© 2023 KRCU Public Radio
90.9 Cape Girardeau | 88.9-HD Ste. Genevieve | 88.7 Poplar Bluff
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Every week, join Sydney Waters as she helps you navigate life as a smart consumer. You'll cover everything in avoiding the latest scams, including phishing emails, medical equipment fraud, understanding layaway, hiring a reputable tax preparer, and even digital spring cleaning. Add to your toolbox and flip through your Consumer Handbook Thursdays during NPR’s Morning Edition at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., only on KRCU.

Consumer Handbook: Finding the Right Camping Gear

Photo of a young couple and their dog camping in the woods on a beautiful autumn day; spending time outdoors and appreciating nature.
AleksandarNakic/Getty Images
Photo of a young couple and their dog camping in the woods on a beautiful autumn day; spending time outdoors and appreciating nature.

As the final days of summer sweep in, you may be planning a camping trip to close out the season. The right gear can make your camping trip a lot more comfortable, but it’s hard to know what you’ll need and where to get it. The price of high-quality gear can also add up quickly.

It’s tempting to try to find a deal online, but be wary of any prices that seem too good to be true. Scammers sometimes try to lure in shoppers with an outrageous deal.

BBB’s tips for buying camping gear:

  • Start with the Ten Essentials. The Ten Essentials are a collection of basic first aid and emergency gear recommended by the National Park Service for camping or outdoor activities. They’re a good starting point to make sure you’re prepared for unexpected events like minor injuries, delays or weather changes.
  • Pick the right gear for your plans. For example, if you’re boating, you'll want life jackets; if you’re hiking, you may need extra water. Check the weather and pack accordingly. If you’re heading to a state or national park, check the park’s website to learn more about it before you go.
  • Check your budget. Know your budget before you shop – if you need to cut costs, it might mean compromising on a brand name product. You may also be able to save money by borrowing or renting the priciest items, like tents and sleeping bags.
  • Shop safely online. Deals that seem TOO good to be true could signal a scam. Stick to reputable sellers, shop around and read return policies carefully before you buy.
  • Read reviews. Check to see if other shoppers are saying the product is durable and high quality.
  • Take your new gear for a test drive. No one wants to be struggling to set up a new tent in the dark. Practice before you go – that way you’ll have more time to focus on roasting marshmallows.
Sydney Waters is the new Regional Director of Better Business Bureau in Cape Girardeau and responsible for outreach efforts in Southern Illinois and Eastern and Southwest Missouri.