What can you recommend for camping equipment?

My husband recently went on a camping trip and came back raving about how great it was. Ever since that trip, he's been begging me to go with him. The problem is, neither of us really knows much about camping (he, of course, knows more than I do, but neither of us are what you would call "outdoorsy"). I have read many, many reviews on camping tents, and think I have finally found one that seems worth the price for our modest budget (Mountain Trails Grand Pass Family Dome Tent). I'm hoping to invest in some decent equipment so that it can last and accommodate a growing family, but without spending more than necessary. Although I'm feeling decent about the tent I've found, I would love advice about what other equipment is necessary, as well as brand recommendations if possible. Do most people cook on an open fire when camping, or are portable stoves/burners essential? My husband went with several other guys and they cooked on the fire, but I'd like to have more cooking options than hot dogs or sausages. Also, how necessary is seam sealer and waterproofing spray? I have seen them for sale, but am unsure about whether these should be used as preventative measures or are meant as repair tools when needed. Thoughts on air mattresses vs. sleeping bags would also be appreciated - I see many people say they use air mattresses, but I'm wondering how bad sleeping bags really are. Trying to limit costs to just the necessities for now. We'd like to be comfortable and have everything we NEED, but aren't in a position to buy lots of "extras" right now. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, especially since I am hoping to buy most of the necessities for Christmas presents.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hello, Happy to hear that your husband has caught the camping bug. Its always a fantastic adventure to explore the great outdoors. I take it that you'll be car camping. If you're going to a camp ground you won't need to bring any water purification methods.

    You did say that you already have a tent so to go along with that you should have a ground sheet. You can use a tarp that is a little bigger than the footprint of the tent or make one from heavy plastic. This is a moisture barrier that will keep your tent dry should it rain as well as adding a little layer of warmth. Since you are buying a new tent I don't feel you will need to invest in seam sealer and waterproofing spray at this time. Over time you may notice when it rains that your tent has a tendency to leak on the seams or other areas. But with a new tent that shouldn't be an issue. Where I do use waterproofing spray is on my hiking and snow boots, as well as rain/windproof jacket & pants and gaiters.

    As for cooking its a matter of personal preferences. If you cook over a fire it takes longer before you're ready to eat as you will have to let the fire burn down and get some good coals going for your grill. You can literally cook anything over a fire. Just like you use a barbeque grill at home. You can also put pots on the grill and cook just like you would your stove at home. So if you're wanting to save some money in the beginning, you really don't have to invest in a stove and stove equipment at this time.

    You'll be much warmer and drier in a sleeping bag with a sleeping pad underneath you than blankets on an air mattress. If you want extra cush or your snow camping use two sleeping pads underneath you. Besides your tent, your sleeping bag is the most important piece of camping equipment. If you spend a sleepless night shivering away, your trip is going to be miserable. Check out 3-season-sleeping-bags.com for information on all different types of sleeping bags. Click on any of the pictures to learn more about that particular sleeping bag.

    You probably already have a lot of stuff that you can use for camping in your house.

    Here's a short list of camping equipment:

    Shelter - Tent, poles, stakes, ground sheet

    Sleeping - Sleeping bag, sleeping pad

    Essentials - Water bottles, waterproof matches/lighter, map & compass, basic first aid kit, whistle and/or signal mirror, nylon cord-50', pocket knife, emergency blanket, extra food, extra clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, water purification, headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries. Keep these items in your day pack when you go hiking and exploring.

    Cooking - Cook set, spoon/knife/fork set, biodegradable soap, scrub pad, food

    Base camp accessories - Cooler/ice chest, water bag or large jug, dish pan, paper towels, lantern, storage containers for food, Ziploc bags, large spoon, knife, spatula, can opener, small whisk, small grater, hot pad holders, plate/bowl, cup, cutting board, aluminum foil, spice kit.

    Miscellaneous - bandana, camera, binoculars, repair/sewing kit, fishing gear, journal/pen or pencil, reading material, nature guides, trail games, trowel, toilet paper, personal toiletries, lip balm, bug repellant, towel, day pack.

    Make sure you take clothing appropriate for the climate you expect to encounter.

    Inner Layer - wicking layer: long underwear top & bottom, liner socks, outer socks, t-shirt, shorts

    Insulation Layer - Wool, synthetic or fleece shirt/sweater down/fiberfill jacket, wool or fleece pants, gloves, wool or fleece hat.

    Protective layer - Rain/windproof jacket & pants, gaiters, hiking boots waterproofed, camp shoes, sun hat.

    Happy Trails to you!

    Source(s): 3-season-sleeping-bags.com
  • 9 years ago

    Your inquiry is very complex. You can easily spend $1,000 on gear for one or two people to go camping. From your choice in tents, it appears that you intend to go car-camping and cheaply. The tent that you selected is probably going to need seam-sealant. Also, the partial rainfly is risky for inhospitable weather. I would pay more, about $300, and get a tent that is more sturdy and durable.

    On other gear, I suggest that you spend $200 each for good down sleeping bags, rating about +15 degrees. Since you are car-camping and weight is not important, I recommend a couple of queen-sized air mattresses for comfortable sleep.

    You should buy a camping stove to avoid reliance on a campfire. The cost is about $100 for a cheap stove. I would never eat "hot dogs or sausages" when camping. Buy an ice box and fill it with fresh fruits and vegetables. Then, top it off with any other fresh foods that you like. Many dishes only require boiling water to be added, such as instant oatmeal; instant noodles; instant brown rice.

    Read advice on equipment. Carefully study reviews as well as specifications on materials. You should spend as much on your gear as you would spend on a week in a good motel if your gear fails.

  • Linda
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Camping gear in UK is expensive just browse the web. I'm in the the US and take everything with me. I found the Camping and Caravan Club to have good sites. You don't have to join if you only go camping once and awhile. They have some informational shows in the spring that may help you. Check it out.

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