Along with places to hike, people oftentimes ask me what kind of camping gear I recommend. I have compiled a list of our top ten camping items and you can score most of these at the REI Labor Day sale this weekend.
1. The Big Agnus: Insulated Air Core Pad: We refused for a long time to purchase sleeping pads, but this sure beats sleeping on tree roots or rocks. We liked it because it comes in regular and extra long options.
2. The Pocket Rocket: This little stove is perfect for boiling water and for all the many times we cannot build a fire where we camp.
3. The Dualist Cook System: Your pot, lids, cups, bowls, Pocket Rocket and propane all fit inside this cleverly designed cooking system.
4. Backpacks: We think it is important to get a comfortable backpack for carrying all your gear. Since Cameron is tall, he loves his Gregory Palisade 80. Since I am shorter and did not want such a large bag, I am happy with my High Sierra Sentinel 65.
6. Light My Fire Spork: It might seem like a silly thing to include a spork in our tip ten, but there is nothing worse than having to use a spoon when you need a fork and visa versa. These clean up easy and come in a variety of colors so everyone can have their own.
8. Hiking boots: We are the type of people that like to invest in good gear once, instead of having to repeatedly purchase year to year. We both have light hiking shoes we wore for over ten years....not that I recommend this, but they served their purpose and we definitely got our moneys worth. Cameron loves his flashy Zamberlan 760 Steep GT Hiking Boots, while I love my Merrell Outbound Mid Hiking Boots, they literally are the best fitting boots I have ever owned and I also love these for my light hiking shoes.
9. Camelbak Hydration Packs: Whether we are walking around Disneyland or on a multi day hiking trip we rely on our Camelbaks all the time. There is nothing more frustrating than having to stop to dig out a water bottle while you are hiking or out and about. The bladder slips out of the pack and be inserted into your larger multi day hiking pack.
10. Black Diamond Treking Poles: Poles are not just for older people. I love using my poles for added stability when I am hiking over uneven terrain or for an added upper body workout.
I realize it can be very expensive to acquire all your gear at once, so I would not recommend even trying. Several years ago we made a list of what we really wanted and then bought each item based on priority, when there were sales or we knew we were going down to Portland to take advantage of tax free shopping. For it is better to buy once the items you really want than several times to save a few bucks.