Camping Gear – What Will I Need Besides A Tent?

Having all the wild camping gear demands taking a lot of equipment but it’s important that you put weight into consideration.

wild camping gear

wild camping site

Basic camping gear you will need include

  • Shelter – shelter will include a tent and other necessary equipment.
  • Sleeping bag and mat – these will determine the quality of your sleep
  • Food, drink and means of cooking – food is obviously necessary and there has to be a way of cooking it.
  • Clothing – focus on waterproof outdoor wear because you never know
  • Rucksack – big enough but comfortable and manageable to carry
  • Extras – a few extras will add a little luxury in your camping trip.

Remember don’t take too much camping gear so that the carrying makes your trip not enjoyable.

Shelter -Tent

In camping, shelter generally means a tent but there are other options that give real meaning to wild camping. Avoid brightly colored tents if you are looking forward to wild camping. For instance, bright orange is not ideal if you want to stay discreet in the wild. For a good tent, balance between comfort in use and carrying. In your Camping gear you will  need small tents that will go well into small spaces which are also light. If you have a bigger party that can be accommodated in a 2 or 3 man tent, carry more than one tent a spare might be needed.

If you are not really focusing on wild camping and you are not taking several tents then the rest of your camping gear should reflect this, you will enjoy making a balance between the bombproof pro tent and the superlight backpackers tents. A night or two camping may only require a small and cheap tent. A longer stay needs a larger tent and abit more camping gear or else you get too squeezed.

Other shelters that are not tents

  • Bivi bags

Bivi-bags are a simple, light and discreet. The bags are waterproof and may have enough room for your rucksack. Some bivi-bags have zippers and enough face cloth. Others have single or paired short hoops that will lift the fabric clear of you therefore making a tunnel-structure like a sleeping bag. Bivis are ideal if you are not worried much about space. Bivi bags are light, tiny, gloomy in color and can’t be destabilized by wind as they are flat on the floor. This should always be a consideration to your camping gear list incase anything happens to your tent

  • Hammocks

Hammocks like the Hennessy are skilfully made and provide entrance from their underside while sheltering you from above. Just like bivi bags, hammocks don’t include poles which add the bulk to your pack size. Trees offer the support structure. The only downside of hammocks is absence of trees in the camping area.

  • Tarps and bashas – this is big sheet of fabric that has eyelets around the edge or in the centre for suspending from overhanging trees. This sheet is popular among survivalists and military and is used for improvising camp. These fabrics are light like bivis and spacious as tents. To use them, find adjacent of trees, tie a line between them and hang your trap over the top. Secure the corners and sides down to form the traditional ridge tent. Finding designs that will suit the landscape you are in will determine if you will enjoy. Like hammocks, traps make use of trees to offer fittings and fixtures. Tarps lack multiple uses like tents and bivi bags and can’t keep midges out. For shelter, consider a small compact tent unless you want other options to be your priority.

Basically, down is better than synthetic fill. Down filled bags are not only lighter but pack away in little space. Down bags however collapse easily when wet and when they dry, they become hard and form a crispy lump. On the other hand, synthetic fill is cheaper, insulates well when wet and when its dry, it parks up again but increases in weight but won’t be in use for long. A good decent tent that is well pitched will not give you the problems of wet sleeping bags neither will wetness occur with good wrapping in your rucksack. Sogginess persists in open arrangements like tarps. Down is not ideal if there is some risk of wetness. Consider synthetic and if it’s out of your budget, then down options can serve the purpose.


Mats keep off cold and are comfortable. There are foam mats and a variety of self insulating mats. Foam mats are cheap and light. These mats are however quite bulky and not as comfortable as self-inflating mats. Self inflating mats are a form of foam mats which are spongy, springy, open foam enclosed in air tight fabric coating that has a valve at its end. You only need to remove the valve to let in air for the sponge to puff up and close the valve again when you want to lie down. Expensive mats involve simple materials and are therefore lighter, park small and may be tougher. The mats come in different lengths. Comfort matters most, test the mat of your choice in an outdoor shop before buying if you want to enjoy its use.

Stoves and Cookware

A stove is an in ideal way to cook in wild camping more than using a camp fire that requires cutting of trees. Stoves are discreet as they don’t harm the environment by leaving scorched earth. Little burners fixed on top of gas cartridges take up little space and are light. Ensure the canister has a stabilizing base to reduce the centre of gravity. JetBoil is an ideal wild camping stove. This model is a canister mounted burner featuring an insulated cooking pot or cup with a heat exchange for greater fuel efficiency. The pot clamps on the burner to form a single integrated fuel-burner-pan-mug assembly. After you are through with cooking, the fuel and burner go well in the pot. The base’s protective cap also serves as a bow. A quality bit of camping gear

Gas stoves models also come in varieties that sit lower on the ground and connect to the gas through a hose hence more stable. However, more additions mean more weight which could not be a good option. Prolonged camping holidays may demand carrying enough gas which is heavy. In that case, you can consider liquid fuel stoves and avoid the weighty pressurized models. The unpressurised models like the Trangia are ideal. This stove eliminates pressure valves and pump assembly. It features a burner, windshield and a combination of pans and kettles. A small, basic stove is better.

Stoves which burn fuel like dead twigs, bark or dried animal dung could be a good option if you are careful as they have a risk of burning the ground despite them being like contained camp fires. The Wild Wood gas stove is an ideal option with a chamber and well constructed vents that enable heat to rise and get fanned to produce flames. You need to find fuel around to light this stove which is a bit risky. In that case, carry some hexamine solid fuel tablets or the burner cup from Trangia as backup.

If your cook kit doesn’t have pans, take a small pan. You can consider titanium but is quite expensive, aluminium is better and you can directly eat from it. To drink, bring along plastic or metal mug.

Food and Drink

Camping food comes in two categories which are wet food and dehydrated food. Wet food can come in tins, can be eaten cold, is long dated and comes in pouches. This food can be boiled inside the bag in a pan of water. Wet food is sometimes available in self-heating variants where you trigger a chemical reaction in a poly bag that produces heat. You only need to put your pouch of food in the bag and it warms up. This technique eliminates the use of a stove as food is warmed up. You will need to buy replacement chemical heat packs.

Dried food on the other hand is lighter but you will need to bring water to rehydrate it. Taking this food without need for carrying water is easy as long as you are sure that your camp site has a decent source of water. Take caution on the water you are going to use from ponds and streams. Clear and running water might be safer than still water. To be on the safe side, boil water or treat it. Boiling is effective but uses much fuel. Take a filter, purifier or SteriPen UV system which could be cost effective. These treatments could be pricey and heavy if you go camping often. A small pack of chlorine or chlorine dioxide tables or droplets is easy to use, cheap and small enough to go in your rucksack. These will treat more water than you are likely to use for a week. Remember to bring neutralizing tablets for your chlorine that will take the taste in the water.


Clothes for camping in the wild should be kept simple. Avoid clothes that take long to dry and waterproofs. A warm jacket will be useful in cold nights outside. The number of changes you will take will be determined by the duration of your trip and how much camping gear you have, even camping wardrobes are a good idea. Go for merino wool and other technical fabrics treated with silver and other antimicrobial finishes to reduce the odour of frequent wear and infrequent change. This will also cut back on the number of wear to pack.


With the many makes of rucksacks inthe camping gear market today, you can’t determine the best but the one that is comfortable and fits all your necessary camping stuff is the right bag. A small 40-odd litre pack can take a limited gear if you plan carefully. Smaller choice means you be careful in selecting tents, sleeping bags and mats. Longer camping periods demand a larger bag like 60 liters for easy packing of extra food and fuel. for additional camping check lists follow this link

Camping Gear Extras

There are plenty of useful camping gear items you will probably need outdoors. Such include penknives, first aid kit, head torch among others. A hands free lighting is ideal to help you see what you are doing. Sufficient batteries and a backup torch or lantern like the tiny Petzl elite are essential.

Some pieces of utilities for making repairs to things and overcoming difficulties are essential. A 2 mm climbing accessory cord or paracord is essential if you are using a tarp or otherwise. Cable ties bundle and gaffer tape can help you extend or replace guy ropes and perform other functions.

Avoid midge-ridden areas such as calm or shady spots and any other areas that may look attractive to the insects. You will not be bothered by the insects much in open and breezy areas. It is however good to be prepared for midges by taking a head net, a bottle of DEET, mozzie coils and probably a smoking pipe.

Toiletries for your hygiene are important part of your camping gear. These include toothbrush, wet wipes, drywash, bog roll among others. Luxuries like chocolates, coffee and other favorites are a good treat. Bring a metal or plastic cafétière. You can also bring a hip flask, a chair kit for your sleeping mat and anything that will make your wild camping fun as long as it doesn’t add weight. A camping trolley is a clever piece of kit

for more camping guide click here.

Real Time Analytics