An Important Choice: Camping
and Hiking Equipment
Choosing the right camping and hiking equipment is critical to the safety and enjoyment of any camping or hiking
trip. It is especially important for new campers and hikers since they are already unfamiliar with the past time.
For novices, it is a good idea to try out camping and hiking equipment that friends and family own first so that
they can experiment and see what they like best. There are also outdoor rental companies that will rent camping and
hiking equipment so that different brands and types of equipment can be explored at a minimal cost.
A camping or hiking backpack is one essential piece of equipment to be purchased. A backpacker should look for a
pack according to the type of trip that will be taken. Many experienced backpackers have multiple packs so that
they can choose according to the length of the trip and gear to be carried. For day hikes, smaller packs are needed
with less of a requirement for pockets or straps. For longer excursions with camping involved, especially in colder
climates, larger packs are required with many different pockets, both inside and outside the pack, and places to
strap equipment to the outside. Backpacks should fit comfortably to a person's body, resting firmly on the hips
with the shoulder straps fitting snugly and hooking in front of the chest with larger packs. That way the weight of
the pack rests on the hips instead of the back which is safer for the backpacker.
Another piece of hiking and camping equipment is the sleeping bag. These can be cumbersome and hard to pack if
the right ones are not chosen. Most sleeping bags will have a larger storage bag for when it is not in use so that
the fibers inside of it do not get compacted, and also have a smaller camping bag which the sleeping bag fits
snugly into for compact packing on trips. Hiking and camping equipment for sleeping also requires a sleeping pad
which not only increases comfort for the camper, but also keeps them warmer, providing a layer of insulation from
the cold ground.
Hiking and camping equipment also requires the tent be made for the climate and the number of people going on
the trip, as well as being lightweight and compact. Most campers choose two man tents for additional versatility
without much added weight. The tent fly should reach all the way to the ground, rather than about six inches from
the ground as is found in cheaper versions. If it is not all the way to the ground, water can get in when there is
any sort of wind, as well as allowing wind to blow up into the tent. A tarp is also needed as ground cover under
the tent to prevent seepage into the tent despite waterproofing.