We're committed to sharing our knowledge with you so that you can spend more time Hiking, Camping and Shooting .......... .......instead of wasting your valuable time just getting prepared for your adventures.
Why Would Our Opinions Matter to You?
Since there are lots of sites out there sharing their wisdom about Hiking, Camping and Shooting why should you care about our opinions?
Like most of you we are just an average family that likes the outdoors. We have lots of ongoing activities and don’t “live and breathe” the outdoor life - so we can’t spend all of our time and money testing and comparing the latest gear.
We want to spend our time Adventuring, not shopping for gear.
But, over the years we have learned a lot of lessons and accumulated a great set of gear (and information sources) that works for us; and we wanted to share the general outdoor and specific gear knowledge that we have acquired.
For what it's worth, I have been an outdoor adventurer my entire life. My detailed Hiking, Camping and Shooting biography includes:
Spent hundreds of days hiking and nights camping in locations around the world in all kinds of climates and weather
Eagle Scout at age 14
Philmont Ranger at Boy Scouts of America National Scout Ranch
Moved 35 times and lived in 16 different States and 1 other country
Traveled to all 50 of the United States and 53 other countries
Grew up as an Army Brat and started shooting at age 9
Given first .22 caliber rifle by father at age 10
Given first 410 shotgun by grandfather at age 13
Achieved Sharpshooter with seven bars at age 15 in Junior NRA .22 caliber 50 foot shooting program
Currently an active member of two local gun clubs.
Air Force Veteran
Completed Air Force Survival, Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) Training at age 19
Received Free Fall Parachute Wings at age 20
Graduated from the United States Air Force Academy
Served on active duty as an Air Force Officer for 12 years
Scuba certified at age 11 while living in Hawaii
Diving experience in Hawaiian Islands, Caribbean and Great Barrier Reef
These days I most commonly Hike, Camp and Shoot with my wife and 17-year old daughter
What’s the Normal Process for Buying Hiking, Camping and Shooting Gear?
Step 1 – Figure out what type of generic gear you need for your situation
For example: tent, sleeping bag, first aid kit, ammo, etc.,
Step 2 - Look for specific gear in the general categories
For example: sleeping bags from various manufacturers
Step 3 – Compare the specific gear options based on your needs
For example: 3-season sleeping bags vs. 4-season bags; down bags vs. fiber bags; mummy bags vs. square bags; $25 bags vs. $400 bags; 1 pound bags vs. 6 pound bags
Step 4 – Select the specific gear that you want to purchase
Step 5 – Find a location that sells the gear
Step 6 – Purchase the gear
Step 7 – Take the gear on an adventure
Details of How We Do What We Do
What's our overall approach to gear selection here at Hiking, Camping and Shooting (HCS)?
Determine which general categories of gear you “must have” for the activity you are planning
Determine the evaluation criteria important to you by examining your situation
Number of people participating
Ages of people participating
Geographic location and terrain
Distance that you are planning to travel
Likely weather conditions
Level of experience of the participants
Likelihood of needing to use each piece of gear
Ease with which item can be initially purchased or replaced
Locate information of the options for the specific gear
Research and Evaluate the specific gear against your criteria
Select the specific gear that you like
Purchase the specific “must have” gear that you have selected
Determine which additional types of items you “might need” for contingency situations
Repeat the steps above to evaluate and buy the specific gear that you “might need"
Determine which additional types of items you “want” for other reasons
Repeat the steps above to evaluate and buy the specific gear that you “want”
Prioritization is key
Both in purchasing the gear (due to costs) and packing the gear (due to weight and volume constraints)
How were the general Hiking, Camping and Shooting needs determined?
Based on our years of experience Hiking, Camping and Shooting
Augmented by detailed reviews of other information sources
Discussions with other knowledgeable people
Why did we select the specific Hiking, Camping and Shooting gear that we did?
Our situation and needs
Our assessment of the priority order of evaluation criteria relevant to us