Recommended Outdoor Gear

Part of Mark Verber's The Great Outdoors Pages

The following pages are focused primarily on backpacking, but most of the observations are applicable to a variety of outdoor sports.  I was the prototypical boy scout.  I wanted to "be prepared" for any situation, so I carried everything including the kitchen sink, whether or not it was likely to be needed.  Over time I have come to appreciate the ultra light backpacking and climbing styles popularized by Ray Jardine, Mark Twight, and the folks at BPL.  While I don't completely embrace all their ideas, my approach has been strongly influenced by them. The key to ultralight is to use your head... having enough experience to know how to deal with various situations, and to carefully think about what is needed (or more likely not needed). I even spent a season doing super ultra-light trips (super light gear list) just to see what it's like, but decided I like a bit more comfort on most trips I take. I also figure out that while I can push and do 30 or even 40 miles on a summer day, that my sweet spot is more like 15-25 miles /f day. I have found that my light-weight approach (3-Season Gear list) keeps me as safe and comfortable as my heavy-weight friends in camp, and is significantly more comfortable when I am moving. Oh, and remember... you don't have to spend a lot of money.  Check out my Backpacking for Cheap for some ideas.  I have grouped my recommendations by area.  Each set of recommendations typically contains a rational (why bring something and how it functions), my choice, a list of options, and specific suggestions if you are very budget conscious.  If you haven't figured it out yet... I am a gear-a-holic. After several years of this being out of control I have limited myself spending no new money.  If I want something new, I have to sell something old and refill my paypal account. So far this has worked pretty well.

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