Gearing Up

The Boy Scouts had it right: Be prepared. When it comes to outdoor adventure, Bryan Wolf of Milford’s Roads Rivers and Trails can help with that.

Bryan Wolf doesn’t want only to equip you for your next adventure, he wants to inspire it as well. The co-owner of Roads Rivers and Trails in Milford can help you make the big decisions when it comes to buying your camping essentials. We asked for his advice on three big items that could make or break your trip. 

Backpack: Backpacks may appear to be the same size, but pay close attention to how much weight they can carry and how many liters of room they afford. It’s also important to make sure you’re comfortable wearing it. “You don’t want to take shortcuts when choosing a backpack,” says Wolf. “You want it custom-fit.” Price Range: $200–$300

Sleeping Bag: 
You don’t have to worry about a particular size, as most sleeping bags are universal. Wolf does recommend a 15- to 30-degree bag, meaning you should be comfortable down to that temperature. Also, buy a sleeping mat, which will help insulate you from the ground and provide additional comfort. Price Range: $100–$400

Tent: Wolf steers customers toward low-profile, heavy-duty, waterproof tents. Also, be sure the tarp you buy to place underneath doesn’t extend beyond the tent’s width or water will get trapped between the two. “Buying a tent shouldn’t be a frequent purchase, but rather a 10-year-or-so purchase,” Wolf says, adding customers should keep in mind how many people you’ll need room for, not only now, but in the future. Price Range: $175–$400

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Shop Local
These Buckeye State companies can help get you ready to hit the trail, bunk down and fuel up.

Hammock Gear: Since 2009, this Reynoldsburg business has been keeping hammock campers warm with its made-to-order goose- or duck-down insulation quilts. It also sells hammocks, tarps and accessories.

Rocky Brands: Founded in 1932, this Nelsonville footwear company is still family-owned and -operated. Its diverse and durable lineup of outdoor and work boots are all designed in southeast Ohio. 

Katie’s Premium Jerky & Snacks: What started as a hobby has become a full-fledged business for Katie Levesque. Her Hilliard-based company makes more than 40 jerky flavors, ranging from mild to seriously spicy. We’d go with her original flavor for fueling up on the trail.

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