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Hiking Gear Introduction

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Hiking & Backpacking GearChoosing the right gear and supplies to take with you on a hiking trip can be a challenge. The information contained in this section is intended to help you make better gear choices.

Gear selection tends to be a very personal thing. What works well for someone else may not work well for you, and what works well on one trip may be entirely unsatisfactory on another trip. Study the gear lists. Read the information provided here on gear options. Use the web links to check what other people have to say on the same subject. Then decide what you think is going to work best for you, and give it a try. As you gain experience you will be better able to evaluate what others have to say about gear choices and functionality.

For most day hikes you will not be carrying as much as you would on an overnight hike. So gear choices are less critical. You just need enough to handle any changes in temperature, weather, and terrain while not going overboard and carrying so much that your pack is unnecessarily heavy or uncomfortable.

On overnight trips there is usually a trade off to be made in gear selection between hiking ease and camping comfort. A lighter pack will make your hiking more enjoyable, feel less like work, and you will be able to travel farther. But having more things with you in camp may make your camping more pleasant. The ideal gear list will keep your pack light and still provide you with a comfortable camp. Visit the gear lists for some ideas.

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