Upacking the Valandre Mirage Sleeping BagHow do you begin the search for the “best” camping, hiking or hunting gear? This question and the results are a bit subjective and personal. As everyone has a different way of “researching”. Some may just use referrals, read their favorite magazines, blog or forums to get their information and let’s not forget the “gearheads” as they try everything themselves! And the results may not suit everyone as what my fit or exceed my needs and wants, may not fit or exceed yours.

I personally like to use a collaboration of these resources. Meaning, I may use all of the resources to me for a high-level research on items, and then narrow it down to 2-3 items, and then I personally try them out to make my final decision.   Finally, before I make a final purchase, I keep an eye out for possible savings such as Cabelas coupons for outdoor gear. And sometimes, to my wife’s dismay, may feel that all of them fit my needs for different circumstances! The flip-side is you may find that none of these will fit your needs and wants. I find this very common in footwear; I will wear my new footwear in the house for a week or two. Never removing the tags from the garment and never stepping outside. If my feet aren’t comfy, then it’s back to the drawing board!

Some find great pleasure in buying gear, trying it out or using it for a season and then sell it or trade up for some other gear! I know I do! Or there are some companies, which rent gear. This is a great way of testing gear out without putting all of your hard earned cash down at once! Winded Bowhunter will begin renting some tents, mats, stoves this summer. Just contact them here to get the details.

While this may be subjective, here is my “Best List”

Here are some of my favorite online resources for gear:
http://www.24hourcampfire.com/
http://www.backpackinglight.com/
http://fmpbowcast.com/
http://www.bowsite.com/
http://www.monstermuleys.info/
http://onyourownadventures.com/
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/

http://www.windedbowhunter.com

Here is some of my “best” gear to that I use:

Archery Gear
Hoyt Bows
Montana Black Gold FlashPoint Redzone sight
Tightspot Quiver
Trophy Taker Smackdown FC

Hunting
Bugling Bull Elk, Turkey, Predator calls
Elknut Production Videos on Elk Communication
Outdoorsmans Optical accessories

Camping
Exped Downmat 7
Exped Pillow Pump
FireSteel Armageddon
Jetboil Flash
Katadyn Vario
Outdoor Edge Knives
Valandré Bloody Mary
Valandré Mirage

Hiking
Hunting GPS Maps
Mystery Ranch Crew Cab backpack
Mystery Ranch Dragon Slayer backpack
nuun Active Hydration
SPOT Personal Tracker
SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
Wilderness Athlete Bars
Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recovery
Wilderness Athlete Energy & Focus

Clothing
Sitka Gear – best selection in fit for use! Available in solid colors as well as GORE Optifade.
I also will look for GORE-TEX and WINDSTOPPER products ensure their fit for use!

Footwear
Asolo Power Matic 200 GV
Salomon XT Wings2 GTX
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX