Is there such a thing as an outdoor lover in this day and age, you might ask. Everyone seems to be glued to their screens and devices. Well, you would be forgiven for thinking that those who loved to venture out into the outdoors have gone kaput like the Dodo.
But have we mentioned that the current generation is on both sides of the two extremes? There are some people who hardly move an inch from their seats, hands-on the consoles, or a keyboard, with eyes fixed on the screens.
On the other end, some grasp every opportunity to be out in nature. They love nothing more than to feel the winds on their faces, feeling the grass beneath their feet. They take pride in being one with the elements and marveling at the wondrous offerings that Mother Nature has to give.
This post is dedicated to all those who love to be out in the wild. Whether it is camping on the weekend, fishing with family, or going on a hiking expedition with your buddies, you need some gear to enjoy the experience. Here we offer our suggestions on the essential equipment for the outdoor lovers.
The tent is the primary gear that will protect you from the elements such as rain, wind, and cold. It should be big enough to sleep in comfortably and also accommodate your gear. Typically, a free-standing tent with a single wall is a great choice.
As with other outdoor essentials, the tent should be lightweight, so it is easy to transport. Lightweight tents are generally pricier than those that are bulky. However, this is the case with other outdoor equipment. But since you will likely use the tent for more than one camping season, it is best to invest in one which is good in quality.
2. Navigational gear
A GPS is typically included in the pieces of equipment that will help you navigate in the wilderness. Experienced outdoor enthusiasts never go out without gear for navigation, and neither should you.
Equipment or items in this category include maps, a compass, and a GPS device. Optional devices include a personal locator beacon or PLB and an altimeter. Consider taking more than one navigational device because you never know when the map will get damaged, or the batteries will run out. Do not take any chances as your safety is a priority.
3. Sleeping bags
A sleeping bag is a must if you plan to spend a night in the woods. Just like the tent, they are also essential in keeping you warm and protected. Sleeping bags typically come in two types synthetic and down. They both have their functionality, but a synthetic one is more versatile and convenient.
The most important feature you should consider in a sleeping bag is the insulation and the hood. After you have decided on the material of the sleeping bag, next, you should check out the pad of the bag. The pad will typically be a self-inflating one or a closed-cell. Inflating ones are very comfortable, but closed-cell pads provide the most heat. The zipper should also be easy to use and functional without any hassle.
4. Fire starter
You cannot be out in the open without this seemingly small equipment. Your options are unlimited when it comes to fire starting kits. A keychain fire striker, waterproof matches or lighters, emergency flares, and tinder kits are all great options. All of these are relatively small and lightweight, so that you will have no problem carrying it with you.
Of course, you can eliminate all the fuss and pack a stove. If you choose to carry a stove, make sure that it is small and convenient but efficient.
5. Tools and other kits
A good sturdy and multi-purpose knife should be at the heart of your tools. It should be small enough to carry it on the person but functional enough to cut, chop, and whatever else you need to do. Ideally, it should include a knife, screwdriver, pliers, and scissors.
Appropriate footwear is a must for any outdoor activity. An outdoor boot made of leather or other sturdy material is a good choice. It should provide support to the ankles as well as have excellent traction.
A waterproof component is also a great option. Good quality outdoor boots are an investment, so don’t feel bad about paying a premium price for one.
Your clothes do not only keep your body protected from the elements. They also keep you comfortable. For outdoor activity, items of clothes that have wicking properties are a great option. They will wick away the sweat while keeping you protected at the same time.
Outerwear, which has waterproof properties, is also an outdoor essential. The key to staying warm and insulated in the wild is to layer your clothes. A base layer which has wicking properties should be worn next to the skin, a warm woolen or fleece item of clothing should constitute the mid-layer while the waterproof clothing should take the outer most layer.
8. Lights for illumination
A good headlamp is also a must if you plan to stay out for the night. Consider the ones that are LED as they will last much longer. Additionally, a flashlight should also accompany your gear.
9. First aid kit
It is often overlooked by many folks, but a first aid kit should not be ignored. It can be life-saving. A watertight container is the best solution for carrying your first aid kit. It should include essentials such as:
- Insect repellent
- Medical tape
- Different types of bandages
- Safety pins
Apart from the essentials mentioned above, you should, of course, plan and carry an appropriate amount of food and water. A good quality sunscreen should also be included among the essential items.
Outdoor adventures can be exhilarating and liberating at the same time. However, you must be responsible and have safety as your top priority. This list of essential gear should hopefully help you as you venture out into the wild.