After a recent backpacking and camping adventure in the Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness Area of New York’s Adirondack Park, a friend of mine who had just been camping with us decided that he’d like to give backpacking a try. He asked me for advice on what equipment he would need, and my first thoughts were, “well, you’re going to need a pack!”
Initially, I wasn’t sure what to suggest. He didn’t have a super compressible down backpacking quilt, and his big dome tent wouldn’t fit in even the most gargantuan of expedition packs. The truth was, he had to start from scratch, and that was good news. Starting from scratch meant avoiding most of the mistakes people make when they get into backpacking. I made those mistakes, and they cost me a lot of money and a bit of discomfort on the trail.