Gear Guide: Must-Have Equipment for Thriving in the Great Outdoors

Angelo Dellomo

They call it the Great Outdoors for a reason.

Outdoor activities, especially hiking or camping in the woods, have been shown to do everything from reducing stress to increasing one’s energy level. Exposure to trees and forests has also been shown to lower one’s blood pressure, boost the immune system, and hastens recovery from an illness or surgery.

In order to fully enjoy the outdoors, Angelo Dellomo says that picking the right tools and equipment is key, especially for camping, hiking, and more. Before heading out, consider packing some of the following must-have gear.

The Right Backpack

Some hiking trails are more challenging than others but investing in the right backpack can make a big difference for any outdoor adventure. Experienced hikers and campers tend to rely on a sturdy but relatively small and lightweight backpack that feels the most comfortable. There are lightweight packs that come with sturdier frames, are waterproof, and have enough room for a large amount of gear.

Another option is going for a daypack, which is smaller than some backpacks intended for longer-term adventures. Look for a daypack with such coveted features as shoulder straps padded for comfort and a chest strap that’s easily adjusted.

Appropriate Clothing

Anything can happen weather-wise on a hiking or camping trip. That’s why it’s wise to pack a range of clothing that is weather-appropriate for different conditions, such as outer layers that are waterproof and layers that can insulate or wick moisture.

Good shoes or boots are equally important. It’s worth spending more on shoes that offer the best traction and support for varied terrains.

The Right Food

Exploring the great outdoors can require a lot of energy, so it’s ideal to bring along nutritious items that are also lightweight, energy-dense, and non-perishable. Solid options include nuts, freeze-dried meals, and high-quality energy bars. And don’t forget a reliable system of hydration, such as a hydration reservoir or water bottle that does not take up too much space.

First Aid Kit

There are efficient and lightweight first aid packs that should be a must for anyone headed outdoors for an extended period of time. The basics are vital, including bandages, gauze, small scissors, bug spray or wipes, and items that can help relieve scraps, stings, or bites. Think about what will be most needed for the type of outdoor experience planned.

Angelo Dellomo

Help with Navigation

Yes, compasses and maps are still very much a thing — and both are still a necessity for many amateur and professional hikers. Others prefer a small GPS device for navigation, especially if one is unfamiliar with an area. Look for options that are easy to use, allow maps to be downloaded and used offline, and those with long battery lives.

Other Must-Haves

  • A flashlight or headlamp for help during dark mornings, at night, and in emergencies.
  • A tent that combines functionality with high-quality materials to withstand certain conditions.
  • Sunscreen or other forms of sun protection such as sunglasses or clothes designed to be sun-protective.
  • Tools such as a Swiss army knife and a small gear repair kit.

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