One of the best ways to ensure a good time on your camping trip is to choose the right equipment. Unfortunately, many people spend huge amounts of money to buy equipment that is not right for their type of camping trip. To help you avoid wasting money and possibly spoiling your good time, here are some tips to help you choose the right camping gear.
The sleeping bag is one of the single most important pieces of camping gear you will ever own. It is important to understand that sleeping bags come in various lengths and widths. Choose a bag that is at least as long as your height. If at all possible, make sure the width of the bag is six to eight inches broader than the distance between your shoulders. These two considerations will mean your legs will not feel cramped while in the bag. As a bonus, your shoulders can completely relax and still enjoy the warmth provided by being contained in the sleeping bag.
There is one other important thing to keep in mind about your sleeping bag—the thickness of the filler or padding in the bag. For a warmer climate, you will need a lighter sleeping bag. Give careful consideration to sleeping bags that have ample padding for the underside, but are somewhat thin for the top side. Some extra padding under the pillow area would also be a big plus.
Tents deserve just as much consideration as the sleeping bag. Make sure to go with a size that allows all of you to fit into the tent with ease. A cramped tent decreases your chances for a comfortable and recuperative sleep. If you have to step over items in order to get in and out of the tent easily, it is too small. When it comes to height, you should be able to stand up in the center of the tent at the very least.
As with the sleeping bag, it is possible to choose a tent that is made with different materials. You can go with a canvas construction or a heavy-duty nylon blend. For colder climates, choose the canvas models. In warmer areas, the nylon blends will provide protection but still allow more air circulation. Regardless of material, try to secure tents equipped with screen mesh to cover the flap openings that serve as the doors and windows of the shelter.
Once the issues of shelter and bedding have been addressed, turn your attention to the matter of cooking tools. At the very least you will need a skillet, cooking pot, chopping and filet knives, and a few large spoons to help with the actual food preparation. Plates and cups that are made of non-breakable materials are sufficient for dishing up the food. Simple eating utensils will round out the basics for consuming whatever you cook.
Any other cooking tools and utensils needed will depend on what type of camping trip you are planning. For cooking over an open fire, a couple of S hooks to help hang the pot over the fire will be essential. If using a fire for cooking isn’t your speed, then make sure you take along a couple extra bottles of fuel for that propane stove that you will need. Think in terms of what you want to cook and how you plan on cooking it, and then buy tools accordingly.
Several other items should be included in your basic camping gear. A first aid kit, including first aid for snakebites, is absolutely necessary. Tools to raise the tent and help dig up rocks to ring the fire pit are also important. Don’t forget a small hand saw for cutting up branches for use in the campfire.
Other camping gear may be necessary, depending on what you plan on doing during the trip. In order to make the task of assembling your gear, mentally walk yourself through the trip. Make note of everything you want to do while camping in the great outdoors like fishing, canoeing and hiking; then think of what you need in order to enjoy those activities. After your mental walk-through, you will know exactly that type of camping equipment you’ll need. to acquire and take along.