Camping, Gear

A Guide to Essential Camping Gear

A Guide to Essential Camping Gear

It has been a long winter folks – and by following our guide to essential camping gear, you will be both prepared and safe for your excursions. Your camping gear depends on the type of outdoor expedition planned. Let’s break down a few categories first, as your essential camping gear depends on some key factors. For this piece, I spoke to a couple of outdoorsmen, including Ben over at Airsoft Gun Guy, to find out exactly what the best pieces of kit would be to bring with you on your trip.

Camping definitions

  • Standard Camping – driving to a location and popping a tent right there at the site
  • Backpacking – hiking through the outdoors to make camp at an isolated location, can be further broken down into three categories
    • Day packing – for a day long excursion where overnight is not planned
    • Overnight – going out with the plan to stay over one or two nights
    • Long Haul – only for the more experienced campers, this can range from as little as a week of planned camping, to upwards of months (i.e. hiking the appalachian trail)

Now with these in mind, let’s focus on the essential camping gear.

Shelter – Tents and Tarps

Tents come in two main categories: three season or four season. As their names imply, the former will get you through anything but freezing temperatures, with the latter lined with fur or insulation made for harsher conditions such as snow, ice, and freezing or below temperatures.

The size of your tent depends on the size of your party, and when camping you can go just about any size desired. When backpacking overnight or long haul, encumbrance becomes an issue and you should pack only a one person tent, or even just a tarp and stakes.


Campers may want a small backpack or a water bladder for short hikes, but all around since your vehicle should be close they are not necessary. Backpacking however would be nothing without its namesake. The backpack you buy will depend greatly on the weight of your belongings, as well as how much space they take up. Some backpacks can be customized and your sporting goods expert will train you on how to optimize your carrying capacity to maximize distance.

Hiking boots

Look for comfortable waterproof boots, and be sure to wear them for a few weeks before going on a long excursion. They should be broken in before tested in the wilderness.

First aid kit

Ointments for poison ivy and bug bites, as well as peroxide and bandages for minor scrapes.

This is just a guide to essential camping gear. You can go further with maps, rations, and water, but this should get you started.


Is a Snow Blower a Good Investment?

Should You Buy a Snow Blower?

For those of you living in warm countries, or in the Southern part of the United States, this post may not be relevant to you. If, however, you live in an area that experiences excessive snowfall during the winter season, continue reading. If you live in a snowy area, you will likely have visited the idea of purchasing a snow blower, and weighed the pros and cons of using a plow service. In this post, I will discuss exactly why you should (or shouldn’t) buy a snow blower, and how to make that decision easier for you.

Things to Consider

Before doing any research or thinking about buying a snow blower any further, it is important to consider the following: do you actually need one? While many areas in the United States do get snow, many do not experience the unmanageable levels that would prevent you from effectively clearing with a shovel. For example, areas outside of New York City may only get a couple inches during the winter, but cities like Madison, WI get a whopping 51 inches each year. If you do not live in an area that gets significant snowfall, it is likely you will be able to save a few hundred dollars and make due with a simple shovel. However, if you do live in an area that gets tons of snow, you should take the following few points into consideration when deciding whether or not to buy.

How much snow do you get?

Snow blowers come in a variety of different style with different features and capabilities designed to tackle different levels of snow. There are heavy-hitter 3-stage gas powered blowers that are designed for heavy snow up to two feet deep, and lighter single-stage gas blowers designed for up to 12 inches of light snow. It is important to know about how much snow to expect, as you don’t want to be caught with 24 inches and only have something capable of dealing with 12. For more information on this, you can check out the blower guide from Home Depot.

Investment level

Snow blowers are an investment, there is no getting around that fact. Even for a light blower, you can expect to pay around $300 and, for the more rugged models, the price can shoot up to thousands of dollars. Given this fact, make extra sure you will get your moneys worth if you plan on buying one. Typically, plowing services cost about $40 per storm (they have their own pros and cons but that is for another post), so if you don’t get consistent heavy snowfall, it may be more beneficial for you to use one of those.

Finding the Right Model

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a lot of experience with various snow blower models. I know that some come with nice features like built-in hand warmers, but am not versed enough to speak about them. I did find a site ( that has an extensive selection of snow blower reviews, and discusses various models in great detail. If you have decided you need a snow blower, I suggest heading over there and reading more about the model you are considering.

Camping, Gear

The Importance of Water While Hiking

Why is Water Important?

According to the USGS, up to 60% of an adult human consists of water. It is crucial for life of all shapes and sizes, and without it you will die. Unfortunately, too many people do not recognize the importance of consistent clean drinking water, especially when they are out hiking or camping. This is something I had to be reminded of myself (the hard way), and it is a mistake I will never ever repeat.

In this post, I will go over exactly why it is crucial to have water with you while you are out in the wild and how you can get it in the event of an emergency or if you run out.

Please note, this information is simply based on my experiences and does not constitute advice from a professional.

How to Get Clean Drinking Water

Having water with you whilst hiking is crucial, but what happens if you have taken all the right steps and something unforeseen happened? Unfortunately, the unforeseen is an everyday part of being in the wilderness, which means you need to prepare for it.

One of the best ways to be prepared for a water shortage is to know how to properly collect and sanitize natural water. Before we get into this section, I want to point out that you should never drink water from ponds, rivers, or any other natural source without sanitizing it first.

Water Filters

Years ago this would not be a viable solution for water purification while mobile, but times and technology have changed. Portable water filters are now high-quality enough to be reliable in the outdoors as a means of water purification, which makes things a lot easier for us. Some great brands are Berkey (which has a portable model) and LifeStraw, which is made for the outdoors. You can check out a Berkey water filter review here and read more about the LifeStraw on Bear Grylls site.

Traditional Purification

Before miniaturized water filters were invented, outdoorsmen had to rely on traditional methods of water purification. The most common way is to get a fire going, collect your water in a pot or similar container, then heat it until it boils. The heat will kill the bacteria and other pollutants, and should make it safe to drink. Another common way also involves filtering, but using natural means, such as sand and silt. This is a less common technique, but one I plan on covering in a future post since I find it extremely interesting and potentially useful.

Signs of Dehydration

Before we wrap this post up, I wanted to quickly touch on a few symptoms of dehydration that I think it is important to keep in mind whilst hiking or camping. Bear in mind this is not an inclusive list (link to one down below).

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • and more

Above are a few of the symptoms to keep an eye out for while you are out in the wild. Additionally, here is a link to check out if you are interested in seeing a more comprehensive list: E Medicine.


Camping, Hiking, Travel

My Backpacking Trip Through Europe

My First Cross-Country Backpacking Trip

In June of 2017, myself and two of my friends from college decided to embark on an adventure across Europe. We decided to plot our course going by the best hiking mountains in the area, and would visit places such as Spain, France, Switzerland and more. Our travels would bring us into contact with people of every background, and was one of the best and most eye-opening experiences I have ever had.

In this post I will be going over our trip in more detail, and discussing some of my favorite moments from the adventure. Of course, we will also be talking about outdoor equipment, travel guides, and much more.

Stay tuned to the blog as this will be an ongoing and extensive series on our adventures, starting with the first stop; Spain.