The Best Equipment To Own

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The best equipment to own?!  That’s like asking who the best sports team is…or who the best actor/actress is!  You would never get just one answer.  That being said, it is my goal to give a few suggestions as to what would be the best in terms of multiple uses or just plain handy to have in your adventures.

I will leave out the standard staples of tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear because those are just, well, staple items!  I think it would be wise for me to break it down into 3 major categories of camping:  Family camping, backpacking, and ATV camping.  I am also going to assume that this is not for the extreme weather adventurers.  I know,  I know…I’m putting a lot of disclaimers onto this post, but there are so many great products out there I just need to narrow it down some.

Family Camping

This camping is basically loading up the gear and the family into the car or truck and heading to a ready-made or somewhat ready-made campsite.  This is the most luxurious type, because you have ability to add as many supplies as your vehicle will hold.  For this type I suggest the following items:

Tarp or pop up shade structure – This is just so handy to have.  Yes, there are probably trees for shade where you are camping, but for the cooking area it is a godsend.  With these handy shade structures your “kitchen” can be put anywhere and will be invaluable to the cook hiding from sun or rain.

Collapsible table – Roughing it camping is one thing, but eating off a lap or tailgate might lose its appeal after a meal or two. Not to mention having a prep area for cooking isn’t a bad idea.

Walkie-Talkie – Not only for safety. This item is great for the kids at bedtime, they can feel secure in the tent while the adults enjoy a little down time around the campfire.

Binoculars – Another great tool for the kids (with adult supervision) they can up close and personal with the natural wildlife, without getting too up close and personal.  And hey, let’s admit it, it’s fun for the adults too.

Play Tent – This will save the sleeping tent from being trashed.  Part of the fun of camping for the kids is being able to slip in the mini “fort” and play for them.  Having a fun tent will relieve a lot of stress from the moms too!

Dutch oven – Yes, I know I said I wasn’t going to include cookware, but I mean really, this is not like a pot or pan.  A Dutch oven can make wonderful one pot meals making cooking less intense and gives you an excuse to hang out by the fire…if you need one.

Backpacking

This type is all about one word…weight.  There is nothing better than getting out all by yourselves and truly enjoying the peace and quiet.  Anyone interested in backpacking should really be in shape and make several practice hikes with your full gear before heading out on a trek.  For this type I suggest the following items:

Ziploc baggies – These aren’t just for storing food in anymore!  They can be used to hold any wet items until you arrive at a stopping and can allow them to dry. Or you can put your map in one.

Bandanas – These are just plain handy and lightweight.  You can use them as a bandage, pot holder, etc. you might be surprised at just how much you use them.

Newspaper – Not only feather-like reading material, but can also be used as a helpful fire starter.  Try putting them in your boots at night, they can help soak up moisture and allow them to dry quicker.

Duct Tape – You don’t need to bring a whole roll, but try rolling it onto a hiking stick for a few times around.  You can unroll as much as you need and this way you’ll have it if you need it, but not have to give up any room in your pack.

Hat – As well as protecting you from the sun, this is essential to keeping body heat where it belongs…in your body!  If you wear it at night and get too warm..slip off the hat instead of the blanket.

ATV Camping

This is for the camper that wants the best of both worlds.  Wants to get to where nobody else is, but wants to drive to get there.  While taking the ATV means you don’t have to worry about weight like a backpacker, you don’t have the room a full size vehicle would have.  The items I suggest are not going to be cheap on the pocketbook, but you own an ATV so you already know all about that:

ATV cover – This can allow your ATV to become an extra tent for your gear that won’t go in your tent.

Winch – If you and yours are going back into the wilderness loaded with gear, it’s pretty much a given that somebody will love the fact you’ve got a winch attached.

Front/Rear Racks – This will allow you to store your items using your ATV.  Please make sure when your packing you keep it balanced.

GPS Unit – What more do I need to say, it is just a must.

ATV Tent Trailer – If you haven’t seen one, check it out.  It’s made for 2 people, and some can carry your extra fuel, water, etc.  This will be the best tent you will ever buy.

OK, so there it is…I know some are screaming at the top of their lungs about gear I didn’t mention.  If you are, then leave a comment for me, don’t keep it to yourself – share with all your fellow campers!