Essential Camping Gear for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide Crafted Just For You
This is our review of Essential Camping Gear for Beginners for 2023. I spend 3 days creating this article. Let’s Get Started.
Unraveling the world of camping can feel like an uphill climb, particularly when it comes to understanding what gear is truly essential. But imagine if you had a guide, a result of three intensive days of research, tailored specifically for beginners like you.
Well, you’re in luck. I’ve delved deep into the realm of camping gear and emerged with this indispensable guide on essential camping gear for beginners. This isn’t just an article, but a trusty roadmap to your first adventure into the great outdoors. So, gear up, and let’s embark on this journey together.
Table of Contents
At the heart of this adventure lies your tent, your home away from home. It acts as your shelter, your cocoon, and your private space in the great outdoors. Choosing the right tent can be the difference between a memorable experience and a regrettable one.
Types of Tents
The world of tents is diverse, offering options to suit every need, from battling high winds to maximizing living space.
- Dome Tents: Dome tents excel in windy conditions due to their unique design. Their robust structure provides excellent resistance to the wind, ensuring a sturdy shelter during stormy nights.
- Tunnel Tents: These tents strike a brilliant balance between weight and space. Tunnel tents are renowned for their impressive space-to-weight ratio, making them perfect for backpackers who want to travel light without compromising on space.
- Cabin Tents: If you’re after the feeling of home in the wilderness, cabin tents are your best bet. Their near-vertical walls optimize the living space, providing room for you to move around comfortably.
Choosing Your Tent: Factors to Consider
Picking a tent is not as simple as choosing the most attractive one. There are crucial factors to keep in mind to ensure you make the right choice.
- Size: Tent sizes can be misleading. A “two-person” tent may seem like it can accommodate two people comfortably, but in reality, it is often just enough for one person and their gear. Consider the number of occupants and the amount of gear when deciding on the size.
- Weight: If backpacking is on your agenda, weight should be a top priority. Lightweight tents make your trek easier and more enjoyable.
- Seasonality: 3-season tents are the jack-of-all-trades in the tent world. They offer versatility, providing sufficient protection across spring, summer, and fall.
- Ease of Setup: A complex setup process can be frustrating, especially for beginners. Opt for tents that are user-friendly and require minimal time to erect, like the Coleman Sundome or the REI Camp Dome.
Remember, your tent is more than just a shelter. It’s a haven that keeps you safe, secure, and comfortable as you immerse yourself in the wild. By considering these factors, you’ll be well-equipped to choose a tent that enhances your camping experience.
2. Sleeping Bag
Sleep is an essential part of our well-being, and that doesn’t change when we’re out in the wild. Amidst the thrilling adventures and breathtaking scenery, a good night’s sleep is vital to recharge and make the most of your camping experience. At the core of this restful slumber is your sleeping bag. Designed to keep you warm and cozy, it acts as your snug cocoon under the starry sky.
Types of Sleeping Bags
Sleeping bags offer a variety of designs, each with unique features catering to different camping conditions and personal preferences.
- Mummy Sleeping Bags: Mummy bags are the superheroes of heat retention. Their design adheres closely to your body, minimizing the amount of air your body needs to warm up. Their lightweight nature makes them a favorite among backpackers.
- Rectangular Sleeping Bags: If you’re after space and comfort, rectangular sleeping bags are the way to go. They provide ample room, allowing you to stretch and turn freely.
- Quilt Sleeping Bags: Quilt bags offer versatility and lightness, making them an excellent option for those who value adaptability. They can open fully like a blanket or be cinched up when the temperature drops.
Choosing Your Sleeping Bag: Factors to Consider
Choosing the right sleeping bag requires more than just picking the fluffiest one. Here are some key considerations to guide your selection.
- Temperature Rating: The temperature rating of a sleeping bag is a critical determinant of its suitability. Choose a bag rated for the lowest temperature you expect to encounter. It’s better to be prepared for the coldest scenario than to shiver through the night.
- Insulation Type: Sleeping bags come with different types of insulation, each with its own set of advantages. Synthetic insulation is a cost-effective choice that performs well in damp conditions, making it ideal for wet-weather camping.
- Shape and Size: The shape of your sleeping bag can impact both your comfort and the bag’s efficiency in retaining heat. Size is equally important, as a well-fitted sleeping bag provides the best insulation. Always ensure the sleeping bag suits your body shape and size for maximum comfort.
Remember, your sleeping bag is a pivotal part of your camping gear. It ensures that every day on the trail begins with a warm, restful sleep.
3. Sleeping Pad
A sleeping pad is more than just a luxurious add-on to your camping gear; it’s an essential gear for beginners, it offers both comfort and insulation from the cold ground. The right sleeping pad can transform a rocky terrain into a comfortable bed, ensuring a good night’s sleep even in the most challenging conditions.
Types of Sleeping Pads
There are several types of sleeping pads, each offering unique advantages. It’s essential to choose one that suits your needs and the nature of your camping trip.
- Air Pads: These are lightweight and offer excellent comfort. They require inflation, allowing you to adjust their firmness. However, they are prone to punctures and may not provide enough insulation in colder environments.
- Self-Inflating Pads: These are a mix of open-cell foam insulation and air. They provide a balance of comfort, weight, and insulation. They self-inflate to a point, but you can add a few breaths to reach your desired firmness.
- Closed-Cell Foam Pads: These are the simplest and most durable type. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and offer good insulation. However, they may not be as comfortable as the other options.
Choosing the Right Sleeping Pad
When selecting a sleeping pad, keep the following factors in mind:
- Thickness: Generally, the thicker the sleeping pad, the more comfortable it will be. However, this might add to the weight and packed size.
- Weight: If you’re backpacking, every ounce counts. Look for lightweight options that don’t compromise too much on comfort and insulation.
- R-Value: This is a measure of the pad’s resistance to heat flow, indicating its insulation capability. The higher the R-value, the better the pad will insulate you from the cold ground.
- Durability: Consider the terrain where you’ll be camping. If it’s rocky or rugged, you’ll need a more durable pad to withstand potential punctures.
Recommended Sleeping Pads for Beginners
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT: This air pad is ultralight, compact, and has a high R-value, making it an excellent option for backpacking in various climates.
- Sea to Summit Ether Light XT Insulated: This self-inflating pad offers a good balance between comfort, weight, and insulation. It’s versatile and suitable for different camping conditions.
Remember, a good sleeping pad not only ensures a comfortable night’s sleep but also boosts your energy levels.
A backpack is your primary storage when camping. It allows you to efficiently organize and transport your gear. There are internal frame backpacks (They have a sleeker shape and more features than external frame backpacks. It is great for load stability and carrying heavy weights), External frame backpacks (They provide good ventilation and lots of storage space), and Daypacks (suitable for short trips).
A crucial aspect to consider when choosing your camping backpack is its capacity, which is typically measured in liters or cubic inches. The capacity you need should directly correspond with the length of your trip and the amount of gear you plan to bring.
- Trip Length: If you’re planning a multi-day or week-long camping trip, you’ll need a backpack with a larger capacity to accommodate your gear, food, and clothing. On the other hand, for a day trip or an overnight stay, a smaller capacity backpack would suffice.
- Amount of Gear: The amount and type of gear you carry also play a significant role in determining the appropriate backpack capacity. For instance, winter camping generally requires more and bulkier gear compared to summer camping.
So, make sure to evaluate your specific needs before settling on a backpack. Choosing the right capacity will ensure you can carry everything you need comfortably, making your camping experience more enjoyable and less of a hassle.
Fit for Your Backpack
When choosing a backpack for your camping adventure, one essential factor to consider is the fit. It’s not just about the size, but how well it aligns with your unique body specifications.
- Torso Length: First and foremost, your backpack should match your torso length. A well-fitted backpack will sit comfortably on your back without straining your shoulders or causing discomfort.
- Hip Size: The hip belt of the backpack plays a crucial role in distributing the weight. Ensure that the backpack you choose fits snugly around your hips.
- Gender and Body Shape: Finally, consider your gender and body shape. Many backpacks are designed specifically for men or women, taking into account the differences in body shape for optimal comfort and fit.
By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that the backpack you choose will not only carry your gear but do so in a way that maximizes comfort and minimizes strain on your journey.
Comfort and Features
When it comes to selecting the perfect backpack for camping, two critical aspects that often get overlooked are comfort and features. These two factors can make or break your camping experience.
- Comfort: This is a non-negotiable when you’re carrying your life on your back for extended periods. Look for these comfort-enhancing attributes:
- Padded Shoulder Straps: These ensure that the weight is evenly distributed across your shoulders, reducing the strain.
- Padded Back: A padded back provides extra comfort, especially during long hikes, and promotes better ventilation.
- Waist Belt: A well-fitted waist belt shifts the weight from your shoulders to your hips, making the load feel lighter and easing your movement.
- Features: The features of a backpack are the cherry on top, providing added convenience for your camping trip. Some of the handy features to look out for include:
- Pockets: Multiple pockets, both internal and external, are essential for easy access and organization of your gear.
- Attachment Points: These allow you to attach additional gear on the outside of the pack, such as trekking poles or a sleeping bag.
- Rain Cover: A built-in or separate rain cover is a lifesaver during unexpected downpours, keeping your gear dry and safe.
Remember, the goal is not just to carry your gear from point A to B, but to do so most comfortably and efficiently possible. So, don’t underestimate the importance of comfort and handy features when choosing your camping backpack.
Some recommended backpacks for beginners include the Osprey Atmos and the Deuter Aircontact. The Osprey Atmos and the Deuter Aircontact are stellar options. These are both internal frame backpacks, specifically designed for multi-day excursions, as opposed to the more compact daypacks.
These robust backpacks boast large capacities of 50-70 liters, making them a top pick for adventurers who need plenty of space for their gear. With comfortable suspension systems, they are built to distribute the weight evenly across your body, preventing discomfort even when fully loaded.
What sets these backpacks apart is their multiple pockets and compartments. They’re perfect for keeping your gear well-organized, making it easier for you to find exactly what you need when you need it.
However, keep in mind that these backpacks may not be the best choice for shorter trips. They might come across as too heavy and bulky for quick getaways or lightweight camping experiences.
Cooking is an integral part of the camping experience, and a camping stove can make that experience easier and more enjoyable. A camping stove is a portable device that allows you to cook meals and boil water conveniently in the great outdoors. Whether you’re preparing a hearty breakfast or boiling water for a freeze-dried dinner, a camping stove is a tool you can rely on.
Types of Camping Stoves
There are several types of camping stoves available, each with its advantages and disadvantages:
- Canister Stoves: These are compact, lightweight, and easy to use, making them popular among backpackers. They utilize isobutane-propane fuel canisters that are readily available at outdoor gear stores.
- Liquid Fuel Stoves: These stoves are versatile and perform well in cold weather, making them suitable for winter camping or high-altitude adventures. They run on liquid fuel, usually, white gas, which is sold in refillable bottles.
- Wood-Burning Stoves: These stoves offer the charm of a traditional campfire without the environmental impact. You can use twigs, leaves, and other organic materials as fuel, eliminating the need to carry fuel with you.
Choosing the Right Camping Stove
When picking out a camping stove, consider the following factors:
- Fuel Type: The most common type of fuel is isobutane-propane canisters, but there are also options like liquid fuel and wood. Choose the one that best suits your camping conditions and personal preferences.
- Weight: If you’re backpacking, you’ll want to opt for a lighter stove. Canister stoves are generally the lightest, while liquid fuel stoves and wood-burning stoves are heavier.
- Efficiency: Consider how quickly the stove can boil water. This can be an important factor if you’re cooking for a group or if you need to melt snow for drinking water.
- Reliability: Ensure the stove is from a reputable brand and has positive reviews. A reliable stove can be a lifesaver in the wilderness.
- MSR PocketRocket: A compact and lightweight canister stove known for its fast boiling time and reliability.
- Jetboil Flash: This integrated canister stove system is efficient, easy to use, and ideal for boiling water quickly.
A camping stove, while small, can significantly enhance your outdoor experience, turning mealtime into a highlight of your adventure.
Camping cookware is an essential part of your outdoor gear, enabling you to prepare, cook, and enjoy meals in the great outdoors. This category encompasses a wide range of items, including pots, pans, cups, bowls, utensils, and complete mess kits. The key is to find cookware that is durable, lightweight, easy to clean, and fits your specific needs.
The material of your camping cookware plays a significant role in its performance:
- Aluminum: Known for its lightweight and heat-conductive properties, aluminum cookware is a great option for backpacking. It is also typically more affordable.
- Stainless Steel: If durability is a priority, stainless steel is a good choice. It’s heavier than aluminum but can withstand rough handling and is less likely to dent or scratch.
Considerations When Choosing Your Cookware
When selecting your camping cookware, several factors should guide your decision:
- Weight: If you’re backpacking, every ounce matters. Opt for lightweight materials like aluminum or titanium to keep your pack light.
- Size: The size of your cookware should match the amount of food you plan to cook. If you’re cooking for a group, you’ll need larger pots and pans.
- Versatility: The more versatile your cookware, the fewer pieces you’ll need to carry. A pot, for instance, can double up as a bowl, reducing the need for extra items.
- Ease of Cleaning: When camping, you won’t have access to a full kitchen sink. Therefore, choose cookware that’s easy to clean, with non-stick surfaces being a good option.
Cookware Recommendations for Beginners
- GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Cookset: This set is made from lightweight, durable aluminum and includes pots, a frypan, cups, and plates. Its non-stick coating makes cleaning a breeze.
- Sea to Summit X Set: This innovative set features collapsible silicone pots and bowls, making it compact and highly portable. It’s lightweight, easy to clean, and perfect for backpacking.
Remember, the goal of your camping cookware is to make your outdoor cooking experience enjoyable and hassle-free. Therefore, choose pieces that best suit your personal preferences and the nature of your camping trips.
7. Water Filter
A water filter is a must-have for any camping enthusiast. It allows you to purify water from streams, rivers, and lakes, ensuring you have safe, clean drinking water throughout your adventure. With several types of water filters available, including pump filters, squeeze filters, and straw filters, finding the right one for you can seem daunting. But, by considering factors such as flow rate, weight, ease of use, and durability, you can make an informed decision.
Understanding Different Types of Water Filters
- Pump Filters: Renowned for their reliability and efficiency, pump filters allow you to purify a significant amount of water at a time, making them suitable for group camping.
- Squeeze Filters: These are lightweight and easy to use, making them a favorite among backpackers. You simply fill up a pouch with water and squeeze it through the filter.
- Straw Filters: With straw filters, you can drink directly from the water source. They are compact and extremely lightweight, ideal for minimalistic backpackers or as a backup water treatment method.
Key Considerations When Choosing Your Water Filter
- Flow Rate: This refers to how fast the filter can purify water. If you’re in a group or need to filter large amounts of water, a higher flow rate will be beneficial.
- Weight: For backpacking, lighter is generally better. Squeeze and straw filters tend to be the lightest options.
- Ease of Use: You want a filter that’s easy to operate, particularly in outdoor conditions where you might be dealing with cold or fatigue.
- Durability: Your water filter is a lifeline, so it needs to be durable and reliable. Look for filters with robust constructions and good reputations.
Water Filter Recommendations for Beginners
- Sawyer Mini: This versatile squeeze filter is lightweight, compact, and can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water. It can be attached to a drinking pouch or standard disposable water bottles, or you can use the included straw to drink directly from a water source.
- Katadyn Hiker Pro: This pump filter is easy to use and has a fast flow rate, making it a great option for group camping. The activated carbon in the core of the filter improves the taste and smell of the filtered water.
Remember, staying hydrated is crucial when camping, and having a reliable water filter ensures you always have access to clean, safe drinking water. Choose a filter that best fits your needs and enjoy your outdoor adventure with peace of mind.
A headlamp, a piece of essential camping gear for beginners, is a game-changer for any camping adventure. It provides hands-free lighting, invaluable when setting up camp in the dark, cooking, or embarking on a night walk. With a range of headlamps on the market, including LED headlamps, halogen headlamps, and rechargeable headlamps, the choice can feel overwhelming. But by considering factors like brightness, battery life, weight, and additional features, you can find the perfect headlamp for your needs.
Understanding Different Types of Headlamps
- LED Headlamps: These are well-known for their efficiency and durability. LED headlamps offer excellent light output while consuming less power, extending battery life.
- Halogen Headlamps: While these can be brighter than LEDs, they consume more power. This means you might need to carry extra batteries for longer trips.
- Rechargeable Headlamps: Eco-friendly and cost-effective in the long run, these headlamps can be recharged via a USB connection, making them a great choice for regular campers.
Key Considerations When Choosing Your Headlamp
- Brightness: Measured in lumens, the brightness of your headlamp directly affects how well you can see in the dark. More lumens equate to brighter light, but remember, brighter lights often consume more power.
- Battery Life: This determines how long you can use your headlamp between charges or battery replacements. LED headlamps often offer a good balance of brightness and battery life.
- Weight: Especially important for backpacking, a lighter headlamp will be more comfortable to wear over extended periods.
- Additional Features: Multiple lighting modes (like a red light for night vision or a strobe for emergencies), and water resistance can enhance the functionality of your headlamp.
Headlamp Recommendations for Beginners
- Black Diamond Spot: With its high lumen output, adjustable brightness settings, and water resistance, this headlamp is both versatile and reliable.
- Petzl Tikkina: This headlamp offers three brightness levels and is straightforward to use, making it ideal for beginners. Its long battery life is also a significant advantage.
Remember, a reliable headlamp can make your camping experience safer and more enjoyable. By considering your needs and preferences, you can find the perfect headlamp to light up your outdoor adventures.
9. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit, an essential piece of camping gear, is a collection of supplies and equipment for administering first aid. It’s indispensable for treating minor injuries and illnesses that may occur during your camping trip. There are various types of first aid kits, including basic kits, comprehensive kits, and specialized kits, each catering to different needs and situations.
Understanding Different Types of First Aid Kits
- Basic Kits: Ideal for dealing with small cuts, blisters, and burns. They usually contain bandages, antiseptic wipes, and basic tools like tweezers.
- Comprehensive Kits: These kits are equipped to handle more serious injuries and ailments. They contain all items in basic kits and additional items such as splints, wound dressings, and specific medications.
- Specialized Kits: Geared towards specific activities or conditions, such as snake bite kits or high-altitude kits.
Key Considerations When Choosing Your First Aid Kit
- Contents: A first aid kit should contain essential items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, medical tape, and pain relievers. Depending on the nature of your trip, you might need additional items like splints or specific medications.
- Size and Weight: Your first aid kit should be compact enough to fit in your backpack without consuming too much space. At the same time, it should be large enough to hold all the necessary supplies.
- Expiration Dates: Ensure to check the expiration dates of included medications. Expired medications can be ineffective or, in some cases, harmful.
First Aid Kit Recommendations for Beginners
- Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight: This kit is compact, lightweight, and comes with essential supplies for treating common outdoor injuries. It’s an excellent choice for short trips.
- Surviveware Small First Aid Kit: Slightly larger, this kit is well-organized and includes an array of supplies for treating various injuries and ailments. It is durable and water-resistant, making it suitable for all weather conditions.
Remember, safety should always be a priority when camping. A suitable first aid kit can make a significant difference in an emergency, ensuring minor incidents don’t escalate into major problems. Consider your specific needs and choose a kit that will best cater to them.
In the realm of outdoor adventures, a camping knife is a versatile tool that serves numerous purposes, from food preparation, cutting rope, or bandages, to emergency-related uses such as fire-making. The types of camping knives on the market include fixed-blade knives, folding-blade knives, and multitools, each with its unique characteristics and uses.
Understanding Different Types of Camping Knives
- Fixed Blade Knives: These knives are known for their durability and strength. They are more robust and less likely to break under pressure, making them ideal for heavy-duty tasks.
- Folding Blade Knives: These knives are compact and safe, thanks to their folding mechanism. They are perfect for campers and hikers who prioritize space and safety.
- Multitools: These are Swiss army knives of the camping world. They include additional tools like a can opener, screwdriver, or scissors, providing multiple functions in one compact device.
Key Considerations When Choosing Your Camping Knife
- Blade Length: Shorter blades offer better control and precision, while longer blades are more versatile and can handle larger tasks. Choose the length based on your expected needs.
- Material: Stainless steel is rust-resistant and requires less maintenance, while carbon steel holds a sharp edge better, making it ideal for tasks requiring precision.
- Edge Type: Fine-edge blades are better for clean cuts and precision work, whereas serrated edges work well for sawing materials or tasks requiring more robust force.
- Handle Material and Design: The handle should be comfortable and provide a good grip to prevent accidents. Materials can range from rubber for better grip to wood for durability.
Beginner-Friendly Camping Knife Recommendation
- Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Knife: This knife is an excellent choice for beginners. It has a robust fixed blade, and a comfortable handle, and comes with a handy sheath for safety and convenience.
Selecting the right camping knife is essential for a successful camping trip. Consider your specific needs, the nature of your activities, and personal comfort when choosing the perfect camping knife. With the right knife, you can enhance your camping experience and ensure you’re prepared for various outdoor tasks.
In conclusion, camping is a delightful way to reconnect with nature, reduce stress, and have fun. However, to ensure a safe and enjoyable camping experience, it’s crucial to have the right gear. This guide has introduced you to the 10 essential camping gear for beginners, including a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, stove, cookware, water filter, headlamp, first aid kit, and a knife.
Remember, the “right” gear for you depends on various factors, including your specific needs, preferences, and the nature of your camping trip. Therefore, take your time to choose items that best suit your requirements, and feel free to seek advice from more experienced campers or outdoor gear specialists.
Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, it’s time to gear up and head out on your first camping adventure! We’d love to hear about your experiences, thoughts, or any questions you may have. Feel free to share them in the comments section or on our social media channels.
What To Do Next?
Congratulations! You’ve taken your first step into the exciting world of camping by equipping yourself with the knowledge of essential gear. But don’t stop here.
There’s a whole world of adventure waiting for you!
We have a plethora of other camping guides on our website that delve deeper into each piece of camping gear, best practices, safety tips, and location-specific advice. So, if you’re hungry for more knowledge and want to be the best-prepared camper you can be, don’t hesitate!
Remember, knowledge is power, and in the great outdoors, it can also mean the difference between a good camping trip and a great one.
Time is of the essence!
Summer is just around the corner, and the perfect season for camping is almost upon us. Every moment you delay could be a moment you could be spending planning your next big adventure, or even better, being out there in the wilderness. So, act now!
Join our community!
We urge you to join our community of like-minded outdoors enthusiasts. We share stories, advice, and experiences, and we’d love to hear about your first camping trip when the time comes.
The smell of the wild, the crackle of the campfire, and the peace that comes with being one with nature; that’s what await you. So, go on, dive deeper, and become the seasoned camper you’re destined to be.
Visit our Camping Guides now and take your next step towards your first camping adventure. The wild is calling, will you answer?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most essential camping gear for beginners?
The most essential camping gear for beginners includes a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, stove, cookware, water filter, headlamp, first aid kit, and a knife. Each of these items serves a specific purpose and contributes to your safety, comfort, and convenience during your camping trip.
How do I choose the right tent for camping?
When choosing a tent for camping, consider factors like size, weight, seasonality, and ease of setup. The size should be enough to accommodate the number of campers. The weight should be manageable, especially if you’ll be hiking to your camping site. Seasonality refers to the tent’s ability to withstand different weather conditions. Lastly, the tent should be relatively easy to set up, especially for beginners.
What are some good sleeping bags for camping beginners?
Good sleeping bags for beginners include the Kelty Cosmic and the Nemo Forte. When choosing a sleeping bag, consider the temperature rating, insulation type, shape, and size. The temperature rating should match the coldest temperature you expect to encounter. The insulation can be down (light and efficient, but not good when wet) or synthetic (heavier but performs better when wet).
Why do I need a water filter for camping?
A water filter is essential for camping because it purifies water from natural sources, making it safe to drink. When choosing a water filter, consider the flow rate, weight, ease of use, and durability.
What type of knife is best for camping?
The best type of knife for camping is a matter of personal preference, but generally, a good camping knife serves multiple purposes, is made from durable material, and has a comfortable and secure grip. Fixed-blade knives are more durable while folding-blade knives are compact and safe. Multitools are also a good option as they come with additional tools that can be useful in camping.
How can I learn more about camping gear and techniques?
Our website offers a range of camping guides that delve deeper into each piece of camping gear, best practices, safety tips, and location-specific advice. We also have a community of outdoors enthusiasts where you can share and learn from others’ experiences.