For some people, there’s nothing more enjoyable than spending time in the great outdoors. You can get lost in the wild, breathe in the fresh air, and get away from everything. Camping is a great way to relieve stress, connect with nature, and recharge your batteries.
However, your camping experience can be significantly impacted by the gear you bring with you. If you don’t have the right stuff, you’ll end up cold, hungry, tired, and eaten alive by mosquitos.
When buying camping gear, how do you make the choice? How do you know what to buy and where to buy it from?
We’re here to help you answer these questions. Keep reading for the top seven factors to consider when purchasing your equipment for hiking and camping.
First, let’s talk about comparing the costs when buying camping gear. Different camping gear brands charge varying prices. While a higher price can mean better quality, it might also mean you’re just paying for a brand name.
Ultimately, you need to consult your camping gear budget. Make a list of the items you absolutely need to have a successful camping trip. Then, add up the costs of the items on your list to see what you can afford.
If you need to cut costs, it might mean compromising on a top brand product. Alternatively, you could sacrifice some of the items on your list.
2. Customer Reviews
When you buy camping gear online, it’s also important to check out reviews from other campers. Look for online customer reviews for the products you’re looking at. This is especially important if you’re trying to save money by shopping with a lesser-known or lesser-quality brand.
Find out what other campers have to say about the products.
Were they durable? Did they perform as advertised? Was the customer happy with their purchase and would they recommend the product to other consumers?
When buying camping gear and equipment for hiking, weight is an incredibly important factor. Everything you bring with you on your camping trip will need to be carried up the mountain on your back. While we recommend training for camping season, you also need to be realistic about how much weight you should carry.
As such, you need to find durable, reliable, lightweight gear. Most camping gear brands understand this concern and work hard to minimize the weight of their products.
However, it’s important to understand that lightweight and cheap don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. You might need to expand your camping gear budget to accommodate the luxury of less weight.
Earlier, we talked about prioritizing your list when buying camping gear. We recommend keeping things practical, especially if you’re hiking up a long trail to find your camping destination.
Think about your basic needs such as food, water, and shelter. This gear list includes:
- Sleeping bag
- Water bottle
- Water purifier/purification tablet
- Meals and snacks
- Warm clothing
Then, consider buying camping gear that will make your life easier and more comfortable. This includes things like:
- This mosquito hammock
- Sleeping pad and pillow
- Cooking gear
If you’re limited on how much space you have and how much weight you can comfortably carry, stick with these types of essentials. Don’t be the camper who wears themself into the ground trying to haul up multiple cases of beer, camping chairs, and other non-essentials.
5. Destination and Time of Year
One of the most important things to consider when buying camping gear is where and when you’ll be camping. The location of your campsite and time of year will determine the temperature, wildlife, and available activities. Remember, it’s often much colder in the mountains (especially at night), even during the summer.
If your campsite is going to have cold temperatures, it means investing in warmer clothes and warmer sleeping gear. If the campsite is known for rain showers, you should also find adequate raingear and ensure your tent is water-resistant. It might be worthwhile to bring a large tarp with you to keep your tent and camping area dry.
Experienced campers will tell you that there’s nothing worse than being cold and wet up in the mountains. You don’t want to be stuck sitting beside the fire or inside your tent all day.
6. Necessity and Function
When buying camping gear and equipment for hiking, figure out what you’ll need based on necessity and function. This is similar to practicality but also applies to your style of camping and the activities you’ll be engaged in while out in nature.
For example, tent camping is very different from camping in an RV or camper. You’ll need to cut wood and make a fire if you want to stay warm, cook, and roast s’mores. This means investing in:
- Fire-starter (matches, lighters, flint-and-steel)
If you plan to fish, you’ll obviously need to bring a fishing pole, tackle, and lures. And of course, you should never go camping without a substantial first-aid kit.
7. Luxury, Comfort, and Convenience
Finally, let’s talk about buying camping gear for campers who enjoy the finer things in life. For some people, camping isn’t about “roughing it,” it’s about enjoying the great outdoors in a way that still allows them to be comfortable.
If this sounds more like your style of camping, look at buying camping gear based on luxury, comfort, and convenience. For example, this can include:
- A French press for fresh coffee
- An outdoor grill
- Extra padding and pillows for your tent
- A wide assortment of food and snacks
- And more
This type of camping is ideal if you’re using an RV or are going to be parked near your campsite. There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable while being out in nature.
Looking for More Tips on Buying Camping Gear and Other Travel Advice?
Clearly, there’s a lot to think about when buying camping gear. Just make sure you consider everything listed above and make the best purchases for your needs. And remember to stay within your camping gear budget.
If you want more travel advice or camping tips, don’t go anywhere. Check out some of our other articles to find more great information. Our blog was created to help people like you make good decisions for a happier life.