad water (always purify or boil for five minutes… & retrieve from running water source. If impossible to purify, find area where water is “falling”… it’s usually cleanest there).
I’m not trying to scare you away and you guys will probably have a blast, but definately be prepared.
What do you think? Answer below!