Campsite camping near a parked minivan loaded with stuff is certainly a different thing than backpacking, and my first round of gear purchasing in 2010 was for the Pinchot Trail backpacking trip in upstate Pennsylvania. Last year I picked up a few more things for the Dakotas, but that exercise was really more about making sure I had the proper quantity of clothing for a 9 day trip with limited laundry options. For that trip, I relied on others for most of what I did not have. Some of that will be the case this time as well; I don't see the need to go out and purchase a 2-man tent as long as Dave has room for me in his again (and by virtue of being able to claim familial prerogative, I hope he will...).
Thinking about what I could potentially buy, it really comes down to a few odds and ends, but nothing of real substance, as the core pieces of my gear are perfectly adequate as is.
- I could use a small camp lantern, the kind that is about the size of your fist and weighs next to nothing, runs on small batteries, and puts out an adequate amount of light for most general purposes.
- A few extra pieces of base layer clothing, even for warmer weather. Hypothermia. Not good.
- I don't think I have a pair of rain pants; I should.
The main thing that I want to do in the way of prep for this trip (other than lose a few pounds that have crept back and get my legs in better hiking shape) is to spend some time looking at cooking options (equipment and recipes) in order to be able to make some camp meals that are a step up from meal after meal of burgers and hot dogs. The idea of buying and taking cooking gear in limited space on a plane was not very practical, but this is a driving trip, so that opens up some possibilities that weren't there before. If nothing else, it gives me something fun to look into...