What's the single most important piece of Shooting gear?
The single most important piece of your Shooting gear varies significantly if you plan to "carry" a firearm (either concealed or open carry) or if you just plan to target shoot.
If you plan to "carry", then your single most important piece of Shooting gear is your carry weapon. Knowing this firearm, when and how to draw it from its holster, how to shoot it from a variety of positions in a variety of situations, how to reload it under pressure, what to do if a malfunction occurs, and what to say to the police if you needed to use it are all critically important. Buying a carry gun and then never practicing how to use it if needed to save your life is just asking for trouble. You need to practice the skills that might save your life.
If you don't plan to "carry", then your most important piece of Shooting gear is the firearm that you plan to shoot the most and get the most enjoyment from.
What's the single most important piece of Camping gear?
The single most important piece of your Camping gear is, without a doubt, your Backpack since it is the basis for carrying all of the other items that you will be taking into the backcountry. There is no “one size fits all” answer. The challenge in finding the right backpack is balancing the size of the pack with your ability to carry it (with regards to both weight and balance) in the environment that you plan to travel in. Some packs work great for people on flat terrain, but are too top heavy or awkward balance in the mountains. Other packs feel great in the store, but when loaded to their complete capacity are too heavy for the planned travel distance.
So when purchasing a backpack think about the terrain, weather, travel distance and type of gear that you will be carrying and then balance those considerations as optimally as possible.
What's the single most important piece of Hiking gear?
The single most important piece of your Hiking gear is, without a doubt, your Footwear. Although most people realize this to some degree when they shop for hiking shoes/boots - but they often fail to take into account the entire set of footwear. Initially you need to buy the right shoes/boots - taking into account the type of tread you need (mountain, hard surface, forest, etc), the height needed for ankle support, the arch needed for foot support and if waterproofing is needed or not. But after purchasing the hiking shoe/boot you also need to consider your socks. In my experience it is best to wear two pairs of socks; one made of wool for comfort and one made of a material (e.g. polyester) that wicks the moisture away from your foot while hiking.
Having the right set of footwear will allow you to focus on the fun parts of your Hiking adventure. Having the wrong footwear combination will cause problems and ruin the entire hike.
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