Packing for wild camping can be stressful, especially for the first time. I can remember how challenging it was for me back in 2015. Then, our living room floor was covered with so much stuff I wanted to pack. In this article, I am detailing all the wild camping essentials you need to have in your backpack.
The Wild Camping Essentials That I Always Carry With Me
5 years, it keeps always happening to me, that I forget something. Of course, I remember it, either when I am on the way or when I am already in the mountains.
Straight to the point, here is the essential camping gear that you should never forget!
Well, we usually never forget packing our own tent. But let’s share with you guys some interesting facts about tents.
Your tent weight should not exceed 1.5kg except when you bring a 3- or 4-person tent, and you will share the carrying on the way.
Also, make sure to choose a tent that fades perfectly in the colors of nature. It is healthy for wildlife.
You should look for a lightweight, robust, and durable tent. Usually, the more you pay, the lighter and more robust it will be.
After a long search on Amazon, I bought this one from Coleman in 2015, and I am still using it now. I really recommend it.
The Right Backpack
Your backpack will carry all your main wild camping essentials. So invest in a good one.
I had to try several backpacks before choosing my favorite one. We tend to bring more stuff than we need when we go on such wild camping journeys. That’s why the first backpack that I bought had a volume of 75 liters. This was a bad choice.
The trick is that we have to limit ourselves with a smaller backpack to take only what we really need. And that’s what I did.
Don’t make the same mistake, get a small backpack and thank me later 🙂
The main question for sleeping bags is, which temperature range should I buy mine for?
Mainly, there are two temperature ranges that you should think about:
3-season sleeping bag: I am using this one from High Peak the most, and it has a temperature range of [-15, +10] °C. You can take this sleeping bag in Winter, Autumn, and Spring. Don’t get fooled. It gets freezing in the mountains, also in Spring.
Summer Sleeping Bag: I take this one from Lumaland as part of my wild camping essentials in hot summer, and it has a temperature range of [-5,+15] °C. I love it because it is much later than the 3-season one. It also takes less space in your backpack. No, don’t get spoiled, but the lightweight and take it in the cold seasons.
A mat is a must in wild camping as it might happen that you don’t find a soft ground to sleep on. Besides, having it makes you sleep at night much more comfortable.
It also took me quite some time to find the perfect matt from a quality-price point of view. Actually, you will find a lot of 3- and 5-cm mattresses out there. I just didn’t like them because they are having and not that comfy.
I’ve recently come across those light ones from Terra Hike and Nature Hike. They literally feel like bed mattresses, and they are really light to carry (about 500gt). Since I tried them, I didn’t need to look for other mats again for my wild camping essentials list.
Stove and Gas
What might happen to you is that you could take the stove and forget the gas. It did to me once. That’s why I combined them in this section so that you don’t make the same mistake as me 😉
I tend to always look on Amazon because I always find budget stuff there. Here are the 2 best ones that you can get from there:
The standard Campingaz blue stove that almost all my friends use.
The one from Hikenture that I use and find really handy and easier to carry than the blue stove
An important hint, make sure the butane gas bottles are compatible with the stove you will take. You. For the stoves I suggested, here are the compatible butane gas bottles I found:
Tip: think about taking a lighter with you if your stove doesn’t have an embedded one.
To keep backpacks as light as possible, wild campers usually choose to eat a one-pot meal from the pot. But I want to cook something on my own to have healthier food. So I chose to get some camping dishes.
Of course, don’t forget a lighter, pot, spork (all-in-one fork and spoon). Also, a mug for a hot drink at night or in the early morning is a great idea.
Tip: I love this set because it also has a cleaning sponge with it. Very handy to clean your dishes!
It happened to me that I forgot this one too! Or sometimes I forget its batteries. That is why I created the checklist that you could print and use for your future wild camping adventures. (find it at the end of the post)
This head torch (or lamp) is convenient when it comes to cooking at night. This is because the tent light will usually not be enough in the dark. The great thing about it is that it is rechargeable over USB.
You will also need the lamp to get around in the dark or when you look for something in your backpack.
First Aid Kit
Trust me, you don’t want to forget this one! This is the first thing that comes in my backpack. Of course, hiking and wild camping are great experiences. But, nevertheless, you need to be well prepared just in case.
First aid kits are really tiny, don’t take enough space in the backpack, and are not expensive. They are also simple to carry and really light. It’s is worth it to have one among your wild camping essentials before you go on an adventure.
While food is a must in your wild camping essentials, it can be tricky to carry on a wild camping adventure. Therefore, we usually tend to bring ready-to-go food. However, it is mostly heavy because it is made of water.
After I learned this (the hard way), I now bring dehydrated food like cereals and dry soups, which I can cook with water later.
Here are my meals on a wild camping journey:
The water is super heavy. I personally carry only 1.5 liters, although it is so tempting to take more. But I usually find many water sources on the hiking route.
A bottle allows you to easily collect water from a stream.
Tip: Don’t forget to purify the water you collect by boiling (preferable) or using purification tablets.
The Wild Camping Essentials That I Usually Carry With Me
Okay, so once we covered all the must-have wild camping essentials, here is the rest of the gear I also carry. Let’s say: it’s the nice-to-have gear:
When you are on such a trip, let baby wipes be one of your wild camping essentials. They are just so handy, and you will need them several times.
You will need them to clean your dishes, and you will need them as a “shower” alternative when you are sweat after a long hiking journey.
But make sure you take them with you once you leave your camping spot.
This cover weighs less than 10gr but takes some space, to be honest.
However, once you put it inside your tent (and also under the mattress), it will keep your tent warm and, most importantly, protect your mattress from getting holes. Some thin rocks may be under your tent, and you don’t want to wake up on a flat mattress in the middle of the night.
Tip: You could also use this cover to sit on while you are outside of your tent.
For people (like me) who take sleeping at night in a comfy position very seriously, there are many handy camping pillows out there.
Basically, all of them don’t take considerable space as you can fold them in your backpack and inflate them later when you go to sleep.
While you can use your folded clothes as a pillow, you might not include this one as one of the wild camping essentials you should carry with you.
I love this one from Elepowstar, and I bring it when I plan to stay awake at night in my tent. Then, with a lantern light over my head, I can easily find my stuff inside, and I also can read or write something.
One of the other reasons I love tent lanterns is that they make your tent look so beautiful from the outside.
If you are a photography enthusiast like me, you will love taking pics of your tent under the sky full of stars at night 😉
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
I personally don’t want to go to my tent with almonds and meat lodged between my teeth. A Toothbrush and toothpaste are not heavy to carry. They also don’t take much of a space in your backpack.
Here is the checklist that I created for you guys. I hope it is helpful for your camping preparation 🙂
Other Camping Gear
The camping list can never be comprehensive. Although most of us would agree on essential items, many campers and hikers have preferred gear that they love to bring.
For example, I know many fans of binoculars. I admit I like them too, especially when it comes to watching wildlife. If you need one, make sure to get high-quality binoculars.
Wild camping is a great adventure, and preparing for it can be a headache. I was struggling to pack all this together for the first time. But I am sure you will get used to packing for such journeys. Don’t forget the wild camping essentials that I listed in this post, and everything will be alright! If you think I forgot something important, let me know in the comments, and I will update the post.
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