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ShopLadder Camping & Hiking

Gear up and get your outside face on. You can't wait to head to your campsite, so head outside like a pro. With our camping & hiking equipment in your backpack, you'll be prepared for anything. Nothing beats a night under the stars, out in nature. And it doesn't hurt to keep comfortable, too. Our camping gear includes sleeping bags for extra warmth. And speaking of warmth, our grilling accessories can certainly take the heat. Trek confidently with our hiking gear, backpacks or trekking poles. Stock up your sack with hydration bottles -- you never know when thirst will hit.

Camping Checklist - Are You Prepared?

Camping is one of the best ways to truly enjoy the outdoors. Make sure you have properly prepared all the essentials for your excursion! Here are some useful considerations that you should consider before hiking off into the wild:

Camping Gear Essentials (below)
Choosing the Right Hiking Boots (below)
How to Choose a Tent
Your Backpack Better Be Good For Camping

Luckily, the list of essentials is easily found online or at any outdoor or army surplus store; some may already be in your house. We can help you create a camping checklist that is fairly comprehensive, but you may need fewer supplies depending on the length of your trip. A shorter trip would mean less to take; whereas, a longer trip or a specialized one may mean specific equipment not listed here. Please do make sure that you review the essentials before departure so that you can ensure a safe and fun camping trip.

Camping Gear Essentials

Camping could very well be the best time you can possibly have outdoors. With fresh air, nature hikes, fishing, or whatever activities you want, camping is fun for anyone. Having the right gear is a big part of the fun--without proper camping gear, your great outdoors adventure could turn into a nightmare.

Luckily, the list of essentials is easily found at any outdoor or army surplus store, and some may already be in your house. This list is fairly comprehensive, but you may need fewer supplies depending on the length of your trip. A shorter trip would mean less to take; whereas, a longer trip or a specialized one may mean specific equipment not listed here. However, these are the essentials for a safe and fun camping trip.

The Camp Site

A waterproof tent with a ground cover is essential. The tent should be large enough for the number of people going on the trip, or you may be in for some uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. The ground cover should be thick to ensure that morning dew does not waterlog the bottom of the tent.

A sleeping bag appropriate for the weather conditions is a must. Even if it is very warm during the day, most camping sites get very cool at night. A mattress pad is optional, but many people find them essential for added comfort.

A small cooking kit that contains essentials such as a pot and pan, a few utensils, and dishes is a must. Though some make do with snack bars, dried fruits, and breads, most people like to cook, so you need something to cook with.

A light source like a lantern, waterproof matches, and a lighter are essential. You will likely stay up for a few hours after dark and being able to see prevents injuries.

Foldable chairs are very nice because they allow you to stretch out and relax after a long day outdoors. Another great thing after a long day is a shower. You can actually purchase an item called a camp shower, which you fill with water and elevate above you.

Clothes

Clothes are the most important personal item you will take with you, because your personal comfort is going to best determine how much fun you have. This is why a comfortable pair of weatherproof hiking boots and thick, sweat-wicking socks are important. Light, cotton clothing that breathes is also essential for making sure you are comfortable.

For hiking, a backpack that does not strain your back is needed. In it, you will carry such items as filled water bottles, rain gear, a hat, cold weather gear, sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant, a flashlight with extra batteries, sunglasses, a pocket/utility knife, a compass, and a map. These are all essential for not only making sure you don’t get lost on your hike, but for protection from the elements.

The Other Stuff

A first-aid kit is something you should keep in your car, so if you already have one, great. But if you don’t, make sure to purchase one before you go camping. Cuts and scrapes happen often in the great outdoors and need to be attended to in order to prevent infection.

No matter what the weatherman says, pack for any type of weather. The weather can change so quickly that you are better off safe than sorry. You also want to pack at least one extra change of clothes.

You should have enough food for three meals a day, plus one gallon of water per person, per day. Pack a few water purification tablets just in case you need to purify water for emergency purposes.

Extra blankets never hurt anyone on a camping trip, and neither has a folding table for eating or cooking purposes. These are not absolute essentials, but it never hurts to be prepared.

The last thing you should do is to keep your charged cell phone in the car. Even though you are going back to nature while camping, it never hurts to have a backup plan in case of emergency.

Choosing the Right Hiking Boots

There’s nothing quite like getting out into the wilderness and just taking a walk. Whether in the warm, pine-scented air of summer or the brisk atmosphere of a snow laden winter forest, hiking is a wonderful activity, if you’re looking to get in shape, see the natural world, or just feel like getting out and relaxing.

Just how much enjoyment you get out of it, though, depends on the quality of your equipment. If you have a bad pair of boots, your feet will feel it for days afterwards, and every little bump and jolt will be agony. If you have a good pair of boots, it will be like walking on clouds. Hiking boots can be expensive, but they’re well worth the money you’ll spend on them. You may be tempted to buy a cheap pair from the sort of low priced store that also sells things like laundry detergent and children’s toys. Don’t give in!

Cheap boots are occasionally sufficient, but far more often, you’ll end up with blisters and a bad hike. Instead, look specifically for shoe stores and sporting goods stores. Good hiking boots usually range from around fifty dollars to more than a hundred and fifty, and respectable sporting goods will likely only carry good brands. Once you find a store, you’ll have to think about exactly what you plan on doing. Will you be packing ultra-light, going for maximum distance and minimum weight? In that case, you’ll want a low ankle lightweight shoe or even a trail running tennis shoe. On the other hand, if you plan to do some serious backpacking, with a lot of weight (more than twenty or thirty pounds), you’ll want something more supportive – aim for a high ankle and good, stiff materials.

Also make sure you have the right kind of material for your boot. If your hikes will be in an area heavy in rocks (as most areas are), you’ll want to make sure you have a good, stiff sole. If you can bend it or move it with your thumb, chances are it’s not stiff enough. Slip on the shoe barefoot; without socks on; it will be easy to feel exactly how the shoe fits. If it’s too tight in an area, try something else. You can also try standing on an edge (like the edge of a shelf or step) and seeing if you can feel it through the sole of your shoe. If you can, the shoe probably isn’t supportive enough.

Make absolutely certain your shoe fits well. If it’s too big, your foot will slide around, making for painful uphill and downhill hiking. If it’s too tight, your toes will jam, leaving you sore after only a few miles. When you’re at the store, make sure to always ask the opinion of the salesperson – they’re there to help you make the best choice. Another trick you can use is to put the shoe on with the laces completely loose, and move your foot as far forward in it as possible. If you can put your index finger between your heel and the back of the shoe, it is about the right size.

After you find a few possibilities, put them on with socks. Walk around. Do they bite anywhere? A great hiking boot will feel great from the first moment you put it on. How comfortable is it? Is it warm enough, or too warm? Don’t let the catchy statistics or the rugged design of a shoe pull the fleece over your eyes. Far better to have a simple, durable leather pair that fits perfectly than an ill-fit shoe made of space age materials and lined with thinsulate.

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