CHOOSING YOUR HIKING AND CAMPING EQUIPMENT
Having the correct basic equipment is important for your comfort and safety. When assessing what you need, you should consider the climate and terrain of the area you are visiting and the activities planned. You also need to know how you are going to carry your gear, as this will affect the amount of weight and build you can manage.
HOW TO AQUIRE EQUIPMENT
Outdoor equipment suppliers sell for every possible climate and terrain, so if you are buying new items for your trip, consider what design features will serve you best to help narrow the choice. Many items are expensive, and most people build up their equipment over a number of years to spread the cost. If this is your first trip, try to borrow as much as you can from friends or a local walking or activity group. That way you will also gain from the experience of others, who will be able to tell you what is and what is not important. Have an understanding in writing with the owner on what items cost and how you will compensate them for lost, stolen or damaged items, and make sure you are sufficiently insured.
CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR
The purpose of outdoor clothing is to keep you comfortable in the weather conditions you experience on your trip. It cannot be stressed enough that clothes need to be appropriate for the climate you will be operating in. Besides this, clothes need to be durable and quick drying, lightweight and low in build – this is especially important if you are caring your gear in a pack on your back Footwear has to protect your feet from water, mud, sand and rocks, while still enabling you to carry out your activities safely. Never be tempted to compromise your safety and comport for fashion; it will make your trip miserable one and may even put your life in danger.
PERSONAL AND GROUP CAMP KIT
Your camp kit is the core items of equipment that you take with you on any trip to the wilderness, such as a compass map, water bottle, wristwatch, cooking equipment and wash kit. Some items, such as a compass, are essential and you shouldn’t set off without them. Other items, such as an inflatable pillow, are luxuries that you can do without if your weight/space allowance is limited. Group kit may include study materials, or catering-size cooking equipment.
BASIC SURVIVAL KIT
In an emergency situation, having a few key items with you can make the difference between life and death.
Probably the most expensive item on your list will be a test, so be clear about what sort you need. The perfect tent is weatherproof, spacious, easy to pitch, lightand compact to carry, but few tents are all of these thinks and you will need to decide how to compromise.
The right sleeping gear can mean the difference between a good night’s rest and a bad one. Consider where and in what conditions you will be using your sleeping bag, then buy the best one you can afford.
A backpack has to allow you to carry your equipment in comfort, and what sort of backpack you need will depend on your activities and how much you need to carry, features such as hip belts, padding, frames or side straps can be very useful but they can also add weight and cost.
When living outdoors it is very useful to have some tools with you , even if your tool kit consists of nothing more than a penknife. Check with the police to see if any of your tools are illegal. If you have a machete, large knife or flares, for example, you may be able to own them but not carry them around in public, Anything that is classed as a firearm will need an official firearms certificate.
Thank you for reading, I hope this has been of help to you. Written by Randy Cromar