Hiking and camping without the proper gear can not only make the excursion uncomfortable, but it could also be downright dangerous. Poor choices when selecting outdoorsmen gear can lead to many problems like painful blisters on your feet, undrinkable water, exposure to rain, sun, and bugs, hunger, or a sleepless night on cold, hard ground. When outdoor enthusiasts bring along the right equipment, they ensure a safe and pleasant journey, but many people do not know what pieces of outdoorsman equipment are must-haves. With so many camping and hiking supplies on the market, how do they know which gear is the most important to own? Outdoors experts know that it is critical to own rugged equipment specifically made for hiking and camping, so trips into the wilderness are safer and more enjoyable. So don't hike or camp without the following must-have pieces of outdoors-man equipment in the list below.
1 – Backpack
A backpack is critical for holding most camping or hiking items like water bottles, food, sunblock, hats, tent, compass, and other necessities that are too bulky to place in a pocket. Select a pack that fits comfortably on the body, so the weight of the gear is spread evenly from neck to hips. Every strap should be fully adjustable, and material and stitching should prevent tears. Backpacks utilize a "liter" measurement system to determine size. When plans are for a day or overnight outdoor trip, find a backpack that holds around 20-30 liters, so the full pack is not too heavy. For longer trips, go with a larger 50-80 liter size, so extra camping supplies like food, stove, and sleeping bag can fit.
2 – Hiking Boots and Socks
Hiking boots and shoes are made to support and protect the feet from rugged terrain. Most hiking boots are made to repel water and to dry out quickly if they do get submerged. The soles of hiking boots and shoes are made to grip on slick surfaces and cushion the soles of feet from sharp rocks and branches. Always try on hiking shoes or boots at the end of a day when your foot is at its largest. Also, select the right weight of synthetic or wool hiking socks to try on with your boot. The boot should fit snugly along the sides and ankle area, with room for toes to wiggle. Laces should be easy to adjust.
3 – Water Bottles and Treatment Kits
Nobody wants their nature hike or camping trip ruined by intestinal issues that could have been avoided by having a clean water supply on hand. While BPA-free water bottles are convenient, carrying gallons of water while hiking gets tiresome. Most campers and hikers rely on a water treatment kit so they can turn water from streams, rain or springs into safe, potable water. Lightweight pills can purify water by killing viruses and bacteria, while filter kits remove offending sediment and viruses that can lead to serious distress. Choosing the right water bottle and sanitation system depends on your camping style and location, so seek advice from a local outdoor equipment specialist.
4 – Tent
Overnight camping trips are nicer when using a tent to reduce exposure to the elements. The size of your tent depends on not only sleeping capacity but on overall comfort like space to stand or to store some of your gear out while out hiking. The weight of your tent is a big consideration since you will need to carry the tent in your backpack. The materials must be waterproof and durable to withstand rainstorms, UV rays, and falling branches, yet also have breathability like mesh or screen panels that can zip open to allow fresh air circulation but keep the bugs out.
5 – Sleeping Pad or Bag
Overnight hiking trips require a lightweight, yet warm, sleeping bag or a sleeping pad that will make laying on the rough, rocky ground more bearable. Fitting these items in or onto your backpack makes transporting this outdoor equipment simple, so choose a model made for such a purpose. Backpacking sleeping pads and bags provide a high warmth-to-weight ratio and roll up into a compact package easy to carry on the trail. When driving a vehicle to your campsite, you can select a larger, heavier bag since there is no need to carry the equipment on the trail.
6 – Hobby Gear (Fishing, Hunting, Etc…)
Depending on what you enjoy doing while camping, you need to find room for what you love. For people who enjoy a quiet day fishing, then a high quality rod and reel are absolutely necessary. For fly fishermen, you want to ensure you have the waterproof coverings to let you get in that stream. A good tackle box will ensure you always have the right lure for the fish you’re chasing.