Since relighting my fire for adventure I feel I need to get some proper camping kit to suit my needs. For the last few trips I have improvised, borrowed or used older heavy older items.
I will be doing some mini breaks, hiking and camping with a dog in tow throughout the UK. Thus any kit needs to be versatile and suitable for the unpredictable weather conditions in the country. The kit may also be taken on to adventures on the continent, probably on a trip to France or Italy.
I will be looking towards the budget end for most things while aiming for quality. This page is my research and brainstorming of ideas before making a buying decision.
I need a tent that is lightweight that sleeps 2 people and a small dog comfortably. This needs to be waterproof and be weather proof so the cheaper “Festival Tents” are out of the window.
Ideally the tent needs one entrance to assist with keeping the dog from escaping without the need for training leads to be used while sleeping. A porch is required for storing kit outside of the main sleeping area, mainly cooking stuff, fuel for barbecue, muddy boots and anything else dirty.
In an ideal world an easy to assemble tent with a separate inner shell would be most desirable. Colour is not important, but on busier sites an unique colour would make find the tent easier. I am drawn to backpacking tents in general as backpacking is my main method of travel between sites.
After a few cold nights on my last camping trip to Coleford in The Forest of Dean I realised new sleeping bags are a must get item. We slept in 20 year old sleeping bags but ended up visiting local charity shops to pick up a thick duvet to ensure we were warm enough for the rest of our adventure.
2 single sleeping bags that are very lightweight and back very tightly are ideal. 3 seasons bags seem the ideal configuration for our camping style, I very much doubt we will venture out in sub-zero conditions.
An overhead hood is a desirable option, the head loses heat the quickest and will save me sleeping with a hat on. Price is important as we wish to keep camping a budget pastime to enjoy the beautiful British countryside.
A double sleeping bag might also be an option, to share body heat, but I’m not sure if this option is lighter. No doubt that will end up in my bag if we choose this option.
2 backpacks are required to carry all of out kit for the trip in hand, I already have a great North Face day bag that I intend to pack inside a new big rucksack. 2 different sized ones are required, possibly a very big 75 litre one and a 50-60 litre one for my partner. Both need the ability to attach the tent or floor mats externally, most I have seen have this function. I love to have a top pocket for important things like wallet and phone so I can grab without removing the rucksack from my back.
I like to sleep in a bit of comfort and a rolled up and lightweight foam mat does the trick, the ones like yoga mats but with insulation in the form of reflective material to stop the ground sucking the heat from me. I am open to other options for comfort but must not take up much space and be lightweight.
I am currently cooking on a portable barbecue that folds up neatly, you can cook with charcoal on it or wood for when using pots and pans to cook or boil water. I plan to stick with this as It was perfect for all cooking on the last trip. Other Items I may need.
- A knife – Suitable for cutting meat, fish and vegetables and a chopping board.
- Cooking Utensils – For stirring and barbecuing, must be lightweight with wooden handles to prevent burns.
- Paper Plates – Very versatile and saves washing up, these are not too heavy also. I aim to buy recycled versions. These are also good for starting fires in my experience.