There are so many options for gear for hiking and backpacking. As an introduction to hiking and backpacking, I’m going to focus on what you really need to get going. You can get out hiking for little more than a cost of a good pair of shoes and backpacking for a little more. Yes, you can certainly spend $1000s on ultra-light backpacking gear, but it’s not necessary.
There are a few things I have learned over the years.
- Buy good gear. Good gear from reputable companies will last a long time and is less likely to fail when you least want it to. The service from some well known outdoor retailers is absolutely phenomenal – I can only praise REI and Big Agnes. Also if you decide to move up – it will have better resale value.
- Never skimp on safety gear. It can save your life. The good news it its generally not too expensive. The ten essentials can probably be bought for under $50 dollars.
- If I knew everything I know now today, I’d probably have skipped some of the gear I’ve collected and saved some good dollars, but it‘s been part of the adventure and there’s a risk if you jump in and spend $3000 on expensive equipment you might not know whether you really enjoy being in the backcountry. I’ve seen folks selling what looks like a complete setup, hardly used of almost top the line equipment.
- Looking after your gear, knowing how to pack and unpack is as important a deciding what to buy. In particular after your hike, cleaning and getting set for your next hike can save a lot of time.
There are so many aspects to gear that I’m sure I won’t be able to cover them all. However, I will try to cover some from my experience. If you’d like me to focus on an area in particular leave me a comment below.