Hiking is such a beneficial activity that every person naturally assumes it is something that everybody can do. Short hikes may indeed be something everyone can do, but hiking trips of longer duration and in rugged terrain is not for everyone. You may want to take a few trial hikes first before you spend a fortune on costly camping and hiking equipment. There should be many places in your city where you can rent equipment used for hiking. Renting will help you decide what hiking gear you will want to have and this could save you money in the long run.
Any small snags you encounter on your trial hikes will indicate the kind of camping and hiking equipment that is best suited to your needs; these will help you draw a demarcation line between what is essential, what is superfluous, and what is useful but can wait.
As a neophyte, it is important to choose a suitable backpack. One key factor to look at is the carrying capacity of the backpack. You probably won’t feel comfortable doing ultralight hiking, which may demand more hiking experience, so a backpack that’s good for lightweight hiking should be adequate. You can try one that has between 3,000 to 4,000 cubic inches of volume. There are bigger bags, but you will agree that the bigger the bag, the greater will be the temptation to fill it; the fuller the bag, the heavier it will be to carry.
When you are packing, your sleeping bag should go to the bottom first. Next, add those items that are not needed during the day, such as a stove and your extra clothing. On the uppermost layers, you’ll place your change of clothes and other essentials that you may need as you’re walking. You should put the heaviest hiking supplies, which generally means the food, in the bottom third of the bag to help keep your center of gravity down.
If you’re carrying an insulating mattress to go with your Coleman exponent sleeping bags, you can attach it outside the backpack, unless there is still room in the bag. The mattress gives you some comfort at rest stops. You won’t always find a nice dry patch of grass for stretching out in the midst of a hike, so you should make it a habit to keep the mattress handy.
You’ll need a tent that keeps out rain and bugs. It has to be easy to set up and big enough to provide basic comfort, but lightweight and compact. See to it that the tent can also protect you from wind.
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In getting a camp stove, the most important considerations are efficiency and weight. You’ll find many selections, such as the Coleman exponent extreme stove, available online. Efficiency refers to how long the stove takes to boil a liter of water. Naphthalene stove are generally more efficient, but require more maintenance and may be difficult to light in cold weather. Alcohol stoves are more practical – easy to light, works even in cold weather, requires little maintenance – but adjusting the flame is a little tricky. Butane stoves are similarly practical, but also are inefficient in cold weather. Some stoves will permit using different fuels, like the Coleman exponent 442 dual fuel stove.
There are other smaller items which you should also equip yourself with but the above are the most critical essentials for camping and hiking equipment. Give them considerable thought and you’ll be on your way to great hiking experiences.