CAMPING AND HIKING EQUIPMENT
Boots: Be sure to wear hiking boots with good ankle support. They should fit snugly and comfortably over one or two pairs of wool socks and thin liner socks. Break in boots over several weeks first to avoid blisters.
Other Necessities: Synthetic layers, like those made of polypropylene, and a pile jacket will keep you warm even when wet. A “space blanket” will help you to retain your body heat and doubles as a groundcloth (US$5-15). Plastic water bottles are vir tually shatter- and leak-proof. Bring water-purification tablets for when you can’t boil water. For those places that forbid fires or the gathering of firewood (virtually every orga nized campground in Europe), you’ll need a camp stove (the classic Coleman starts at US$40) and a propane-filled fuel bottle to operate it. Also, don’t forget a first-aid kit, pocketknife, insect repellent, calamine lotion, and waterproof matches or a lighter.
AND WHERE TO BUY IT. The mail-order/online companies listed below offer lower prices than many retail stores, but a visit to a local camping or outdoors store will give you a good sense of the look and weight of certain items.
Campmor, 28 Parkway, P.O. Box 700, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 (US ® 888-226- 7667; elsewhere US ® 201-825-8300; www.campmor.com).
Discount Camping, 880 Main North Rd., Pooraka, South Australia 5095, Australia (®08 8262 3399; www.discountcamping.com.au).
Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), 1 Vose Farm Rd., Peterborough, NH 03458 (¦sr888- 463-6367 or 603-924-9571; www.ems.com).
L.L. Bean, Freeport, ME 04033 (US and Canada ©800-441-5713; UK ©08 0089 1297; elsewhere, call US ©207-552-3028; www.llbean.com).
Mountain Designs, 51 Bishop St., Kelvin Grove, Queensland 4059, Australia (®07 3856 2344; www.mountaindesigns.com).
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