How to Choose Basic Camping Gear

by PennPaddler

When it comes to choosing camping gear and equipment use the same basic advice as when buying a canoe. Don’t be cheap. Budgeting on camping gear could mean the difference between being comfortable or miserable while in the outdoors. You don’t have to buy the most expensive camping gear on the market, but certainly don’t settle for the cheapest. When choosing camping gear you first need to know the type of weather you will be camping in. Below is a list of basic camping gear you’ll need to get started.

Sleeping bags start out at 60$ and can range up to several hundred dollars for extreme condition usage. When shopping for a sleeping bag you need to consider what type of climate you’ll be exposed to. Temperature ratings are a consideration when choosing your sleeping bag and range from -40 to 40 degrees. Purchasing a sleeping bag with the wrong temperature rating could mean an uncomfortable camping experience or even a dangerous situation. And if you try buy cheap you may only get a one or two seasons of use because cheap zippers and seams can tear easily even under normal usage. Look for solid stitching and a heavy duty zipper. Research the best top quality sleeping bag prices on the Internet.

Camping Tents begin pricing at around 100$ and range up to 600$. There are many sizes and types to choose many canoe campers use smaller dome style tents for the quick assembly and efficient packing while other make the extra effort to use multi-room family sized tents for the added space. Be sure to look for a tent with sealed seams, double stitching, roof ventilation, and a waterproof fly that covers the entire tent. The dome tent is an essential piece of camping gear. Research the best top quality camping tent prices on the Internet.

Camping Stoves range in price from 20$ on up. You have the choice of a single, double or multi burners and cast iron griddles. And you have the choice of propane or white gas burning models. If cooking only for one or two people the double burner offers more flexibility. If you are cooking for a group you definitely want at least a double or triple burner. Fuel type is a consideration. White gas, or Coleman fuel, burns hotter but can take longer to get started. Propane is very easy and reliable but you may have to carry along an extra propane tank. Research the best top quality camping stove prices on the Internet.

 Camp Cooksets and utensils are probably the only category of camping gear where going cheap isn’t such a bad idea. For several hundred dollars you can buy complete cookware kits that include the kitchen sink. But when canoe camping your need to pack light – so the sink is out. You can avoid the expense of cookware by going to the local discount store and purchasing cheap pot and pans. By going cheap you will not mind so much when you lose or ruin a pot or pan. Research the best top quality camping cook set prices on the Internet.

 Dry Bags are canoe camping gear worth the extra expense. If you are doing an extended paddling trip keeping your clothes dry is mandatory. Dry bags begin at a few dollars and can cost up to 150$. You don’t need to spend 150$ on a dry bag but certainly don’t settle for the cheapest. The last thing you want is for your dry bag to puncture on a trip. A quality bag will last many times longer and keep your clothes dry in almost any situation. Research the best top quality dry bag prices on the Internet.

 Canoe Paddles come in a variety of styles ranging from wooden, plastic, bent or straight shaft. Length of paddle also varies and is determined by the size of the paddle, the boat design and paddling postion. But the average paddler will require a length of 54-58 inches. Paddles vary greatly in cost but selecting something in the mid range will last you for years. Plastic paddles are appropriate for shallow water because they are more durable while wooden paddles tend to be preferred for deep water. Bent shaft is also a popular choice for deep lake paddling. 

 Camping Lanterns are essential camping gear that come in a variety of choices of gas, propane and battery. Choose gas or propane if you want high performance and long life. Choose battery if you want dependability and maintenance free lighting. As with most camping gear, lantern prices range in price so select something in the mid range cost. Research the best top quality camping lantern prices on the Internet.

Life Jackets (personal floatation device) are canoe camping gear that are worth the extra expense, so don’t choose one based on price. Pick a life jacket that is comfortable, durable and even somewhat fashionable, that will increase chances the fashion conscious paddlers will wear it. And don’t purchase a larger one that your child will grow i to or it could actually be a detriment in the water. Replace very old worn life jackets, don’t accept freebies, and replace jackets that don’t fit. Research the best top quality life jacket prices on the Internet.

 Coolers come in plastic and steel. There is no real right or wrong in cooler type except that you should buy something sturdy. Be sure the latches, handles and hinges are heavy duty construction and choose the hard type because it’ll most certainly be used as a table or seat at the campfire.

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