Q&A With the Expert: Camping Gear Review, and Camping and Backpacking Advice


Rainbow trout in south-central Missouri.What better way to get insight on camping equipment than from a gear editor of a premier outdoor magazine? Managing Editor Caleb Regan recently spoke with Backpacker Magazine Gear Editor Kristin Hostetter. Their conversation covered a variety of topics, including general camping gear and advice, tents, sleeping bags, lanterns and locations.

CR: What is the typical top priority when people are considering tent choice?

KH: We typically focus on real technical backpacking and base camping tents. You mentioned canvas before, canvas, really doesn’t exist in our world anymore at all. It’s just really heavy, hard to work with and almost nobody makes canvas tents anymore unless you’re talking about huge tepees or Quonset or yurts or something like that.

I think when you’re shopping for a tent, from our perspective the two things to really think about are the weight and the space. If you’re buying a high-quality tent they are all going to be waterproof, they’re all going to be fairly weather-worthy, and so all those things being equal, you’re trying to figure out what your weight capacity is, and how much space you want.

Do you ever encounter canvas tents in a basecamp with a woodstove or anything like that?

It’s very, very niche. If you’re looking for a tent to go out camping with your family for the weekend, you’re going to be concerned with how much space it has, things like how easy it is to set up, how much weight it’s going to be in your pack or how much space it’s going to take up in your car, that sort of thing.

7/10/2015 9:27:51 AM

You and me both, Dave. I've managed a few outings on the bass boat so far, but nothing beats the camping & fishing trip combination. Thanks for commenting!

6/20/2015 10:21:25 AM

Hey, hey, Caleb, you finally found some time to put out another great post. I kind of miss your reviews of different things. My thoughts on camping is not so much back packing any more. I'm thinking more toward air mattress in the bed of my truck with a canvas covering over the top of a PVC structure. I'm not so much of a deep woods kind of camper. I like some isolation but then civilization within a short distance. Camping in northern Nevada fit that bill perfectly. We were about 50 miles from the nearest major town in a state park area. So campsites were available. Sitting around a roaring fire at night spinning stories with other campers was great fun. Catching three to five pound lake trout was really fun too. I haven't been on a fishing camping trip for a few years now and miss it terribly. I really must do something about that. ***** Have a great GRIT Managing Editor day.

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters