Hiking Gear - the basics

Clare, our eldest daughter, is in third year Outdoor Education at La Trobe University Bendigo. She is an experienced bushwalker and has "developing skills" in climbing and kayaking. Her take on hiking gear is from a student's perspective and from hiking with young people at Wollangarra for 12 months. She is the third guest poster in our beginner's series.

Clare, pictured, somewhere in Tasmania, wearing her usual hiking clothes for that environment.

Boots, gaiters, polypropylene (thermal) leggings, shorts, thermal top, long sleeved quick dry shirt and a polar fleece vest. Her raincoat (Mountain Designs Gortex) will be in the back pocket of her pack for quick access. She will also have a warm hat that will be easily accessible.

In relation to equipment, here is Clare's response to Megan's question - Hiking Gear - What are the basics to get started? I think to start off you really do need a good pack and sleeping bag. These two items last forever if you buy good ones. They also don't tend to change too much.

I've just bought a really great One Planet sleeping bag but you really need to go into those camping shops (Paddy Pallin etc) and talk to the crew in there, re: sleeping bags and packs.

You can start off with a blue closed cell foam mat. It will probably set you back $10, and then when you finally get your hands on a thermarest you'll really appreciate it. Or you could check them out on the internet, Dad uses the site Mickey's Place, it's really cheap, good service and great gear.

You'll need a stove, probably the cheapest one going around is the Pocket Rocket, it's great, Dad loves them. I've had one and it was really great. It's also really light. It's an MSR stove. Again, you can check stoves out on the internet, they might be cheaper than here.

Finally, the more hiking you do the more you will learn. Meeting new people with different gear is a great way to learn about what's out there.

Have a great time, and good luck with your hiking.


Related topics:
Couple Hiking - Gear ideas for starting off on the right foot together
Starting off Hiking? John Chapman's advice for beginners
Hiking gear - what are the basics to get started?

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