All the Gear We Want and NEED!
There is no way around: we have to buy a few things before we hit the trails. But - we don't need to have multiple pieces of each kind of gear. It's enough to get one, but a good one.
Don't get into the faulty of buying cheap gear, as it can be a quite short-sighted decision. As I know very well what it means to travel on a budget, I understand the struggle.
There are things we can save on, and items we should get the best quality we can afford.
As my father used to say, "We are too poor to buy cheap", and I try to live by that. Pick and choose where I can save and where "saving" would backfire to cost actually more.
Hiking and Camping on a Budget
How do I stay on a budget? I save on clothing. But not on their quality - I have very few items, but they are of a good quality. I also got some second-hand, as high-end products tend to last long. I signed for multiple newsletters from outdoors stores waiting for sales and promotions.
I also save by camping instead of staying in hotels or B&Bs whenever it's possible. I don't eat out and save all year on a variety of pleasures to have money for what I think is of higher priority.
In addition, I buy the big price items in stages. Last season I had to buy a lot of things, so I splurged on the most important items: boots and a backpack and the rest got second-hand, budget versions, and the bare minimum in number. This season I upgraded a few things: I got an absolutely amazing down sleeping bag. Next, I hope to buy an ultra-light sleeping mat and another backpack - this time smaller and lighter. In the future, I might get a lighter and sturdier tent.
EDIT: I am happy to say that I updated my sleeping mat to an ultralight Therm-A-Rest NeoAir (I love it! A full review soon) and exchanged my budget (but good) Vango tent to an ultralight Double Rainbow by TarpTent. I hiked another season with Deuter AirContact and still love it - I had a very heavy load at times but my back was in good hands (or back support).
EDIT 2: I just got Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite sleeping mat - you can read my review here!
Below I gathered basic items from hiking clothing, gear, food and other needed items.
Are those the only worth buying? Of course not, as a lot of that is subjective. Buying from a well-respected company (like the North Face, Arc'teryx, Rab, Solomon, Icebreaker, MSR, Patagonia, ....etc.) generally means high-quality product.
I read a lot of online reviews, as I am anxious about spending a lot on a thing I wouldn't love all that much. Especially, that I mostly buy online with no way to try the thing on. Thank goodness for free returns! :D I tried and/or bought & sent back at least a dozen pairs of hiking boots before finding the pair I loved!
My gear and clothing reviews:
My tips and advice related to hiking gear and clothing for women:
- Check out my ultimate packing list for hiking women.It was created for cooler weather, but leave behind the warmest top layer and it's perfect also for other conditions.
- You perfect guide to gradual upgrading your gear so you can switch to lightweight hiking - for safer and more comfortable experience!
- For something extra - when you want to add some oomph to your hiking/camping adventure or if you look for a cool gift for a hiking significant other (or yourself!): a sweet little list of cool hiking and camping gear and gadgets!
- Ever wonder what all the fuss about merino clothing is all about? No problem: Check here to find out why merino wool is the best option for hiking.
- Oh, to pole or not to pole! Or rather: should you be hiking using poles or maybe it's all a complete silliness? Read on why I think hiking with trekking poles will turn you into a 4x4 hiking machine!
- Are you a woman heading off to Scotland? Check out this full and complete packing list for your Scottish adventure!
- Thinking about buying a good sleeping bag but not sure which to choose? This handy guide to buying down sleeping bags will tell you all about the difference between down and synthetic sleeping bags as well a lot of valuable information on down.
- Dreaming of a night under the stars? Well, you can't go camping hungry! Check what are your options of camping cookware - what kind of dishes, pots, pans, and mugs you should grab for your next overnight adventure!
- Is there a hiking adventure in Iceland ahead of you? Wondering what you should wear and pack to enjoy trekking through the Land of Fire and Ice? Wonder no more! Here is your full packing list for hiking and camping in Iceland :)
- Holidays are coming! Or friend's birthday, anniversary... If you are looking for a gift idea for your hiking, camping and traveling friends - I am here to help. Check this massive 150+ gift guide for hikers and campers or this handy list of gift ideas on a budget. I am sure you can find something you like on those lists!
- As you know, I've been trying to lighten my load up for a while. You can read an update on the changes I've done to my gear right here - and maybe get some ideas?
- Choosing the right backpacking shelter can be a really difficult task! There are so many kinds of shelters: tarps, tents, hammock, bivvies... Check what are the differences between them to find the shelter that's best for you!
- Check this out! A few awesome gadgets to make your camping adventures so much more enjoyable and - first of all - safe!
- Sometimes it's good to know what others are using. Check what is in my camping kitchen: what gear I use and why, what I ditched, and what I recommend to others!