Camping is a great way to disconnect and get in touch with nature. It’s also a great way to bond with your loved ones as there are so many great places to see all over the world.
If you’re determined to combine both camping and hiking, you already know by now that having the right gear is going to make the difference between a good and not so good experience. You should learn how to walk before you start running, so make sure you gather the gear you need for a pleasant camping hiking experience.
From choosing the right backpack to selecting your cooking gear, the list of things you need to take into consideration is quite long. We’re here for the rescue though and willing to give you some hints about how to choose some of the most important ones on that list.
What counts when selecting your sleeping bag?
Without any further ado, here are the things to remember when selecting your sleeping bag:
- The temperature rating
No matter the season you’re going to go hiking/camping, the nights are always going to get colder. Staying warm throughout the night when camping is essential for a nice experience. A good sleeping bad has a rate of 20-40 degrees, but some come as low as 10 degrees and even less.
- The insulation
The insulation of the sleeping bag also counts when selecting so scroll down to find out the most common options when it comes to insulation:
- Goose-down- it has a lot of loft and it’s really thick. It keeps you warm but you never want to get it wet.
- Water-resistant down- the down insulation goes through treatments so that the feathers remain dry, even if they get soaked at some point. This type of insulation doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth every single penny.
- Synthetic- it’s affordable and versatile. It may not work as great as feather down insulation, but it doesn’t disappoint either. It’s going to work for most camping experience. It dries fast when wet, but may not work for the frozen environment.
- The shape
It may sound surprising, but the shape of the sleeping bag counts just as much as the material. You want your sleeping bag to keep you warm until the morning, but you also want to be able to carry it while hiking.
Here are the most popular shapes of sleeping bags:
- Barrel- has a tapered bottom which reduces the amount of air and it’s not that restrictive. It gives some space for spreading out and warms you fast too.
- Rectangular- it has an even shape all throughout. It works for any body shape or size.
- Mummy- warms you faster as it reduces the amounts of air around your body. It conforms to your body shape and you don’t have much space to move in it.
- Double-wide- it’s the shape for sleeping with a partner. You can pair it with a sleeping pad or even a mattress for increased comfort.
How to select your shelter?
Truth be told, the shelter depends a lot on your skills for building one. Until you figure out which type of camper/hiker you’re going to become, here are some common solutions when it comes to shelters:
- Tarp shelters
Tarp shelters are a lightweight choice and they’re great when you’re hiking for a long time. They provide good protection from bad weathers and you may pitch them in a nice range of settings. You may combine them with bivy sacks for more versatility. They don’t ensure much insulation nor protection from bugs either.
- Bivy sacks
This is in fact a waterproof/breathable cover to have for your sleeping bag. Some present a small tent-like structure and may be installed over your head. They’re lightweight and let you enjoy nature the best way. They’re a solid option when you know for sure that the weather isn’t going to get worse as they don’t provide much protection for you or your gear.
There are several types to choose from:
- Single wall tents
They’re lightweight and come with waterproof floor and a breathable& waterproof upper canopy. It’s easy to set them from the inside and provide protection from the elements. The risk for condensation to buildup on the inside is really high during a warm weather hiking trip.
- Double wall tents
They definitely win the popularity test. Featuring a self-supporting structure covered by an inner wall, they’re also including a waterproof rain fly. They come in a nice variety of shapes and sizes and make the ideal choice when camping with kids. If you’re going to go backpacking, they may not be the best option as they sit on the heavyweight side.
- Wall tents
Heavy and big, they’re going to create a home-away-from home feel. They ensure enough space for cots and tables, are capable to stand up and you may even use a woodstove once it gets too cold. It’s definitely not a shelter for carrying on your backpack so you need to camp near your vehicle for trying some hiking too.
Is it difficult to choose your cooking gear?
The cooking gear that you’re going to take depends a lot on the experience you’re trying to have. It’s one thing to camp and another one when you hike all day long and camp every night. Even though the cooking gear is similar, it’s the weight that you should be worrying about.
Here are the most important things to remember when selecting your cooking gear:
Look for the cooking sets made of oxidized/anodized aluminum with non-stick coating as they’re the lightest options. They’re long lasting, strong and don’t rust. In addition, they don’t need much time for heating.
- Construction materials
If lightweight is the main quality, you should always go with aluminum as it’s also long-lasting, rust-resistant and strong. It’s the perfect choice for hiking and camping.
when you’re out there hiking cleaning your cooking gear in no time is essential. Look for non-stick cooking gear so that you keep the animals away and remove nice and easy most part of the left overs.
The size of your cooking gear depends a lot on the number of days that you’re going to spend camping. Make sure you don’t overdo it, especially when you plan to hike for several days.
How many people are you planning to feed with your pot? Is everyone going to eat at the same time or you need several smaller cookware?
- Heat source
You should also know what are you going to be cooking on. The heat source is going to play a big part on the type of cookware you’re going to pack.
One last tip
No matter which type, shape or size you go with for your sleeping bag, shelter or cooking gear, it’s always a good idea to first try and pack your things. It’s going to give you a clear idea on how everything fits and what you can leave behind for a better camping experience.