Backpacking The Narrows, Zion National Park.

Buying Gear? Read This First

In Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking, Skills   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Are you in the market for a new pack or boots for hiking or backpacking, or a new tent or sleeping bag? How do you find something that’s just right for you? What should you be looking for? How much should you spend? These are questions I’ve heard from many friends and readers over the years as they’ve waded through the myriad choices that are out there. Here are my five top tips for buying gear that’s right for you, gleaned from lessons I’ve learned from two decades of testing and reviewing gear and helping people find gear they love.

This story is premium content. Want to read it? Log in or Subscribe for as little as 5 bucks.

Get My Free Email Newsletter

Enter your email address for updates about new stories, gear reviews, and expert tips!

4 Responses to Buying Gear? Read This First

  1. Baxter Abel   |  December 14, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    I appreciate your tip to not wait until the last minute to buy your camping goods and tools. I agree that being able to buy camping tools with plenty of time is a good way be able to save money and find the right equipment that you want. One time my wife and I decided to go on a last minute camping trip and we ended up spending too much money on supplies since we didn’t have enough time to shop around.

    • MichaelALanza   |  December 14, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks for sharing that, Abel. It’s very true.

  2. JZ   |  May 1, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Another great post! This is largely the same advice I give when someone asks about bikes, electronics, cameras, computers, etc.

    I think the best part about No. 1 is how deciding what it’s for helps you prioritize your life. I always want the best tool for the job, like the perfect boots for hiking to see the lava flows when we visit Hawaii, but then I end up with something I only use once, while on that trip.

    When I bought my boots (after help from elsewhere on your site!), I prioritized my favorite hiking activity, long family day-hikes in the mountains and along the coast, carrying our toddler in our Kelty Pathfinder. Now that I have boots that motivate me to get out and do what I love when I am at home!

    We go on long hikes more consistently, and more more comfortably, than before. Prioritizing what I really needed from the gear has flow-on effects on all our family adventures that are invaluable.


    • MichaelALanza   |  May 2, 2016 at 5:54 am

      Thanks JZ, and good points yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Like This Story? Get My Free Email Newsletter!

Enter your email for updates about new stories, expert tips, and gear reviews.

Grand Canyon Hiker