How to Select the Right Outdoor Gear
It can be very difficult to select the right equipment for your hiking and camping needs with so many choices on the market. It is our intent to provide you with the information and product suggestions to make this process a bit smoother.
Making the right selection of what to take with you is will always be very important to the success of any outdoor adventure. If you don’t have the right gear, your comfort and safety will be compromised. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when selecting what you will need to take along.
First of all. Where and when are you planning to hiking or camping? Although, most of these suggestions are for hiking, some of them can also be considered for camping as well. Less so, if you can pack up and put the family and things in the car and go home if you need to. This is definitely not going to be the case if you are miles or kilometers down the trail. Where and when will determine a lot. Where you go can affect the weather and terrain; and thus the type of gear you will need. There will be more specific information for you under each type of equipment category on this website.
The amount of money that you have (budget)will also direct your purchases. You should look for items that are durable and easy to care for. All the extras are not always necessary. You need to decide what will be necessary out on the trail for you. Also, when you are hiking, weight needs to be a consideration. Ultimately, the choice is yours. Get informed. Know what you will need for your camping and hiking adventures and let us help to show you the possibilities.
Always make sure that you wear a good pair of hiking boots on those longer treks into the back country. Running shoes may be okay for around the family campground at the lake, but they just won’t last on more rugged terrain.
There are several things to keep in mind when selecting what to wear on your feet.
1. If possible, try on your selection before you purchase them. If you are buying from a catalog or online, make sure that there is a reasonable return policy. If you get the wrong size, will you be able to exchange them for a different size?
2. When first trying them on, wear the type of socks that you will be wearing in them later. Walk around with them on. Make sure that your toes do not rub against the front of the shoe and the ankle should be well supported (should not slip).
3. A high cut model is always a good idea to protect and support the ankles on longer walks. Low cut boots may be okay for those shorter day hikes. You decide.
4. Remember that new boots can cause blisters. Break your boots in with shorter hikes and walks prior to any longer hikes.
5. Select a tread that will offer you good traction.
6. Check that the support is adequate. If you plan to carry a heavier backback, this will be become especially important.
7. You will want to make sure that they are both water proof and breath.
Remember, your footwear can either make or break your adventures. Choose wisely. This is not a purchase that you should make without care.
Camping Sleeping Bags
So, you know camping sleeping bags? You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Right? Not quite. It will all depend on when and where you will be camping and hiking to. If you don’t take care in selecting the proper sleeping bag, you might wish you did.
Select the Right Sleeping Bag
First of all, make sure you’re sleeping bag is the right width and length for you. Also, as mentioned, you will need to consider when and where you will be camping or hiking. Depending on the season or temperatures you encounter you might be either too warm or not warm enough in your sleeping bag. If your camping sleeping bag is too warm, this doesn’t have to be a problem. It’s simple enough pull the sleeping bag down or open the tent for added ventilation. You do have more control over cooling than you do warming up if your sleeping bag does not have an appropriate temperature rating for the conditions that you find yourself in.
If you’re hiking into more remote areas where you are more limited as to what you can take with you, this can be more problematic. There are many makes and models of sleeping bags. Most of us are aware of the rectagular shaped sleeping bags. Lot’s of room to move around in, but not the best when it comes to keeping you warm in cooler conditions.
Mummy Bags are another design to consider if you want to make sure that you have that added warmth to keep you sleeping through the night. Mummy Bags are wider at the shoulders and narrower towards the lower parts of the body. They will usually have a hood for the head. After all, much of our body heat is lost from our heads. There are now sleeping bags that have some of the benefits of both models.
For Added Warmth and Comfort
Because the ground is usually colder than the body, keeping warm is important to a good night’s sleep under the stars. To add to your comfort, you might want to consider putting a pad under your sleeping pad. Make sure it has the right dimensions for your size of bag. Pads for sleeping bags are most commonly made of foam or are self inflating.
Hiking Tents and Family Tents, Too
Whether you and your friends like pitching up hiking tents in the remotest of wilderness areas or enjoy relaxing with your family at the lake, lazing around your family tents, you will find the information on this page helpful.
What To Look For
There are several things to look for when deciding what type of tent to purchase. First of all, you will need to decide what size you will require. How many people will it need to accomodate? Will you need a hiking tent that is light weight and compact or will a larger family tent be needed?
Although there are many good tents to select from on the market,if you want a tent that will last you a long time, make sure that you purchase one that has been put together with workmanship in mind.
That Perfect Spot
So, what’s a perfect site look like to pitch your tent? Of course, this will depend on whether you are camping or hiking. Here are some things to consider if you have to pitch your hiking tent in a more remote place that doesn’t offer many of the ammenities that more established tenting areas would where you would set up the family tent.
A more or less flat area is always best for obvious reasons. If there’s water, camp well away from it. Higher ground is best. Remember water will always find it’s way to lower ground. This is not only for safety reasons. We also don’t want any of our washing water and wastes to find their way into lakes and streams where they can have a negative effect on the local wildlife. Also, make sure that your tent is well away from the possibility of falling rocks and tree limbs. Think safety first.
When you’ve found that perfect spot to set up your tent, you may want to put down a ground sheet first. This will not only protect the bottom of your tent from rocks and other abrasive materials, but will also offer you some additional water proofing and insulation. Not a bad idea.
When you get home, make sure your tent is clean and dry before storing it away for your next camping or hiking adventure.
Before you start looking at backpacks, you need to first ask yourself what you will need it for. If you will be hiking overnight, you’ll need a larger one to accommodate all of your equipment.
Making the Right Choice
If you are planning to hike overnight, you will of course need to bring with you more equipment than you would if you were going out for just the day. The capacity of the pack is an important consideration. The more things you need to bring along, the larger it will need to be.
Be sure that you keep the more commonly used things handy and easy to get at. For example, you would want to keep sunscreen, compass, map and rain gear within easy reach. Not under everything at the bottom. The heaviest things that you bring along should be near your back, between your shoulder blades if possible. Make sure to tighten down the compression straps sufficiently in order to prevent equipment from moving. With experience, you will be able to determine what works best for you.
When you get back home, always make sure to clean your equipment before storing it away for the next season.
Food – Eating In the Great Outdoors
Planning what food to take is crucial to the success of any outdoor stay. Whether you are camping or hiking miles away from the nearest convenience store or just minutes from town.
First, decide how long you will be at the lake or in the back country. Obviously, if you’re carrying everything on your back; weight will need to be a serious consideration. Plan how many meals you will need to bring supplies for. Not too much and certainly not too little.
While on the trails, there are many great ways to replace those expended calories. Dehydrated or freeze dried, granola, energy bars or dried fruit are just a few sure fire ways to satisfy most palates. Remember, cans are heavier to carry.
Take sufficient amounts of water. The further you’re walk takes you, the more water you will require. Take along water purification pills or apparatus to ensure that you will have enough water for drinking and cooking. What if your supply runs out or the clean water that you thought would be available along the trail is not there? If you drop your water bottle it could be punctured, miles away from the nearest source of clean water. If you are camping at a site with all the amenities, obviously you can ignore some or all of these suggestions.
So remember, planning is your key to having a successful camping or hiking experience.
What is it about cooking outdoors that makes food taste so much better? Whatever it is, you need to come prepared to satisfy those outdoor hunger pangs. In this article, we will point you in the right direction to help you set up your camp kitchen.
If you decide that you want to prepare your food over an open fire, be aware that this approach will have its challenges. Using a fire pit is very different than using the stove at home. Your pots will get hot from both the bottom and the sides. We suggest you cook only over the coals.
Don’t forget that not only will the sides of your pots and pans become hot, but so will the handles. Many an outdoor chef has been burnt forgetting about this. Use tongs, or gloves that can be removed quickly to handle your hot food containers. You can support your pots, pans or grill on rocks set up around the fire.
Although there is nothing better than sitting around a fire in the evening, enjoying good company and roasting marshmallows; there are outdoor enthusiasts that prefer portable stoves for heating their food. Fires can be difficult to deal with. Portable stoves leave no fire marks on the ground and are easy to use. The downside is that they will add some weight to your backpack.
When purchasing a portable stove for camping and hiking, things to consider are:
1. Is the weight and size small enough for your needs if hiking. If you are camping, this should not be too much of a concern.
2. What will you be cooking? Will the stove produce enough heat for your meal preparation needs?
3. What size pots and pans will you be using? Will you be able to use them on the stove you are looking at? If you do not have them yet, make sure to buy the right size to fit your stove.
4. What type of fuel is needed? Will it be available where you are planning to use the stove? Will you be enjoying the great outdoors locally or out of the country?
Do your homework. There are many makes and models of stoves that can be used for the trail or campground. Make sure you are aware of your needs before make your purchase. If you do, you will be able to recognize the right one to buy. And don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Whether you choose to cook over an open fire or with a portable stove, please be careful. Let’s remember that we’re dealing with fire. Make sure your appliances are shut off and campfires put out when your finished with them.