Buying Hiking Gear
Not only do you have to figure out what kind of equipment to purchase when prepare for camping or hiking, but choosing where to buy it can also be difficult.
For many items, Amazon.com’s hiking section will have some of the more competitive prices. This can be a hard place to comparison shop on any more meaningful point than price, however, and even reading the customer reviews isn’t the same as holding a piece of gear in your hand to feel how solidly built it is or how much weight it will add to your pack.
If you’re not already sure what you’re looking to buy, then, stores like REI that specialize in camping equipment AND that hire knowledgable sales staff who can guide you towards a decision based on what your trip and needs are. These are also, of course, the most expensive places to shop!
The middle ground between these two extremes is somewhere like Backcountry.com, which has a better sort of review and also slightly higher prices than Amazon but still much lower than REI. Of course, you could also check out a proper store first to figure out what you want and then shop online later for better prices!
For our thorough overview on the gear we use and love, be sure to read through the ‘What to Take Camping‘ page for recommendations on gear. Alternatively, these individual pages offer more info on some of the most important sorts of gear you’ll want for independent self-supported camping trips: