But Do You Really Need It?

GlampingIt’s common for our customers to enter the store and ask for help choosing outdoor gear. Sometimes they have a pretty good idea of what they want, and they’re just looking for our opinion. Other times, they’re completely new to camping, or hiking, or whatever, and they are coming to us to tell them exactly what they need. Some might even say, “Only the stuff I really need”.

This raises the question of what is truly necessary for a good outdoor experience. What outdoor gear is essential and what outdoor gear is frivolous?

When it comes to survival, all you really need are food, water, shelter, clothing, and maybe a way to start a fire for good measure. Some would argue that a knife is a necessary item. Basically, necessary items are those that you need in order to survive. However, if you’re just bringing supplies to survive, you’re going to have a pretty miserable time.

A lot of outdoor equipment is designed to make your experience more enjoyable. You don’t necessarily really need a sleeping pad, or even a sleeping bag for that matter, but those items provide you with the comfort to help you sleep well through the night and enjoy your next day of activity.

You don’t really need a camp stove. You can just eat saltines and peanut butter or cook your food over a fire, but a camp stove is faster, more efficient more convenient, and more versatile than cooking over a campfire.

Of course there are things that are truly frivolous. You don’t need a collapsible foot stool for instance, and some people maintain that dry bags and pack covers are just a ploy by the outdoor industry to sell you something that a trash bag can do.

There’s a fine line between prepared camping and superfluous luxury. Think of it this way. There are some items that aren’t necessary in terms of survival, but they’re necessary in terms of enjoying your time outdoors.

Having the right gear is worth it, and it makes for a better trip.

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