Additional Reading: Clothing Systems
Additional Reading: Backpacks
“ROUGHING IT EASY”
or Gear is what is referred to as your possessions.
Most campers bring along all sorts of unnecessary gear that lies unused
or occupies valuable space.
The secret of orderly
camp living is to have everything that is needed for health, safety, and
happiness without being surrounded by a collection of unnecessary clutter.
GEAR FOR TRIPS
Camps sometimes rent
or lend pieces of personal equipment to campers and customarily furnish group
equipment such as tents, tools, and group cooking and eating equipment.
A camper’s pack
should be a series of stuff sacks packed within the backpack with the number of
bags depending upon the length of the trip and personal preferences.
A minimum number would be:
The following is a
description of the various kinds of gear needed for camping and trips:
your choice of clothing should be influenced by such factors as the season and
weather expected, length of trip, and type of terrain in which you will travel.
It is important to choose clothing that will help the body perform
efficiently. They are four ways that your body loses heat:
Convection – the
transfer of heat when cool air carries your body’s heat out and away from you.
Radiation – when the
body’s inner heat dissipates out mostly from the head and neck.
Evaporation and Cooling
– when air moves over the moisture on our skin or when our body sweats.
Conduction – the
conveying of heat from the body when it comes into contact with something cold
or wet; example: your back against a wet T-shirt, your hand in an icy stream.
Heat loss through
convection and radiation can be managed by using the Layering
System of clothing, which creates thermal traps to hold warmth in, close to
the body. The layering system has
three primary components:
Vapor Transmission Layer
– breathable garments next to your skin that wicks away moisture.
Underwear made of polypropylene, capilene, thermax, silk or wool have
these qualities. Avoid cotton since
it provides no insulation when wet and actually draws heat away from the body.
Insulating Layer –
shirts, sweaters, vests, parkas, synthetic pile garments are all used to hold
the warm air around your body.
Protective Layer – the
outermost layer protects the inner layers from rain, snow and wind.
It is important to use a garment that is breathable such as Gore-Tex or
an open rain poncho to avoid moisture build-up underneath.
shirts and sweaters
– Use a stuff sack for your personal items such as toothbrush, biodegradable
soap, toilet paper, etc. Use
plastic containers and go light.
Miscellaneous Equipment and Other Items
first aid kit
map and compass
cooking and eating gear
incidentals such as a
camera, paper & pen, binoculars, fishing gear, emergency money, fieldbooks.
Packs of almost any
size and description are available to suit your needs.
Waist or Fanny pack –
the smallest of the packs, can hold from 3 to 5 pounds of supplies such as
lunch, water bottle, camera, good for short hikes.
Daypack – uses are
generally limited to day trips or brief excursions away from the main camp.
A larger version is a midsize overnight pack good for a couple of nights
Expedition pack –
intended for carrying loads on extended trips of up to a week or longer and are
designed to carry up to 40 pounds or more. There are two types:
Packs – packs with
built-in frames that distribute the weight more evenly on the back.
A disadvantage of
built-in frame packs is their tendency to hug the back, which does not allow for
air circulation. This can make them
hot and uncomfortable in warm weather.
The advantage of
built-in frame packs is their low center of gravity and the fact that they do
not hinder elbow and arm movements along the sides of the body because of their
narrow design. This makes them very
popular among mountaineers and Nordic skiers.
Packs – packs of this type
are attached to the back of a rigid frame made usually of aluminum tubing or
molded nylon. Usually clevis pins
are extended through holes in the frame to grommets in the bag.
The advantage of a
properly fitted rigid external frame is that it can shift as much as 75 percent
of the pack’s weight from your shoulders to the back, hips and powerful
muscles of the legs.
SELECTING A PACK
There are many models
to choose from on the ever-changing market.
Choose the smallest pack that will carry what you need.
What kinds of trips will
you be taking?
Will you travel mostly on
Will you do technical
What kind of equipment
will you need to carry and how much?
Copyright 2001 Northern Arizona University, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED