CHOOSING CAMPING EQUIPMENT TO FIT YOUR CAMPING STYLE
When it comes to replacing your camping gear, choosing products between popular brands can be tough. Products appearing to offer the same specifications for drastically different prices can make shopping for camping gear a similar experience to traversing a minefield. One wrong move and you will be stuck with something you didn’t particularly need, or paid over the odds for something with 4,000 functions, when you only needed one.
THE BEGINNER CAMPER/BACK GARDEN ENTHUSIAST
If you are looking for gear to take away on weekend camping trips you really don’t need to invest in too much. You might still be deciding if camping is for you and you almost certainly haven’t been caught in your first torrential downpour and considered taking a solemn vow to never sleep in a tent again. Pick up a cheap but reliable and waterproof tent, a sleeping bag, a roll mat and a backpack. Familiarise yourself with the assembly process in your garden, then head out to the countryside to try it out for yourself. Once you have come face to face with a storm in your tent and looked over the abyss and still want to do it again, you can start investing in more gear.
Backcountry explorers looking to get off the beaten track and camp in those secluded gems are going to need light gear. It is worth paying extra for lightweight tents and sleeping bags so you aren’t lugging a heavy backpack around on foot. Shopping around for a tent which weighs around 4lbs (2kg) instead of 6 or 7 will give you the extra weight to carry more food, water and cooking equipment. Lightweight headlamps instead of bulky torches and batteries are also a good investment, along with warm, lightweight sleeping bags.
CREATURE COMFORT CAMPERS
For campers who drive to a campsite and set up a solid base with friends and family, you can certainly afford to carry a little extra weight and invest in some home comforts. Thick roll mats, blow up mattresses and sleeping bags with quality fillings are the order of the day. You can establish a campsite fit for guests with camping chairs and furniture, lanterns, a well-stocked kitchen with portable utensils and pans, hammocks for lounging and board games. Extra tents can be used as communal areas and all the sleeping tents need porches and compartments for separate sleeping areas.
The minimalist walks into a camping shop and starts to feel a little overwhelmed. If you like to be driven more by the wonders of nature and less by the gear on offer you will want to pack with minimal comforts. These people forgo roll mats, packing only a small backpack with clothes, shoes and toiletries. If your grandparents didn’t have it, you can’t take it camping. The dental floss can come because it doubles as string and can be used to fix things. If there is a freshwater source, fish can be caught, for everything else, there is dehydrated food.
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