FAQs – What do I pack for camping?
I am often asked by friends and people who are perhaps new to the outdoors; ‘what sort of things do I take camping’. So as part of the regular #RedMatter blogging challenge, I thought I would write a short piece explaining some of the more important basic items that you will always need;
Without a means to shelter you from the wind and rain, you can easily get hypothermia and get into serious trouble. In the UK we can have some pretty damp and horrible weather, so a shelter from the elements is of ultimate importance; as it allows you to survive long enough to worry about the other important things needed to live. Although you can make great shelters out of natural materials, this is not ideal when already raining heavily, so having the ability to put up a quick and easy shelter using a tent, tarp, poncho or even simple plastic sheet is vital.
Tools such as an axe, a knife and a saw provide means to make fire & shelter. With these tools you can for example; process firewood, create a bow drill for firelighting and make the materials needed to build a shelter. Plus you can also use these tools to make many other things to make life more comfortable in the outdoors.
Being able to light a fire can literally be the difference between life and death. Fire can provide warmth and a means to boil water and cook food. I always carry a fire lighting kit and many other ways to create a fire in my gear; e.g fire steels, strikers, lighters, matches & tinder, plus many other goodies..
The means to boil water for basic purification and the ability to cook food is a needed. I always carry at least a canteen style cook pot, titanium spork and a steel mug, plus a small solid fuel burner for emergencies.
Having a source of light is important for when the light fails (obviously!), to avoid both injury and frustration looking for that ‘something’ in the dark’. I have at least 2 torches, a couple of candles and a lightstick. Extra batteries is also a good thing to pack, and I have a wind up head torch packed in for real emergencies.
The human body can survive 3 days without water, so a means to carry and store water when available is a must. I use a hydration bladder and waterbottle for storing and drinking water from. Plus I carry a water filter system and purification tablets for emergencies, so I know I can always have safe water to drink.
So in summary, the above represent the most important items which I always take camping or pretty much whenever I am in the wilds. Obviously there are other items such as clothing, food and sleeping gear which I would also take with me, but maybe I’ll save that for part 2?
I would love to hear any feedback/recommendations for kit etc….
Thanks for reading