My Favorite Camping Gear
I wanted to share some of my favorite camping gear to help you get a jump start on getting outdoors. Shopping for outdoor gear can be overwhelming sometimes with the amount of gear that is out there. Buying gear is an adventure within itself.But that is what keeps it fun, exciting, and one of my favorite past-times! To all the gear-heads out there, I see you! I started spending time in the great outdoors during my time in my college undergrad years. I didn't have a lot of extra income to spend on nice gear, so I had to find ways to be economical and crafty. At the end of the post, I share websites that you can visit to price compare gear & save money.
1. Hiking Boots with good support
A supportive pair of hiking boots makes a huge difference. I typically choose a hiking boot with arch and ankle support. I am pretty clumsy and have pretty flat feet, and with those two things combined and after miles of walking does not make for a fun time. Recently I found a new brand that ticks the boxes. Oboz footwear is my new obsession. Oboz is a company out of Bozeman, Montana that plants one tree for every pair of shoes sold. Their O-Fit insoles come with each hiking boot to maximize stability and support, and they offer a lifetime replacement program on their insoles. What a deal! I have the Oboz Bridge 7 (pictured above) insulated waterproof winter boot for the colder and wetter times of year. They have kept me dry trekking through streams and snow. My second go-tos for an all around Spring and Summer performance boot is the Salomon Ultra Trek GTX. The lightweight, GORE-TEX keeps the boot completely waterproof. Not a big fan of their thin insoles, but the trick is putting in Superfeet insoles. They are husband & physical therapist approved! Remember to check out REI to get fitted by knowledgable people who will spend time to find you the right fit. Tip: I buy a couple pair of shoes online or in-stores, and try them around my house for several days before making my final decision. Because sometimes walking around in the store for 15-minutes is just not enough. Each of these shoes with a pair of wool socks have helped me stay warm at the campsite, and have gone the distance on shorter and longer 10+ miles hikes.
2. A good headlamp
Things to consider when choosing a headlamp: different brightness levels, the beam type and distance, how many lumens, the run time & battery life, weight, but most importantly it's brightness levels and modes to give you flexibility in lighting situations. Purchasing a headlamp was one of the first things recommended to me by someone when I first started camping and hiking. I was convinced after they said, "You never know when you are going to need it." But you could say that about everything...a jacket, a pocket knife, food, etc! My go-to is the Petzl Actik headlamp because it puts out over 300 lumens with a wide and regular beam, 5 different light modes (low, regular, bright, red, & red strobe), a long 60-hour battery life, and a light-weight design. What is lumens you ask? It is the total quantity of visible light that comes from the source. I recommend finding a headlamp with a red light option because it helps when you're getting ready for bed or want to wind down with a book in the tent, but don't want to blind your tent-mate. REI has a great post on how to choose a headlamp. A headlamp might seem like a last on the list purchase, but I promise it comes in handy to keep in your pack to help you explore longer without getting caught on a dark trail or if you need a light source at your campsite when you forget your lantern.
3. a good camp stove
Who doesn't love a good meal around a campfire? Choosing a good car camping stove takes some thought. My husband and I came across the Everest 2 Burner Cooking Stove by Camp Chef. It is small, but mighty for a camp stove. We have had ours for over 4 years + countless camping seasons and it is still going strong with no rusting or reduction in power to boil or cook things up quickly (boils water in a few mins). Some of the key functions attracted us in selecting this stove was its' matchless ignition, three-sided wind barriers, two high pressure burners, and adjustable heat control dials. Not only is it great to car camp with, but it is also something we keep for our emergency preparedness kit. There are many options out there, but after owning a Coleman's prior to this one, the Camp Chef Everest stove has already outperformed it. Doesn't looking at that organic grass-fed bacon in the cast iron skillet make you hungry?! For those interested in our favorite backpacking stove, I recommend the MSR Pocket Rocket for it's ultra lightweight design and good heat output. Because cooking a nice hot meal at the end of a long day on the trail or when it's cold out is important to keep spirits high and minds fresh in the backcountry.
I hope you found this post useful, learned something, or at the least enjoyed the photos. All the photos were snapped during a camping trip in Bend, Oregon in the Deschutes National Forest. I know I featured a small amount of gear today, but in the future I plan to share more posts that cover the spectrum of favorite outdoor clothing, adventure gear & tent options. Anchor & Pine Collective offers "Adventure Services" if you ever need assistance in building your gear collection or wall (see photo). Also, below are websites I visit to compare gear choices & prices to help you save some cash. Happy camping!