CAMPING GEAR: WHICH SHOULD YOU SPLURGE OR SKIMP ON?
Camping can be an expensive hobby. Most campers purchase expensive camping gear because it will last longer. This is true, but costs will quickly add up with this kind of purchase strategy. To be honest, you don’t need to splurge on every camping item. There are some camping items you can skimp on and it won’t have any impact on the quality of your camping experience. If you’re looking to purchase new camping gear, here’s a list of items worth the splurge and other items to skimp on.
SLEEPING BAG: SPLURGE
A high-quality sleeping bag is worth the splurge — especially if you’ll be camping frequently. You’ll need something that can keep you warm and comfortable in extreme temperatures. Usually, the more expensive sleeping bags are made from synthetic material and have goose or duck down filling. This makes them easily compressible, so they’re easier to pack in your backpack.
However, if you have no intention of camping in the winter, it’s okay not to purchase an all-season sleeping bag. There are inexpensive cotton sleeping bags with a synthetic filling that will still be able to keep you warm at night and are great value for money.
You shouldn’t feel bad about splurging on a proper tent. They are lighter but made from more durable materials, so they’ll surely last a long time. High-quality tents usually have lightweight aluminium poles and stakes, leakproof or weather-sealed seams, heavy-duty zippers and durable nylon fabric. They also offer enough headroom and space for you and your companions. If you splurge on a four-season tent, you’re guaranteed to stay dry and safe, even in harsh weather conditions.
A cooler is another camping item that’s worth splurging on. Food and drinks are important if you want to survive your camping trip. So, you wouldn’t want a cooler that can’t preserve your food or keep your drinks cold. A high-quality cooler will have a durable shell, proper insulation and separate compartments. You won’t have to worry about leaks that can attract wild animals to your camp. The more expensive coolers are also built for mobility for easier transport.
SHOES AND SOCKS: SPLURGE
Camping usually involves a lot of hiking, so it’s important to invest in a good pair of shoes and quality socks. Sturdy but comfortable hiking shoes will give you warmth and stability. You won’t have to worry about twisting your ankle while traversing rough terrain. High-quality socks, on the other hand, will prevent moisture from aggregating and causing painful blisters.
COOKING STOVE: SKIMP
There are a lot of complex cooking systems designed for camping. However, you don’t really need something complicated. A small, inexpensive cooking stove that can heat water and cook your meals will be enough. It’s okay to stick to a simple cooking stove as long as it gets the job done.
You don’t have to invest in camping clothes. Truthfully, you can wear anything while camping so what you have in your closet will be enough. What’s more important is being smart about the clothes that you decide to bring. For example, it’s best to dress in light but buildable layers. You should also avoid clothes made of cotton. Instead, opt for clothes that are made from moisture-wicking material. Aside from dressing in layers, just make sure you have clothes that will keep you dry and warm.
A headlamp is one item you’ll definitely need while camping. However, you don’t need something complex with different features and brightness levels. If there are too many buttons, there’s a higher risk of accidentally turning it on and draining the batteries. You’re better off with a simple model that’s bright enough to guide you in the dark. Headlamps and camping lights are very affordable these days.
Camping may be all about going back to the basics, but you will still need adequate equipment to survive the natural elements in the great outdoors. With so many options in the market, buying camping gear can create a big dent in your wallet. Thankfully, you don’t need to splurge on every camping item. While there are some that are worth the purchase, there are many other items that you can skimp on.
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