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5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Backcountry Gear

Time out of doors is a precious commodity to the outdoor enthusiast - but are we getting the most out of this time. One way to ensure maximum backcountry enjoyment is to get the most possible value from the gear you acquire and use. Here are 5 ways to get the most out of your backcountry gear Ė and your backcountry experience.

- Purchase the best gear you can possibly afford. If you are going to spend a year planning your next excursion on the continental divide, spend three months getting into great shape, take three weeks vacation when itís time for the hike, purchase an airline ticket, and so on Ė then why are you using the cheapest backpack you can find? A good backpack will make all the difference in the world. This applies to all of your backcountry gear. Whether its your GPS unit, sleeping bag, rain gear or dual-fuel portable stove, be sure to carry good equipment in order to get the most value for your money. Donít buy cheap!

- Learn how to use all of your gear correctly and practice using it. When you are completely lost, itís not the time to learn how to navigate with a compass and map. When you and your firewood are wet, itís not the time to learn how to start a fire with the flare youíve been carrying for 5 years in your pack. Take time to learn all of the features of your gear. You might be surprised to learn just how useful your GPS really is when you understand how to use the backtrack feature. Youíll be mighty thankful when you learn the proper weight distribution for your backpack. Take time to learn Ė practice around your home before you venture into the backcountry.

- Keep your gear with you and use it as much as possible. Your backcountry gear isnít just for the backcountry. It has unlimited uses in everyday life. Never go on a road trip without your pack. Youíll almost always find an opportunity to use your binoculars or GPS unit. If you donít have your gear with you, youíll need it Ė never fails.

- Take great care of your gear. Hopefully youíve learned this from your parents and not necessarily from experience. Your gear will only take good care of you if you take good care of it. Conversely, your gear will let you down if you donít take good care of it. Thatís a bad situation to be in. Inspect everything before you embark on your adventure. Clean and properly store all of your gear upon your return. Have you check your gearís straps, fuel, waterproofing, batteries and overall condition lately? Taking good care of your gear is an important part of enjoying your backcountry trip.

- When youíre done with it, donate it Ė and some of your time - to a local scout troop. They are always looking for assistance from outdoor enthusiasts. Youíll feel great getting this last piece of benefit out of your old trusty gear!

Optimize your time in the backcountry. The easiest way ensure maximum outdoor enjoyment is to get the most possible value from your gear. Let these 5 ways guide you in getting the most out of your backcountry gear Ė and your backcountry experience. Use this information and youíll Get It Right The First Time. Get Outdoors!

Submitted by:

Chuck Fitzgerald

Chuck Fitzgerald is the owner of Arizona based BackCountry Toys, an online specialty store with the "Best Gear Out There" and dedicated to helping outdoor enthusiasts to "Get It Right The First Time" with timely educational information. Please visit http://www.BackCountryToys.com to find great gear and to receive the Fact & Tips e-newsletter, "FreshAir." (800) 316-9055.




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