When I first started camping, I was surprised by how much outdoor camping equipment costs. Although it was possible find cheap camping gear, Sometimes it was hard to come by. Camping gear stores try to sell you everything. They try to sell you all new outdoor clothes, high-tech sleeping bags, synthetic thermal underwear – you name it.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that a lot of outdoor camping equipment is only really necessary for difficult, advanced camping trips. If you learn what you need and what you can make do 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 outdoorsmen – 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 really follow it through to its conclusion. What it means is that you need outdoor camping equipment that helps you to hike and that helps you sleep. This means that a hiking trip starts with your boots. Hiking boots are crucial. This is one area where you shouldn’t spare any expense.
You need shoes that are heavy and padded enough, yet comfortable to walk in. You also need a comfortable sleeping bag. You can get cold at night – especially if you are up in the mountains – so it is worth investing in a good one. You should look for a sleeping bag that is rated to 10° lower than you ever expect it to get – at the very least.
You also might need a good jacket. There is plenty of outdoor camping equipment designed to keep you warm. A thermal jacket is a good investment because you can wear it when you are not camping as well. They are usually very attractive and well made, and are getting more and more popular in urban areas.
You don’t, however, needs 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 the high-tech thermals either. Plain cotton ones work well unless you are on an extremely demanding trip.
Although cotton doesn’t really make the best outdoor camping equipment, it is good enough for most purposes. Finally, you need a good backpack. If you are just going for a couple 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.