When you’re buying your first set of camping gear, there are seemingly endless choices in every facet of the sport. Here is some information that will help making choosing your gear easier.
Your tent will be your biggest dollar purchase. Tents for families come in all different sizes and shapes. Tents are usually referred to as two-man, four-man, six-man, etc. This is the maximum number of people you can fit into one tent, so select a larger tent if you’re not sure of space. Plan about thirty square feet of floor space per camper.
Tents are made from different fabrics, but one basic is nylon. Thicker fabric and rip-stop fabric are worthwhile investments. Make sure you select a tent with a waterproof rain fly that is made of a coated nylon. The floor should be water-proof, too.
Cold-weather tents are an even heavier fabric, but it may be needed if you plan to go camping in colder areas. You can use a heater in large tents, but they are dangerous to use in smaller tents.
The sleeping bag is the next piece of camping gear you need to select. Unless you’ll be cold-weather camping, where the mummy-type sleeping bags are needed, the flat bags with zippers will work well – especially if you camp as a family, since you can zip them together to make an extra-size bag for two.
The feel of the fabric and the shape of a sleeping bag should be tested out, just like you test out a mattress you will use at home. You may want to purchase a lighter-weight bag for summer outings, and a heavier weight bag for those crisp Fall or Spring mornings.
You can purchase the mummy type bag with a barrel shape, too, if you want the warmth of the mummy bag but don’t want to be squeezed in so tightly.
A camping stove is next on your list of camping gear. What type of trips will you be taking? How long will you be staying out, and how much stove do you need? You can get stoves with one, two or three burners. And they may use kerosene, unleaded gasoline, white gas (Coleman fuel), butane or propane. Select two burners or more unless you camp along or only with one other person. With two burners or more, you can use the stove just like the one at home.
Brands like Coleman will usually offer several versions of each size stove, the differences being mainly the space available for pots. Standard sizes will be fine for small families, and larger versions can even work for up to ten people. If you have the room, purchasing a stove with extra size can help make dinnertime a quicker task.
So, there you have it – select your camping gear and get out into the great outdoors!