Backpacking Gear Upgrades: Invest in These Items First

Where do you start when investing in backpacking gear? You can get by with a heavy tent for a while, and you can hold off on purchasing a top of the line backpacking stove. Some backpacking gear is too important to wait for, however. Here’s are five backpacking gear items that you should invest in ASAP.

Hiking shoes

Whether you opt for hiking boots, trail shoes, or trail runners is up to you, but you need a good quality pair of hiking footwear early on in your backpacking career. Hiking footwear directly influences comfort, performance, and safety while hiking.

There’s a pretty big price range when it comes to hiking footwear, so this can be an affordable upgrade or big investment. The best way to find the hiking shoes that are right for you is by trying a few out in store.

Hiking socks

Hiking socks are relatively inexpensive in terms of outdoor gear and backpacking equipment. They’re also one of the most important when it comes to comfort.

Getting a few good pairs of merino wool hiking socks will do a lot to increase your comfort and make your hike more enjoyable.

Base layers

It’s called a base layer for a reason – any effective outdoor layering system starts with a good base layer. This layer helps you regulate your body temperature, manage moisture, and reduce friction.

Your base layer isn’t one of those marquee pieces of backpacking gear, but it’s crucial for comfort. Don’t skimp on base layers, either. Get a nice quality top and bottom.

Sleeping bag

A compact, lightweight sleeping bag for backpacking makes an incredible difference in your pack. That’s because sleeping bags can take up a lot of room. This not only limits what you can take with you, but it can also throw off weight distribution in your hiking pack.

A sleeping bag can be one of the more expensive backpacking gear items, but it’s worth investing in a good one. Definitely think about temperature rating, but make sure that you consider packability, too.


You can get by with an outdated external frame backpack in the same way that you can get by with sneakers or a big heavy sleeping bag. Having good backpacking gear isn’t necessary for backpacking, but it makes a world of difference.

Your hiking backpack is going to be one of your most expensive purchases, but it’s also one of the most important.

There’s really no other way to buy a hiking backpack than to go into an outdoor gear store and get fitted properly. Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters if you’re looking for hiking backpacks in Northwest Arkansas. We carry a great selection of hiking packs and backpacking gear!

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