I’ve only ever been able to find super-pro wild camping kit lists online, and while I find them useful, the kit they include is often so expensive, and I’m just not sure I need it all.
So I wanted to share my more amateur kit list, which I hope is useful for rookie adventurers. Here’s a deep-dive look into everything I took to go wild camping in Kent. I carried all of this on my back for a 10-mile section of the High Weald Landscape Trail. Some of the kit is new stuff, stuff that I’m happy with, some is borrowed and other bits are things I picked up from around the house.
I think I got my packing list mostly right – I’d probably ditch some of the night-time layers and my book and throw in a compass next time I do a wild camping trip. For more detail on what was in my pack, keep reading.
(Click on the image to view in full size)
1. The pack (and some miscellaneous items)
Osprey Sirrus 50, £130
This is the first proper backpacking pack I’ve ever owned, and I’m really pleased with the choice I made. I went for an Osprey because the brand has a pretty solid reputation, and after doing some reading around I chose a 50-litre capacity pack which I am hoping can accompany me on bigger trips than this one-nighter in the future.
It’s designed for women which means it has a nice, comfy fit (not too much rubbing on the hips, although I did have one raw patch the next morning). There’s so many zips, buckles and compartments in this bag that you could find an efficient way to carry even the most awkward objects – I had my sleeping bag clipped on the bottom half of the bag and it stayed put.
This lil’ guy came free with the pack, and it was handy enough to have with me on the walk and let me use the side pockets on my pack for snacks instead of bottles of water. I couldn’t help but think it’s too small to be useful on a longer walk, though. I’d finished the water by the time we got to camp, so unless you know you can refill daily, I’d get a bigger one.
I also took with me a decent camera and a book. The camera got lots of use, but the book not so much. I’d probably only take a book again if I was going on a solo trip, not that it was particularly heavy.
Trangia 27-1UL stove, £57.50
This was leant to me by a pal, and I’ve taken it on other trips before too. It’s a lightweight, compact stove. I realise I’ve not pictured the fuel! We took a small amount in a little bottle, probably no more than 200ml, which was enough to use the stove three times (dinner, coffee and breakfast). I feel the fuel runs out quickly on this stove, so I’m not sure I’d purchase this myself. I’m still on the lookout!
I also picked up cutlery, coffee, mugs and matches from around the house.
Hi Gear Ion 2 two-man tent
This is marketed as a festival tent, which makes sense that the friend who gave it to me had only ever used it for trips to Bestival. Don’t worry – it was clean when it got handed over to me. It’s a good enough tent, easy to put up and packs away quite small, but I don’t think it’s available to purchase any more. I will probably invest in a better and hopefully lighter tent in the future.
I got this sleeping bag last year and I thought it was rubbish. But actually, that was just me being silly: I was trying to sleep in it and a bivvy, while wild camping in the Lea Valley in October last year. No wonder I was so freaking cold. I’m not sure what it’s comfort rating is, but it was fine this time. The temperature was around 10 degrees Celsius at night.
I don’t have too much to report here – I took some cash, my bank cards, some first aid bits and pieces, a phone charger and lots of sun cream. I had blister plasters with me which were such a lifesaver.
So aside from what I wore on the day and my boots (my Goretex Scarpa boots, I love them), I took a pair of leggings, a top and a swimsuit.
I also took my Rains jacket, a super-light raincoat that’s fully waterproof. You can probably find something cheaper, but I like that this one works for the campsite and regular life; I love the style.
This was simply a bunch of extra clothing that I could layer up at night as needed. I had a light, long-sleeve top, a big wooly jumper, some enormous fleece-lined socks (I think these are actually my Dad’s..) and a cheap hat I got for another camping trip last year. I had spare socks and pants for the morning.
Have you guys tried any of this kit, or have any favourite items of your own?