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UNDER CONSTRUCTION. This will be replaced with the updated version in the next few months.

Hiking and Camping Gear, Books, Maps, etc.

Don't compromise quality for cost savings, but don't waste your money on what you don't need.

Bring what you need: no more and no less.

Seasonal Recommendations

This time of year, selection is at its best for outdoor equipment, but prices are usually not great. However, retailers are still in a slump because of the economic conditions, so there are still some bargains to be found. Check for Amazon's Sports & Outdoors Deals every day, because they're changing all the time.

Below, I've listed some of this month's most attractive deals on hiking and camping equipment. I've checked the reviews and, where possible, checked them against my own experience and those of people I know who use or have used this gear. For the most part, the suggestions on this page begin with a list of the best-reviewed hiking and camping equipment on Amazon.com, but where my own experience tells me something different, I'll recommend something other than the one that happens to have the best reviews this month.

You might also want to check out this month's best deals on hiking boots, which I list on the relevant Hiking Boots pages.

If you're looking for some of the best deals and the best-reviewed hiking and camping equipment, you'll find great examples listed below. If you're more interested in best-selling gear, you'll find some of the most popular, with reviews based on real-world experience, at OutdoorEquipmentReport.com. There are separate pages for the best in Hiking Boots, Tents, Sleeping Bags, Backpacks, and Cameras and Optics for outdoor use.

Spec Plus Machete/Survival (OKSP8)

This machete has good, serious reviews, and the sale price is excellent.


Swiss Army Pocket Knife Swiss Champ

All Swiss Army Knives have been on sale at Amazon for quite a while, but there's no saying how long it will last. This unit's price varies widely depending on which color you choose.


Century 7035I Portable Propane Mighty-Lite Matchless Single Mantle Lantern

This lantern has been around for a while now, but there's still only one review. It gets pretty high marks, even though the reviewer found the peizoelectric lighter somewhat kludgy. Considering the features and the price - half what you'd pay for a similar lantern - this one is worth trying out.


Guide Gear® Minus 15 Degrees Sleeping Bag Green

I was planning to suggest a good warm-weather sleeping bag this month, but here's a great deal on an all-season sleeping bag. The price makes it look like a toy or a kiddie sleeping bag, but the features and the reviews sound like the real deal.


Coleman Boys Scattered Sleeping Bag

Now that the warm weather is back, this summer sleeping bag is worth a look. Fortunately, it's still available at a great price, and now you can use it right away!


Coleman Girls Scattered Sleeping Bag

(Same as above, but in a girly color and print.)


New 60+10L Internal Frame Camping Hiking Backpack

Amazon no longer categorizes framed backpacks by "weekend" or "expedition" sizes. They're all lumped together. This is the best-reviewed in a size that I'd consider a "weekend" pack, though it's on the large end of the scale.


Maxpedition CONDOR-II™ BACKPACK

This daypack is a bit pricey, but the quality is excellent. The price varies by color. There are several higher rated items in the daypack category this month, but they are all either specialty items (hydration packs, etc.) or just plain not designed for trail use.


Quality versus Economy

Whenever I consider the trade-off between paying for quality and saving money, I'm reminded of something I heard in a motorcycle safety course a long time ago: "If you've got a twenty-dollar head, get a twenty-dollar helmet."

So get the quality you need, and know that you're getting what you pay for.

On the other hand, there's no point (in my mind, at least) in paying for fashion in the name of quality. If you ask around, and everybody says Brand A is the best, try to dig a little deeper and find out why Brand A is the best. You may find that Brand A is perceived as the best because everybody hears that Brand A is the best. Under these conditions, Brand A commands the premium prices because demand is high, not necessarily because the quality is good.

Maybe it's just me, so you should take what I say with a grain of salt as well, but I try to avoid what is trendy and fashionable and to look instead for what is of genuine lasting worth. If you want to be perceived as in touch with the latest trends, I most definitely can't help you out. But if you want the quality you need, no more and no less, maybe I can advise you a little.

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