Having the right tent for your outdoor adventure is essential. You will need to evaluate the weather conditions, season and environment in which you are camping and also the number of adults that the tent can fit comfortably. Some tents also list the square footage so you can determine additional storage space for gear. If you are backpacking, you will want to consider a lightweight tent for easy mobility. Most tents include ground stakes, poles, a canopy and often, a rain fly for assembly.
Canopies help provide weather and sun protection while outdoors. Most often, the height of the canopy can be adjusted, but is typically tall enough for most adults to comfortably stand underneath. Some varieties also feature screens to prevent bugs from entering.
Depending on the climate of your destination, the following factors are important to consider when purchasing a sleeping bag:
- The temperature rating describes the coldest comfortable temperature your sleeping bag can handle. Usually, there is a minimum and a maximum degree for which the sleeping bag is recommended.
- Insulation is measured by the fill weight in ounces. The higher the number, the warmer and more insulated your bag will be.
- The length of the sleeping bag is important for taller individuals. Look for information about the height of a person that will comfortably fit within the sleeping bag.
- The shape of the bag will most often be rectangular or mummy style. Rectangular bags are roomier, but can also add bulk to your travels. Mummy bags are tapered at the feet and often include a hood for more insulation.
Air mattresses create a comfortable and cushioned sleeping place inside a tent. These are ideal for extended campground stays, but can be bulky to carry and require an air pump for inflation.
Sleeping bag pad
Sleeping bag pads can be used with or without an air mattress to stay separated from the ground and lumpy terrain. These items are usually less bulky than an air mattress while providing additional cushioning and warmth to your sleeping space. There are multiple styles to choose from, including self-inflating pads or foam mats.
It is a good idea to bring small or lightweight cookware items to minimize adding bulk to your camping gear. Depending on the meals you want to prepare outdoors, important items to take include a cooking rack or utensils that reach over the campfire, pots and pans, cups, plates, bowls, eating utensils and storage containers with covers.
Folding chairs, tables and benches provide comfortable seating for eating, socializing and relaxing around the campfire. Look for items that easily compact and are lightweight for convenient traveling.
When purchasing a backpack for an outdoor trip, there are several factors to consider:
- The capacity of the backpack is listed in liters and determines how much will fit inside. For a day trip or short overnight trip, 20-50 liters is ideal. For two to four nights, a pack from 50-60 liters will suffice. For about a week, 60-80 liters will be needed. For extended camping trips or when large gear is necessary, a pack over 80 liters is what you should bring.
- An internal frame helps support heavy loads during hiking, rock climbing or an extended trip.
- A comfortable fit is important when purchasing a backpack. Many backpacks feature adjustable straps or a padded back panel to help ease the load. Some backpacks are also designed specifically to fit women.
Hydration pack or water bottle
It is important to stay hydrated while exploring the great outdoors. A hydration pack can be worn like a slim backpack and features a large water reservoir. These are ideal for backpacking trips, hiking or day trips. A more traditional water bottle can also be used for staying hydrated at any time.
Flashlight or lantern
A flashlight or lantern can be used for finding your way around at night or illuminating your tent after the sun goes down. Be sure to bring extra batteries if required!
Perfect for hiking, a trekking pole helps you keep your balance and navigate difficult terrain. Many designs feature shock-resistant handles and adjustable heights for comfortable use.
Stay organized while camping with storage or compression bags to keep your gear compact. Zippered closures help to keep your belongings protected from the outdoors.