Outdoor camping gear is designed to be rugged, lightweight, and waterproof. Most of it anyway: electronic equipment, such as GPS satellite receivers, tends to be more delicate than anything else. And costly–in price and convenience–to replace. Your most precious outdoor camping gear just might be the GPS that will lead you back to the trailhead.

Protect Your Outdoor Camping Gear

Avid campers and hikers will insist that you bring as little gear as possible, especially when you are carrying it on your back. Dehydrated food, convertible pants that zip into shorts, and the smallest toothbrushes you can imagine: everything adds weight, so cut back as much as you can. But when it comes to protecting gears, it’s better to err on the side of safety.

I try to backpack in Yosemite every year, and I’ve experienced a lot. We’ve had bears find our food and run off with almost all of it, leaving us paranoid, upset, and very hungry. We’ve had hours and hours of rain that seemed to never end–we dried off as much as possible and headed home with our wet tails between our legs. You will never know what Mother Nature will have in store.

On backpacking expeditions, your outdoor camping gear is usually all that you have with you–it’s precious and virtually irreplaceable when you’re 10,000 feet above the ocean and miles from another human being. And that far in the bush requires a compass or, better yet, a GPS. If you are bringing such delicate equipment with you, do yourself a favor and bring a waterproof (and bearproof, if possible) case for it; it might be what saves your life.

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