I've joined this list mostly to benefit from reading
After a lifetime of car camping and day hiking, my
husband and I are making the switch to backpacking.
We're in the midst of acquiring and testing gear. Our
goals with gear:
1. Low cost. Our oldest starts college next fall and
will be followed by her brother in 2003. That's where
the majority of our cash will be going, so we want to
keep our gear costs as low as possible without
2. Comfort. Falling into this category will be lower
weights of course...however, I doubt if we'll ever be
considered lightweight or ultra light backpackers.
3. "Make do." When we can, we'll be converting car
camping gear or other gear into backpacking gear. An
example: we each have a pair of Leki trekking poles
that we use for snowshoeing; we can change the baskets
and tips for use on trails and even pavement for
Here are my most recent gear purchases:
1. Stearns ATP double wide self-inflating sleeping
mat. Actually, it's two mats that zip together to make
a double bed. Clearance at REI.
2. Exponent Xtreme stove, new in box eBay. I'm most
comfortable with canister type stoves, since that's
what I'm used to with car camping. But for shorter
trips, we're going to try making our own pop-can
alcohol stove, too.
3. Nalgene 32 oz bottles, new on eBay.
4. Copper-clad, stainless steel cook set from WalMart.
This was very inexpensive and had the size pans we
were looking for. Additionally, it seems sturdy and
An important piece of gear we're making due with is a
3-season tent we got from Target last year. We
experienced a huge storm -- very windy and lots of
driving rain -- our very first night in this tent and
we stayed warm and dry. It's small enough to pack
with, although maybe we'll want to upgrade the poles
for weight purposes after we've carried it on our
backs a bit.
What we'll be looking for from Santa:
� Mateable, hooded down sleeping bags. We're both warm
sleepers and won't be doing any winter backpacking
(yet!), so we'll probably want no warmer than 20-30
� Backpacks for each of us. We'll be heading to the
local backpacking shop for these to make sure we get
what we need.
� Lexan eating utensils or a titanium spork. Not sure
yet which way we'll go.
And since our first two planned trips will be on
trails that have hike-in campsites with potable water,
we won't look at water treatment until next summer or
If anyone has any suggestions for the type gear I'm
currently looking for, feel free to email me. Also, if
anyone is interested in reviews of any of the gear
I've purchased, I'll be happy to share.
I'm looking forward to learning a lot with this group!
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