I’m often asked about what equipment is needed to getting started in Outdoor Hiking, Camping, and Bushcraft.
My answer is always the same.
Make a list of what you need, and see what you already have at home. Then make a budget, and buy what you can at a price that fits in that budget.
Don’t go out there a start off buying the most expensive gear you can find, just because you’ve read it in some magazine, or someone’s told you this is the way it is.
You have to first learn what works and what doesn’t. That means you have to get out and use and test equipment.
And most important, you have to make sure you will want to continue getting into the outdoors before spending all of your loot on 500.- knives, and 900.- tents, and back packs.
I remember when I was starting out as a young man, early teens in fact. I was given, and found what I needed to get out into the woods camping, hiking, and hunting and fishing. It took very few items in fact. I had a US Army Wool Blanket. A small used army ALICE Pack. A really kool WW2 Camping Stove. A mess Kit. An Axe, and pocket knife.
With these items and my regular clothes, I got started. I hiked everywhere. Little by little I gathered more items to add to my list.
I probably had 100.- bucks of gear. And I didn’t pay anything for it. I just asked, and collected stuff.
But I managed to get out there and do the things I loved in nature.
My father was careful with how his money was spent. We didn’t get an allowance.
So when we wanted to do something, we had to work for it. And I don’t mean our normal chores.
When I played sports, we didn’t get the new shoes, or a new glove. He wanted to see how well we played before investing into our activities.
I remember playing baseball, and I went to my first game wearing a pair of everyday sport shoes. Nothing special. Not the cleats needed too play. I was a catcher, and got behind the plate, and managed to do my job well enough, along with hitting a home run that first game, before he bought me a new pair of shoes. Basketball was the same. I practiced in a pair of leather boat shoes before my father would make the investment. I had to ern those shoes every game. And I did.
This all comes back to my mentality when it comes to anything.
Before spending a lot of money on expensive qear. Make sure you like getting out in the wild.
And when you are ready to upgrade your gear. Buy the right items first.
Think about upgrading your shoes, and next to your body clothing first. Buy items made of wool, and not cheap synthetics. You’ll need a good pair of shoes or boots, that will protect your feet. But make sure that you wear only wool socks in them. This will protect the boots, and your feet. Remember Cotton Kills. So avoid wearing cotton. The Wool will keep you warm even when it’s wet. And it will last longer than the cheap stuff.
Also, Be aware of where you plan to use your gear. Don’t need a down sleeping bag or jacket if where you live is very humid. Sure it might be light in weight. But it will lose it ability to insulate you when it’s wet.
You don’t need to put everything in its own water proof bag. How about carrying your sleeping bag and clothing in one bag. That one bag can be a thick garbage bag liner. You don’t have to start off with an expensive water proof bag. These are a few things to think about.
So before you get started, be sure you want to get started, and find out what you’ll need. Make a budget. And buy what you can. Then replace items as you need to, with perhaps better quality replacements.
And, if you need some advice, or help. Please contact me. I am her to help.
Team Helvetia Bushcraft