How To Pick The Right Outdoor Gear For You

outdoor gear

A common question I get asked on a hike is: I’m going hiking here next month for <insert number> days and I need a new backpack, what would you recommend?

I absolutely love chatting about outdoor gear and all the number of brands that exist in the market today.

I’ve had some good experiences with some and some not so good experiences with others.

However, in my experience with these sorts of questions, there is one element that is absolutely key to any response I give.

And that’s context.

one planet wurley 3 tent

By that, I mean context around where you’re going and for how long, as well as how often do you plan on hiking and camping.

In short, it’s frequency of use.

Again, this kind of ties in with another article I wrote late last year about how to build your hiking gear list appropriately.

There is a tendency to go out and buy a truck load of outdoor gear without actually knowing what you’re buying or how it performs.

Enlightened Equipment Quilt

How it relates to what I am talking about here is that you need to have some idea as to whether hiking and or camping is going to be a regular activity for you.

So, for instance, someone comes to me and says ‘I’m starting to get into day hikes and I need a pair of hiking boots.’

Great! How often are you going to go hiking?

‘Probably once every couple of months’.

Based on this response, I wouldn’t suggest buying a durable pair of boots from a brand such as Salomon or any other reputable brand.

Whilst I’m a big advocate for proper hiking boots, in this instance, this person could almost get away with runners.

You have to work out how often you will be doing this activity for.

I have a One Planet backpack that is heavier than most backpacks on the market, but it is highly durable.

They also retail anywhere between $500-600.

Why did I choose this instead of going out and getting something cheaper and perhaps lighter?

Because I knew I’d be hiking and camping regularly and I would need something that would go the distance.

hiking boots

That same person who is doing day hikes every couple of months may be able to get away with a Denali day pack as well.

I would never recommend Anaconda to any regular hiker, but their gear is typically aimed at people who are heading into the outdoors every so often.

So if you are in the market for some new outdoor gear, be sure to keep in mind how often you will be in the outdoors.

Sure, your budget is a big factor but frequency also plays an equally important role.

There’s nothing worse than forking out $400 for a pair of boots that collect dust because they only get used every couple of months.

2 Responses
  1. Tanya

    Hello,

    Well since you said you dont mind chatting about hiking gear!!

    I’m looking at buying a sleeping bag. I need something that is very warm, but still the lightest option. I dont even know where to start looking. Being rather tall most of my previous nominal sleeping bags havent quite covered my shoulders, so that will also need to be considered.

    Any and all options would be appreciated…

    Thank you, Tanya

    1. John Feeney

      Hi Tanya,

      Great to hear from you and thank you for taking the time to read my blog article. I really appreciate.

      What sort of temperature are we talking here? There is an article on my website regarding Enlightened Equipment quilts. Similar to a sleeping bag, but as the name suggests, it is a quilt type setup. The article can be found here: here.

      Alternatively, and I’m not sure if you are aware, but I own an outdoor clothing company that sells Goose Down sleeping bags sourced from Poland (so you know they’ll keep you warm!). They range from in the low temperatures (your summer/spring bags) to quite extreme temps (-20+; we’re talking Himalayas, Mount Everest etc.). My website – Globewalker – can be found here.

      If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at hello@thehikingsociety.com.au.

      Thanks again for reading the article. I really appreciate it.

      Cheers
      John

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