I love camping equipment. Not so much to buy, but to look at in stores, feel them, smell them in person or gawk at in online shops. I think I have everything I'll actually need in virtually every camping scenario I can imagine, but for some reason, I can't get enough of camping equipment. At least in my sensory range, if not to actually take with me while camping.
Camping has been a part of my life whenever I have a moment. Those moments are fewer and far in between these days, but I try to absorb nature whenever I can. One thing I've noticed about the camping community is the trend for ever more elaborate, advanced, and tactical equipment. They're a lot of fun to look at; Even more fun to touch and feel. But I can't help but wonder how much of it will be of actual use in most camping situations.
Most of my outdoor clothing is either a bland shade of brown, gray, or black. Since I don't hunt, I've felt camouflage was a tad excessive. Besides, if there's an emergency, I'd rather be as noticeable as possible. But maybe because of the significant overlap of camping and hunting, a lot of outdoor gear is heavily leaning toward the tactical sphere. Tactical stoves, tactical knives, tactical med kits, tactical fire starters.
The infiltration of "tactical" into camping is an interesting change from the early days when most of things were just called "handy". A lot of the military essence has been trickling into everyday things and lingo and I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, the cool factor is undeniable. On the other, I'm a civilian. How likely is it that I'll ever need a tactical shovel, for example. Even firearms seem to be a louder presence in camping these days and many of them are far more tactical than a typical hunting rifle of yesteryear.
I've never carried a firearm into the woods. I don't own a gun and have no plans to aquire one in the immediate future, but I can understand how some people may feel that need when entering the domain of dangerous wild animals. I have camped in bear country quite a bit and it can be a worry even when you don't see one roaming about. In fact, it's when you don't see any, except their footprints and scat, that you really feel nervous at night. I can see how a rifle can give enormous comfort in such a scenario. Not being a gun guy, I don't know how tactical a gun needs to be to defend yourself against bears. I'm sure there's a point of diminishing returns.
The weather is warming up so it's past the point I'll feel comfortable packing bread while camping in New York for days at a time. That's a shame, because there's a lot of comfort in making yourself a sandwich in front of a tactical fire.