Wild camp, the idea, the freedom-the footloose-ness…..or not. I’ve put this article together to share thoughts, successes and downfalls in the contemporary age of wild camping. Looking at some equipment, and the issues of weight.
My kit list was
I recently returned to Dartmoor for a wild camp. Nothing to stressful or physically demanding…but.
Weight is an issue, always an issue and with a slightly aching foot every kilogram was more than I wanted. I took lots of gear, lots of luxurious-but were they worth it? I always camp with a backup, so duplicate things.
Knife, multi-tool, spare knife,
Jet-boil SOl, 2 large Gas cannisters
Rain coat/rain trousers in waterproof bag
Solar panels/power-bank and cables-in dry bag
Small micro fibre towel
Sun cream small bottle
Hydration bladder-nalgene bottle, travel tap filter bottle
Sun glasses, sun hat,
Dehydrated food sachet, tea bags, instant coffee sachets
Cafflano coffee maker and beans
Fuji SLR camera
Most of the gear I own is lightweight and high quality, however even I can see I took too much. The coffee machine, although heavy (relatively) waking up after no sleep with fresh coffee and bacon was good. Great in fact. Really great.
I’ve set myself a target from now on as 15KG max and feel this is still too heavy. Looking back at my review of the Osprey Hikelite 26-I would love that to be my bag…The freedom is liberating and manoeuvrability and distance would increase significantly. This is possible with simply a tarp, a very warm jacket and trousers to sleep in etc. Food/stove and luxurious wouldn’t really be an option.
The gear I used I had mixed emotions about.
Gear that made me smile-without a doubt was:
My tent-Jack Wolfskin Gossamer. It’s small, relatively lightweight, sub £100 and is quick to erect, deals well with wind, and is generally a little pod of privacy.
Jet Boil SOl Titanium– Mine is old and I think discontinued, and the lid doesn’t-never did-fit -but its brilliant. A cuppa in less than 3 minutes is worth its weight in gold. Having your dinner ready to eat in less than 10 minutes(I owe dehydrated sachets that need 8 minutes to steep)
My trusty Silva compass is always good -and keeps me facing in the right direction.
Cafflano is a system that turns beans into delicious coffee. Easy to clean, easy to use only weighs 470g. (I’m back on the moor in a few weeks and looking to see how I can lighten the load-but not sure if I want to leave this behind) It does taste real good…….real good.
Mountain equipment Kongur MRT trousers. These are incredible trousers. Bulletproof, tough and dependable. But they don’t compress and they weigh a bit-810g(not much, but I have some lighter trousers for the UK rain at this time of year.
Gear that I didn’t use/need/too heavy.
Light My Fire lunchkit. A great nesting system for pots whilst out. Fantastic, but I didn’t use it.
My Osprey Atoms was good, it was good, but it was weighty. I’m guessing it weighed in at 20kg plus. On hard terrain it was secure, but the straps were digging deep. It felt like 20kg. The water bladder (Osprey Hydraulics 2.5l )worked brilliantly with it.It even has a little magnetic clip to hold it on the shoulder. Once I’d rinsed it through a few times it was great. Really great. On a hot day I could simply bite and suck. Funnily my hiking buddy @druthianoutdoors bought a regatta bladder and was sucking and sucking and yet no water. It turns out his nipple hadn’t been pierced it was a solid rubber bung-It made me chuckle-we fixed it with a knife and a little hole.
The gear I took was good, and our camp site was great. Always choose somewhere with rocks nearby. Great to cook on, sit on, wind protection, and a great shelf. It’s nice to sit away from all the sheep poo. Pack light, I’m working on lighter but ultimately I want to enjoy the outdoors. A tent, coffee, fast cooking. These are the bare minimum. Yes you can do it without these luxuries-and there are times to rough it, but for the sake of a kg I would choose some indulgence. Enjoy every moment. Leave only footprints.