A Guide to Camping Gear
Ah! Camping in Montana. To many, camping in Montana is what dreams are
made of! The clear skies, the wonderful air, the beautiful sunsets, the
mysterious wildlife. That is the image of camping in Montana for most.
Well, those dreams do occur, at least until the
mid-summer snow arrives. Or until the cold June rains
a time. Or until the local insect population carries away your first
born. Or until your friendly local grizzly bear decides to pay a midnight
All in all, camping in Montana - gotta love
it - as it is always diverse, beautiful, crummy, exciting and unpredictible,
all at the same time.
As most people who visit this site are not from Montana but do plan
on visiting it at some future time, I thought it would be helpful to
put together a "Camping Gear Guide" for people. At a minimum,
this section of Big Sky Fishing should help a Montana camper or wanna-be
do two things. The first
prepare oneself for the rather unpredictible nature of camping in Montana.
And the second purpose is to help people properly outfit themselves for
a camping trip in Montana. Without the proper camping gear, a camping
trip in Montana is doomed to disappointment.
Also, it should be noted this section covers the gear and techniques
needed for enjoyable camping. If you plan on hiking, you will want to
Gear section for some helpful tidbits of information, like how
to avoid a broken leg while hiking, prevent
blisters and a few more nuggets of information
learned through misadventure.
Camping Gear Essentials
Well, lets start things off with, what do you need for a camping trip
in Montana? The bad news is that there is no "set answer" to that. The
type of camping gear you really need boils down to what you plan on doing
(backcountry camping or car camping). As most people who camp in Montana
are frequently never more than 50 feet from their car, this section of
the site will cover camping equipment needed for enjoyable car camping
in Montana. A seperate section (still a work in progress) will cover
in detail the specialized equipment needed for backcountry camping (where
you backpack in all your gear needed).
So, here's my list of "car camping" gear essentials.
Unless you plan on bringing the RV along, or staying in rather
expensive hotels, you'll need a tent. Plain and simple. Read this
section to learn what type of tent to bring on your trip to Montana.
More about Tents.
||Sleeping Bag :
Do you like to shiver all night long? If not, get a good sleeping
bag - it's the difference between feeling good in the morning and
feeling worn out and old. Read more on what type of sleeping bag
to get.. More about Sleeping Bags.
||Sleeping Pad : The humble
sleeping pad. So important. Yet so forgotten. Without a good sleeping
pad, you are destined for a bad night sleep - regardless of how much
you spent on that fancy sleeping bag of yours. So
read more on why you need a good sleeping pad.
||Camp Stove : Campfires are
great. Or, they're great until you're out of wood. Or it rains. Or
there are fire restrictions. Thus, be smart and bring a camp stove
along. It cooks better, works better and is less of a PITA in general.
More on Camp Stoves.
Camping Essentials that are also Hiking Essentials
The gear below is profiled further in the hiking
gear section of this
site. Happily, this gear below performs two great functions - it makes
both hiking AND camping more enjoyable! Thus, by getting the right gear,
you can save money by having gear that pulls double duty for both camping
and day hiking.
||Rain Jackets :
Yes, it rains in Montana. Having a good rain coat makes all the difference
in the world between having the rain be a nuisance and a life threatening
information about Rain Jackets.
||Fleece Jackets : Montana
generally gets VERY cold at night, even during the summer. Happily,
fleece jackets will help keep you warm and comfortable, both in camp
and on the trail. More
about Fleece Jackets.
||Hiking Pants :
These specialized pants are designed for hiking. Yet, they are the
ultimate camping pant too - full of pockets, quick drying, lightweight,
convert to shorts on hot days and easy to clean. And did I mention
they were inexpensive too?? More
about Hiking Pants.
||Socks : Do me a favor please?
Leave your cotton socks at home! They work miserably for both camping
and hiking. Instead, do your feet a big favor and get a pair of warm,
wool socks (like Smartwool
Socks). Your life will be forever changed in a positive way
if you do. More about
Camping and Hiking Socks.
Sunglasses are essential for hiking in Montana or where ever else
be lots of sun, such as on the beach, at high elevations or in the
desert. In this section information about Sunglasses and the Sun's
harmful rays is provided. Learn
more about Sunglasses.
Camping in Montana - Articles
These are some helpful articles I've written up that hopefully someone
somewhere might find useful on their camping trip to Montana, or elsewhere
for that matter.
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