The next time you’re in the market for a gear upgrade or addition to your camping setup, consider searching beyond the shelves at the nearest big-box outdoors store. If you’re a person who cares less about the color of your pack and more about how many outdoor adventures it will survive, you want the maximum durability and functionality. You need gear that can stand up to the nastiest conditions.
Here’s why you should consider military-grade camping gear—whether you’re heading out for a day hike or a week in the backcountry.
You really have to try hard to damage this gear. Time-tested by the military, the U.S. Forest Service, and everyone in between, the hardware and materials on military-grade camping gear are as durable as they come.
Zippers and seams are some of the most fragile parts of outdoor gear items, on everything from shelters to sleeping bags. Rest assured that this gear doesn’t cut corners with these components, and the items you choose will be able to handle whatever gnarly backcountry situation, campsite, or terrain you find yourself in. Products like Catoma’s Burrow—which has been fielded to over a half million US troops—have lended their mil-spec DNA to other Catoma tents like the Falcon SpeeDome Shelter, featuring updated materials like a ripstop nylon tub floor, and ultra-durable nylon webbing for attaching the fly.
Whether that’s the tent zippers, webbing attachments, buckles, or the fabric itself, you can be sure that the camping gear you use will have your back through the entire endeavor and be ready for the next one.
Are you the kind of camper who appreciates functionality and doesn’t need all the bells, whistles, and added confusion when setting up your tent or unpacking your bag? Gear designed for the highest level of performance is pared down to the essentials, and you can be sure the intended use is the focus of the item.
Flashlights and headlamps, for example, eliminate extraneous features, streamlining the settings to only what you need. Military-grade packs amp up the comfort for long-distance carries while providing just enough storage and organization to keep your items where you need them without the need to unzip a dozen pockets to find your snacks. Preferences vary from one person to the next, but there’s something for everyone with these systems. Whether your shelter choice dictates comfort and space (like the Eagle) or quick-deployment versatility (like the Badger) you’ll find your ideal setup with military-grade items, or perhaps discover something entirely new.
If you need to cover miles in the backcountry, you’ll want items that can fit in a pack and deploy quickly once at your campsite. Looking to go fast and light with a minimalist approach to your shelter system? A tarp system might be the perfect fit. Need to throw a quick groundsheet down to protect the site? The spacious, ultra-durable Wolverine Groundsheet can be used in conjunction with the tent setup or spread out on its own to provide an extra layer of protection from the ground and a space to set up camp.
Bright colors are fun, but sometimes you just don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb at your stealth site. Many of the big-ticket items in military-grade camping gear are built with earth-tone materials that provide natural concealment in the woods, desert, or mountainous regions.
Don’t get caught unprepared! Military grade shelters and gear are perfect for including in a bug-out bag or disaster preparedness kit because of their long-term durability. Military gear brands and Military-specific retailers offer a treasure trove of preparedness essentials. Not only will you find the major items to get by in the backcountry, but extra gear you might not have thought of when compiling your initial list. Carrying a space blanket, spare firestarter in a watertight container, an emergency shelter, and a functional first aid kit will only be beneficial as you continue to seek adventure in the outdoors. Many military outlets have ready-made survival kits perfect for stashing in the vehicle during front-country camping excursions, or portable enough to add to your pack. These survival kits take care of the emergency shelter and blanket, first aid kit, and water treatment all in one handy package.
Written by RootsRated Media for Catoma.
Featured image provided by Catoma