Gear Guide: Must Haves for Camping and Hiking
When the summer months come around, campers start gettting excited to carry on with their long-awaited hiking trips. Of course, every trip would be incomplete without a great selection of high-quality essential gear. Forget the cool gadgets for camping, these are the essentials, the must haves for camping and hiking.
Packing for a camping trip also depends on what kind of trip you have in mind. If you’re driving to another city or planning small day hikes from a populated town, you can carry a big stove. If you’re hiking more than 30 miles, you would prefer taking along a more portable stove that is both lightweight and easy to use.
The most suitable gear for both hiking and camping depends on weight and ease of packing. So make sure you do your homework when buying the right equipment for your perfect getaway trip. Whether you’re a beginner to hiking or a pro, we’ve got you covered.
Must Have for Camping
Tents for overnight hiking or camping are available in a variety of sizes and prices. If you want to travel long distances and prefer carrying lightweight stuff, then you should look for a swag, bedroll or a portable, lightweight, waterproof bivy sack. Bedrolls and bivy sacks are robust, shapeless and waterproof bags that can readily convert into sleeping bags and are easy to set up almost anywhere. These bags help you keep off from the ground, and those with mosquitos nets are definitely a blessing.
Comfortable, weatherproof clothing is a must for your camping trip. Water resistant pants, shorts and shoes manufactured with breathable material makes climbing and trekking a lot easier. A rain jacket may also come handy in unpredictable weather. To dry yourself clean use a microfiber towel as it absorbs moisture and dries rapidly.
With the help of a portable solar charger, you don’t have to miss any Facebook post or email notification anymore just because your phone battery is dead. Invest in a long-lasting and durable charger that can accompany you throughout your trip.
Backpacks help you differentiate between a camping trip and a hiking trip. If you’re camping, you don’t really need a backpack, but it is a must-have if you’re planning to go on small hikes.
Backpacks fall into various categories, including day backpacks (read our list of top functional and stylish daypacks), overnights, and long trips. Make sure to purchase a backpack that fits you perfectly. If it doesn’t, you might end up with blisters and backache during the journey.
A First Aid Kit
Carrying a first aid kit along with you on your trip shouldn’t come off as a surprise. Stack your box with the usual aspirin, bandages, gauze, and painkillers. It’s better to do some research too before heading out. Include some camping essentials like bug sprays, Aloe Vera and moleskin for blisters and burns.
This ready-made first aid kit is ideal for camping and hiking as it is compact, organised, water-resistant, lightweight and includes over 100 items.
Must Have For Hikers
Hiking is comparatively riskier than camping. To have a good time you can ask a friend to accompany you on your trip.
If you have a little extra cash on your hand to spend, make sure to invest in a good pair of binoculars. You could even purchase digital binoculars that will automatically record everything you see. Sony recently launched DEV Digital Recording binoculars that work in high resolution even under water. So the next time you go back home from your hiking trip, you can boastfully tell tales of you spotting deadly crocodiles under water.
One of the major problems that could hinder your hiking is mediocre phone connectivity. This is a considerable risk, especially if you are heavily relying on internet and GPS connection. For long-haul hiking trips purchase software rather than your phone’s inbuilt GPS. Most smartphones have miserable battery life and are not compatible with hiking trips. A durable, long-lasting GPS unit has comprehensive geographic maps that also serve as compasses.
Garmin has a range of great handheld GPS’s that are great for hiking, compare their options here.
What shoes you carry along, depends on the type of trip you’re planning to go for. Regular sneakers are just fine, but if your trip is long and requires a lot of climbing and trekking then you might want to pack high-performance hiking boots that provide support, protection, balance your movements, and rigidity while running and climbing.
Boots inevitably make a lot of noise, but they are definitely sturdier than sneakers. They are perfect for people who like getting their shoes dirty in the mud. While planning a hiking trip you specifically want to invest in trail runners, hiking boots and approach shoes. Trail runners are lightweight and provide very little ankle stability. They are perfect for jumping and climbing.
Approach shoes are a combination of hiking boots and trail runners. They are suitable for climbing and have greater a life expectancy. Most people prefer approach shoes, but overall hiking boots do the job perfectly well too.
Whether you’re hiking short distances or long, there is no such thing as enough water. Carry as much water as possible, so you stay hydrated the whole time. But if you’re backpacking, you’ll have a hard time carrying water, and you’ll require a filtration system. Holding bottles in hands while climbing is definitely risky, we suggest you purchase Iodine tablets or a hydration pack that attaches to your backpack (like this one), allowing you free movement.
Trekking poles, hiking sticks or walking sticks, you name it. Some hikers swear by these useful tools to help them pass through the steep landscape and provide support on rocky terrain. However, these sticks could be painful to pack, and we recommend you keep them home unless you suffer from a bad leg or knee and require support throughout your trip.
Remember you’re out there in the wild, chances are you’ll have zero connectivity. It is reliable to carry paper maps along with you in case your phone GPS gives up on you. You can easily print a map online or purchase it at a minimum cost from the local camping station.
These were some of the essentials that you need to carry on every camping or hiking trip with you. They not only come handy but are also lifesaving. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy!