The best way to experience the great outdoors is by actually getting out there and discovering all the gems nature has to offer. Unfortunately it’s often not that easy, but a little bit of preparedness can go a long way in the wilderness. Whether it’s only a day hike, or a month long expedition, outdoor equipment can aide even the most inexperienced outdoorsman or woman.
Besides hiking boots and a bottle of water, which are a great place to start small adventures with, many people will bring along a variety of camping gear in a large backpacking backpack. This often includes a sleeping bag, shelter such as a tent or bivy sack, a portable stove and food that light and easy to carry yet still high in energy, as well as plenty of water, fire starters, and a change of clothing. Many campers and mountaineers also bring lightweight sleeping pads, camp chairs, shovels, axes, a compass, map, and other useful items. A simple pocket knife is very useful while camping or mountaineering.
While some people prefer to enjoy the great outdoors over a weekend, many choose a quicker method that allows them to be enjoyed at a moment’s notice. A mountain bike is one of the most entertaining and quick ways of getting up the mountain without any motorized power. They are fast and fun although they are not ideally suited for long camping trips, though they do work. You can also use BMX bikes, or create your own with a custom bike frame.
The toughest inclines require some specialized mountain gear such as rock climbing shoes, ropes, harnesses, carabineers, as well as an assortment of other useful climbing gear. Mountain equipment is highly specialized and built strong to withstand high winds, heavy snow, and other unfavorable conditions. There are tents that can withstand the winds on the highest mountain on earth, and there are tents that are superlight and designed for a warm summer camping trip where heavy snow would never be a problem.
There is a wide range of prices for mountaineering equipment and it can be quite overwhelming when trying to find a new tent, sleeping bag or pair of boots. There are just so many different ones to choose from and they range in price from cheap to expensive. While a cheap sleeping bag or pair of boots might save the wallet some trouble, it is sure to result in cold uncomfortable nights and painful feet. These are the worst part of camping and can easily be avoided with a quality pair of boots that fit correctly and are supportive, and a sleeping bag that is warm enough, but not too warm and heavy to be lugged around.
When choosing a tent there are a number of different factors to look at, the most important being the weather range where the tent is going to be used. If it is a mild environment with typically good weather a two or three season tent can be used. These have great ventilation keeping them cool on hot days and adequate water protection for those summer rainstorms. They are also often very light and easy to carry. For rougher and colder conditions a three to four season tent is necessary. A little snow is okay with a three season tent, but if you are winter camping go with the four season single wall tent for the best results and warmest nights.
Remember, being prepared for anything will give the camper and mountaineer a huge advantage over an unprepared one, but Mother Nature still has a way of throwing curve balls when necessary so be as prepared as possible.