Best Hiking & Camping Equipment
Whether you are a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, or looking to get your family out to experience the great outdoors, acquiring gear for your chosen activities is a foreseeable cost. Whether purchasing new hiking boots or a camping tent, make an educated decision by comparison shopping different brand names and asking questions at your local outdoor retailer. Here are some tips to help you find the best equipment for your trip.
Camping tents are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. When shopping for a tent, take into consideration how many people will be using the tent, as well as the time of year you will most likely be taking trips. Most campers choose a three-season tent, which is ideal for spring, summer and fall. Although there are numerous high-quality tent manufacturers, a few of the most common and reputable companies include Marmot, Sierra Designs and Kelty. Visit your local outdoor retailer to get a first-hand feel for different models. Set the tent up at the store, and get inside to really get a feel for the space and design before making your purchase.
Investing in a heavy-duty sleeping bag will guarantee warmth and comfort for many seasons. Although stores like Wal-Mart and Target sell inexpensive sleeping bags, spending the extra money on a quality bag will make all the difference on your first 30 degree evening. Available in many temperature ratings and women's specific designs, the choices can be overwhelming. Outdoor retailers such as REI offer many options, and its expert staff can help find a sleeping bag appropriate for your specific needs.
Having a warm meal or your morning coffee is vital when camping. Although many campgrounds are equipped with fire rings for cooking, that setup might be less than ideal when you want to prepare a quick meal. Coleman makes a two-burner camp stove that has been a camping classic for many years. Easy to use, this propane-fueled stove will have your morning water boiling in minutes. The Coleman stove and other similar products are available at your local outdoor retailer or by shopping at an online retailer, such as Campmor.com.
Keep your snacks, extra layers and water contained while keeping your hands free by investing in a hiking daypack. Available in a number of sizes, choosing one that suits your needs depends on many factors. Although many online retailers like Altrec.com offer great deals on daypacks, you would be wise to visit your local outdoor retailer first to find a pack that fits your back with comfort.
Hiking boots are always evolving, featuring lighter designs and more durable materials. When shopping for hiking boots, keep in mind that every manufacturer is slightly different in sizing and width, so test out several models and brand names before making your final decision. Companies like Merrell, Keen, Hi-Tec and Asolo have received continued praise throughout the years from consumers and gear reviewers. You can find these products along with others at just about any outdoor-specific retailer.
Patricia Poulin is a freelance writer based out of the western slope of Colorado. Poulin's travels and insight have chronicled in print media resources, such as "Inside Outside" and "Breathe" magazine. She is also a regular contributor for other various publications including "USA Today." Poulin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
hiking boots image by Michael Shake from Fotolia.com