What Do I Need For A Wild Camping Trip?
Wild camping is an amazing way to enjoy the outdoors. You get to explore and experience remote locations without the crowds and embrace your independence and sense of adventure. This seclusion affords you the opportunity to see hidden wildlife and a sky full of stars but it does require you to be self-reliant so it’s important to make sure you have all the appropriate gear.
This list covers the essentials for a successful night of wild camping; however, you can add to this list depending on how much you want to carry and what you prioritise.
Hiking boots that are waterproof and breathable keep your feet dry from rain and allow moisture to escape from the inside. Pair your boots with some synthetic or natural wool socks that wick away sweat and are breathable - minimising the risk of blisters from wet feet.
Providing you with plenty of warmth, as a mid layer or as an outer layer, a fleece will keep you warm once you’ve stopped moving. The soft fabric is comforting next to your skin and a high collar or hood delivers extra insulation on particularly cold nights.
These pants are lightweight, breathable, comfortable and weather resistant making them ideal for extended days hiking in remote areas. Most trousers come with a DWR coating but if they do somehow get wet then they are quick drying and are resistant to stains for easy care.
If it rains and you get wet it can be a difficult task to dry off and warm back up when wild camping. A decent waterproof will keep all but the worst of the weather off you till you reach your intended campsite and the sanctuary of your tent.
Similar to a waterproof jacket, waterproof pants are going to keep your legs from getting wet and cold while allowing excess hot air to escape through the breathable fabric. When walking, articulated patterning, gusseted crotches and elasticated waists allow for unhindered movement across technical terrain and deliver all-day-comfort.
Keeping you warm at night while cooking food or in your tent, a soft beanie and pair of gloves will protect your extremities from cold temperatures and wind chill.
A well-fitted rucksack that has been adjusted correctly for your size will spread the load across your body minimising fatigue and chaffing. Features such as a mesh back limit sweat build-up, reservoir pockets let you hydrate hands-free and a waterproof cover will protect your belongings.
A self-inflating mattress does not weigh a lot and packs down to a small size for easy transportation. These mattresses are extremely efficient at insulating – trapping air in between various layers of foam and the firmness can be customised for personal preference.
A mummy shape, down sleeping bag, minimises excess material and weight while providing you with the best insulation, gram for gram. After a solid night’s sleep, you can easily compress the down bag to a tiny package and load it up for another day of adventure.
A helpful tip is to try and find out the night time temperature for where you are going to camp and select the appropriate sleeping bag season rating based on this information.
Your tent needs to be light enough to carry yet strong and durable enough to withstand areas that are exposed to the full force of the wind and rain. Sacrificing a porch for weight savings is one way to make your load a fair bit lighter and little changes such as aluminium rather than steel pegs soon add up.
If you’re solo camping you can use a bivvy for protection against the elements while massively decreasing your pack size and load.
Dehydrated food is one of the lightest, quickest and easiest ways to make a substantial meal when wild camping. These high-calorie meals will help you replace lost nutrients and only require heat and water.
Wild camping gives you the chance to see amazing skyscapes. A by-product of no light pollution is that you will struggle to see much else. A head torch prevents you from tripping up when walking camp and lets you organise your gear for the next morning.
An essential for any camping trip is a well-stocked first aid kit. It will help you treat minor cuts and injuries or stabilise any bigger problems until help arrives. Duct tape and a multi-tools are useful additions, helping with emergency fixes and bodges that will keep you and your gear going until you make it back to the car park.
It’s essential to keep yourself hydrated when hiking and being active - a backpack reservoir system and a water bottle should keep you going throughout the day but it soon gets heavy if you try to carry all your water for meals or multi-day camps.
The solution to this is to plan a route and camping area that provides you with access to fresh water. This way you can use a water filter or chlorine tablets to safely refill your bottles as much as you want. You should aim to fill up your bottle in areas of fast flowing, aerated water to minimise the risk of drinking contaminated water.
The first thing that should go into your bag or be on your person is a map and compass. The importance of knowing where you are and where you are heading is heightened in remote areas, where the nearest point of help may be far away.
Letting someone know your intended route and a when you should be back to ‘on grid’ is essential for safeguarding your trip.
If you are planning on wild camping in Scotland, over summer, then you’re going to encounter a plethora of midges and other insects that all want to bite you. Modern bug spray is long lasting, easy to apply and comes in small and lightweight spray bottles for easy application.
You may not think it but it can get hot in Scotland; high-factor sun cream is going to protect your skin from long term damage and the immediate danger of getting burnt and a terrible night’s sleep.
Wild Camping Kit List