Be sure to shop around and identify the need before purchasing a sleeping bag. Man made fillings are generally much cheaper to buy and can be machine washed, spun and tumble dried but do not, on the whole, offer as much warmth as natural fillings, which must be dry cleaned (airing thoroughly before use).
Always purchase a full size bag - you’ll regret it if you don’t when you child grows. If the bag has a zip (and this is not essential), ensure that there is an internal baffle wall to prevent draughts. The warmest covering is cotton, followed by brush polyester -nylon is the coolest. Cotton liners may be added if required, which will save on cleaning bills for down - filled bags.
The wearer must be present to try on a rucksack before it is purchased. Modern rucksacks are fitted first at the waist belt, where most of the weight is taken, and then the shoulder straps are adjusted to fit. Ensure that the rucksack back is not too long to be comfortable. Some of the more expensive ones have adjustable frames. Internal frames are more comfortable and less likely to break- do not use the old A frame rucksacks as these are uncomfortable and awkward to carry. Check that the rucksack is waterproof.
Always wear the socks you will walk in when going to buy hiking boots (two pairs of woollen socks are advisable). Ensure that the boots fit snugly (usually a size larger than normally taken will be needed. Tight boots will be painful and loose ones will cause blisters. Buy boots that fit well and which are suitable for your needs, not just because they look rugged and have nice coloured laces. Be sure to wear in boots before using them.