Wild camping is a great option for those looking for a real weekend adventure. Our recent blog highlights everything you need to know about wild camping in the UK.
Wild camping helps you unplug from the modern (and digital) world and get back to nature. Set up camp under a bowl of stars with no one else in sight and recharge your primitive soul.
For the walking and hiking enthusiasts, getting off road and walking into the wilderness to find a secluded camping spot makes for a unique and unforgettable experience.
Be sure to get familiar with the laws around wild camping as it is illegal in some areas so its always worth understanding what you’re getting yourself into.
If you’re lucky enough to be planning a wild camping adventure, its important you have the essentials with you. We outline a few of our favourite bits of wild camping gear below.
Wild Camping Gear and Equipment
Packing for wild camping is a delicate art. You’ll be carrying this with you so finding lightweight options that are versatile and easy to pack will likely be your preferred options.
What you’ll need:
- Sleeping Bag
- Sleeping Mat
- Trowel/Toilet Paper
You’ll also want to bring with you outdoor clothing, including fleece, jacket and hat, as well as walking boots.
These 8 essential bits of camping gear are by no means the only items you may want to take with you but they are certainly a good starting point. Once you’ve given it a go, you may find you can’t live without a few other items as well, but again, you’ll be carrying all this so keeping the packing list short is usually the best way to go.
1. Sleeping Bag
A warm and comfortable sleeping bag will make all the difference to your wild camping experience.
Sleeping bags vary depending on your requirements, but for wild camping, selecting higher quality sleeping bags would be recommended.
In summer months, you may just need a sleeping bag liner if its warm enough (but even in summer that can be risky with temperatures dropping overnight).
Sleeping bags with hoods add an extra layer of comfort and warmth.
Depending on personal preferences and circumstances, your shelter could come in different forms. A tent would be the most popular choice but a tarp or hammock are equally adequate for a night’s sleep.
A Tarp doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a tent, but in warmer months it may be all you need. If you are planning on just using a hammock, a tarp will ensure you stay dry in case it does rain in the night (which if you’re in Scotland, let’s face it, there’s a good chance!)
3. Sleeping Mat
A sleeping mat is a basic mat that you lay your sleeping bag on. This helps keep you warm by keeping your body off the ground (which is likely to get cold).
Similarly, a mat can help provide support and comfort for your night’s sleep.
You’ll want to ensure you have enough water for the night. Water bladders are great options for carrying larger quantities of water conveniently.
You should make note of the closest pubs/B&Bs/campsites where you can refill the water accordingly.
You may need some water for cooking as well, so bare that in mind when considering how much water to bring.
You’ll want to bring food with you – both snacks and meals.
For snacks, any type of hiking snack that is high energy will be good. Nuts are a great choice for a healthy snack that will keep hunger at bay.
For meals and breakfast, think about easy meals that don’t need a lot of prep or time. You’ll probably only have a stove and basic cooking equipment so something that is easy and filling is your best bet when wild camping.
A wild camping stove will allow you to cook and prepare food during your adventure. You’ll also need a lighter to get the fire started. You can also use this lighter for making a campfire if needed (although many regions that allow wild camping may not allow you to create uncontrolled campfires due to the wild fire risk).
A small stove will be more than adequate for your cooking needs.
A stove can also be used for making coffee or tea as well. Similarly, a hot chocolate can be a fantastic way to keep warm on a chilly evening.
The beauty of wild camping is that you can escape the hustle and bustle and really get into the wilderness. But this means when the sun sets, it gets dark – very dark.
A torch will help you see in the evenings. A head torch is even better as this will free up your hands which is very useful for things like cooking or going to the toilet!
8. Shovel/Toilet Paper
The question that everyone thinks but no one wants to ask is where you go to the toilet when wild camping.
Well, when nature calls, nature answers – it’s about finding a spot, digging a hole and covering it back up. The important thing is to leave without a trace.
You’ll want to bring some sealable bags with you where you can take your used toilet paper with you and discard when you get back to civilisation.
Winter Wild Camping Equipment Kit List
In winter your wild camping kit list will largely be the same. The one difference is that you should prioritise warm and waterproof options.
Sleeping in a hammock or under tarp is less suitable and instead, choosing a durable, waterproof tent would be a better option. Similarly, a tarp for cooking would be worthwhile to protect your stove from the rain (and avoiding bringing the stove in the tent, which is obviously a major fire hazard).
Warm clothes and a warm sleeping bag (along with hats, gloves and thick socks) are a must for any winter adventure.