In what order should you Invest in your kit?
In the next tutorial, we will be covering what order to invest in your Camping/Outdoor Kit from nothing to being fully loaded with what you need.
Aimed at the less experienced members again this time because they account for a big chunk of the people that do join our group and I often see orders coming in I feel the customer could do with a little fine-tuning or adjustments to their order.
You may have experienced this yourself? if you have put an order in and I have contacted you to suggest that you swap particular items in your basket to items that will work better with what you are using. If You have please leave a comment below
The Right Mentality
I have the mentality of "Always add to your kit, never replace bad kit" how many of you have a cupboard of kit that is rarely ever touched? how many times over have you upgraded really cheap items, but looked back after a year or two and thought you have spent too much on kit that you just don't use enough or it just wasn't right for you?
A perfect example of this is purchasing a really expensive winter jacket for your adventures, to find it lives in your cupboard for 9 to 10 months of the year. When you could have bought a modular clothing package that is suitable for the whole year at a similar price point that you actually use every weekend.
Know your priorities
At first, you can improvise a knife, even if you do take it from the kitchen drawer, you can go camping wearing your trainers, you can waterproof yourself using a heavy-duty bin bag or ruble sack, you can insulate yourself from the cold by layering up clothes you already own, you can use a firelighter and matches (There is no shame in that at all) you can take a small cooking pot, mug and a tin opener with you from the kitchen cupboard, and you can carry it all in a rubble sack for half a mile from your car to your first campsite.
The list of early improvisations you can make is literally endless.
Sleep and Shelter
Firstly, I always say take care of what you can't cover with items you already own first. This is commonly your sleep and shelter kit. One area you don't want to cut corners, it's worth saving a little extra, and getting the right kit for you the first time around.
But not to worry the extra cash you have put aside to keep you warm and comfortable can be recouped in many different areas of your loadout as time progresses.
LINKS TO OUR SLEEP AND SHELTER GEAR:
With your pack and your sleep kit, it's very much a "what came first? the chicken or the egg?" scenario. You can't camp without a sleep and shelter kit but you can't carry it without a pack, so what do you do?
Well, if you're on a budget you will be looking to borrow, or improvise this in some way, but if you're new to camping I always recommend getting your pack at the same time or just after your sleeping kit. The reality is you really don't know what size or kind of pack will suit you best until you see your essential sleep and shelter kit.
LINKS TO OUR PACKS:
What changes will this make?
Well, with these two changes, your camping trip now becomes a much more enjoyable experience for a start! remember its a hobby, and it's supposed to be enjoyable! and no one enjoys having to carry a tonne of improvised camping kit while being cold and wet!
You can now go to better locations, your overall kit is still heavy with more bulk than you would like with all your improvisations, But you can carry it easier and once you are there you are really starting to get into the swing of things! But as well as being limited by the bulk and weight your biggest issue now is good footwear! trainers are not great for longer distance trecking in uneven or often wet and boggy conditions you are likely to find at this time of year. You are also in danger of twisting or even breaking an ankle if you are wearing your trainers. I think it's pretty obvious to state that you will wreck them and have cold and wet feet too. So that becomes your next priority!
Footwear, Socks, Boot, and Footcare
Good footwear will decrease fatigue, improve grip and waterproofness, increase your ankle support and allow you to venture further afield, learn how to look after your feet and your footwear! you can't go anywhere without them!
There is a head-spinning amount of options here, but for the purposes of this tutorial, I will assume your on a budget after shelling out on your pack and sleep system. So what do you need? in a nutshell, I answered the criteria of this in the paragraph above. You will be looking for all leather boots or quality wellingtons really, no suede, or half leather and nylon. you will find out the hard way these are no good. There are some excellent budget options for boots that I am happy to use myself on my own travels, along with socks that I swear by! I won't take any others with me, along with an inexpensive boot care kit and some items to care for your feet, some of these will also become part of your first aid or medkit, the medical items I will cover later in this tutorial.
Boots are something you will want to upgrade through time, as they do wear out with miles
Great Quality Budget Patrol Boots that will serve you well for at least a couple of years
A simple but effective care kit for your boots
Weatherproofing and conditioning for you boots
The socks you really want to get, I recommend at least a couple of pairs with you!