Equipment, Gear-What to buy?
When you first think 'I'd like to get into tramping, hiking or hunting the reality is selecting the right equipment or gear can be a daunting prospect. Where do you start? what do you really need? why this over that or why is that better than yes? There are lots of questions.
There are key items you need that are important and buying those key items can make the difference between an enjoyable trip and putting you off getting into your new found activity.
Simple things like the correct footwear, backpack, clothing, sleeping bag to name a few. These few items are key pieces of gear that if you buy the wrong items can ruin your trip, mind, body, soul and any thoughts you had of an adventurous outdoorsy pastime.
A selection of equipment or gear, lots of options.
So I'll give you some advise of equipment/gear selection that in my opinion is based on a selection of gear I've used over the years that I've found works really well.
The first thing you need to think about is the activity you are getting into. Research it, read about it, Google it, ask friends, join a club, learn from experienced members, get on courses. Learn, learn learn. Is the activity you want to get involved in within your capabilities, perhaps not now but with some training, yes it is.
My equipment, gear in my day bag, this stuff is always in my pack.
I'm going to say this about most items you are thinking about buying, research the item you're looking at buying. Ask other experienced people about what they use and why they picked that item over all the others. See if you can borrow others items to see how they fit with your size. Remember females are different in sizes to males so you need to buy the item that will fit your best.
Don't go out and buy the first thing you see at the local sports shop, try on or test other items for size and fit. Shop around. Shop sales persons are after sales so they might sell you something you don't need, the wrong size, something more expensive than you need, so don't be afraid to say 'I'm just looking' .
For example you might be looking for a new back pack of, let's say 45- 55L for day hiking/hunting, but the sales persons sells you a 70L pack on the proviso you'll need more room so buy a bigger pack. And just like that you've spent more money than you intended for a pack you didn't really want/need that does not fit with what you want a pack for..
(L-R) a 70L, 55L and 45L all for specific uses. Buy the one that best suits your needs.
How much money you spend on an item, that comes down to your budget. If you are not well off you can buy second hand items that will get you through until you perhaps can afford the item that you really want. Someone's old item may still have a few years in them and that could get you through.
Sometimes it's better to buy the best you can afford, if money is not a issue then buy the best you can, you won't regret buying top quality. The old adage 'Buy once Cry once' generally top quality is better and buying the more expensive item might have a good guarantee with it.
My hunting gear, There's a few dollars worth in this photo, but in my opinion money well spent.
Buying El-cheapo might come back and bite you, the money spent could be wasted if that item fails or breaks down when you need it to work. So be careful buying cheap items as they might look good now but might not last long. It would be better to save your money, not buy that item and wait till you have saved enough to buy what you really want.
Don't buy something off the internet unless you can get your money back or that there is a guarantee to return it and get a refund or exchange it.
You also might like the idea of 'less is best' this refers to buying stuff that has lots of bells and whistles, zips and clips, domes etc that really aren't needed. In fact you find these same things are what fail on that item and let you down. So buying a, let's say a pack, it might be better to look for a simple basic 'pack' as it has less things that can break or fail. An example of this could be a pair of gaiters. I use Cactus gaiters which only have a Velcro fastening down the front. Whereas others use zips, clips and domes that will eventually fail and usually at a time you need them to work. So in this case less is best.
Some of my equipment or gear I use that is always carried in my day pack.
Over the years I have spent hunting or hiking you find that simple things are often the best as there is less that can go wrong. If you look at all my equipment or gear it is all very good stuff but simple stuff. A simple backpack that has a opening in the top to put gear in, that's it. No extra zips, side pockets, clips, add on's. Basic stuff that works well, is built tough and will last a long time. That's how I look at all my gear. If you look after it and keep it clean and maintained for the average hiker or hunter your gear should last you a long time before it needs replaced.