Wild Camp

Beginners Wild Camp Equipment List

Posted: 22nd May 2022

Below you will find an essential wild camp and multiday hiking equipment list for beginners. Equipment choice all comes down to weight vs cost vs durability. If you are about to venture on your first wild camp or you are just getting started, you probably do not want to spend a lot of money on equipment until you are sure this is the hobby you. Everyone is different and therefore everyone’s balance on the 3 elements above are different. Buying low budget / starter equipment is a fantastic way to know what works for you and what doesn’t before splashing the cash. Below you will find a check list of equipment you will need for a wild camp along with some recommendations.

1. Tent

Beginners Wild Camping Equipment
PHOXX1 & Nordisk Telemark Tents

Buying a low budget tent is a good way to test your preferences. Maybe you would like a larger porch, 2 doors instead of 1, space to sit up right or the option to take the outer off so you can sleep under the stars?

Here are a couple of options either myself of my friends have used and would recommend as a starter tent.

Oex PHOXX I | GO Outdoors

3 Season tent weighs 1.58kg and costs around £65

Vango Soul 100 (1-Berth) Solo Tent | Leisure Outlet

3 Season tent 1.82kg costs around £65

HIGHLANDER BLACKTHORN 1 XL TENT | One-Person with Side Storage Area — UKMCPro.co.uk

3 Season tent weights 1.85kg costs around £75

2. Sleeping Bag

Keeping warm is one of the most important parts of wild camping. Being a bit cold during the night may do you no harm but it can really dampen the experience. Even in the summer months the temperature can drop during the night, especially if you are camping up high in the mountains. Here are a few budget summer sleeping bags.

Trekking Sleeping Bag MT500 5°C – Polyester FORCLAZ – Decathlon

2 Season – 5 to 15 degrees comfort limit (summer) £75

The main difference other than comfort limit for the two below is the size. Both are smaller packed and weight less.

Solar Eco 0 Sleeping Bag (5C) – Rab® UK

2 Season – 5 degrees comfort limit (late spring to early autumn) £100

Cloud Peak 200 Synthetic 2-Season Sleeping Bag | Alpkit

2 Season – 4 degrees comfort limit (late spring to early autumn) £119.99

3. Sleeping Matt

A sleeping matt is as important as a sleeping bag as it is mainly this that keeps you separated from the cold ground. One of the principles of heat loss whilst camping is that the ground will absorb your heat until you are the same temperature as it is. See two distinct matt types, a foam matt and a self-inflating matt.

Exped FlexMat M Sleeping Mat | UK | Ultralight Outdoor Gear

308g Foam Mattress – £22.99

Oex Traverse Self-Inflating Mat | GO Outdoors

Self-Inflating – £25

4. Backpack

Now you have your gear you need a backpack to put it all in! When choosing a backpack, you need to consider the following 3 elements;

  • Size – How diverse will the weather be? The longer the hike and unpredictable weather, the more clothes you will need to pack and therefore more space required. I would recommend a minimum of 35 litres.
  • Organisation – do you want side pockets and / or top openings for small items such as sunglasses, cream, keys, blister plasters etc,
  • Comfort – If you are going to wet climates you might want to get a pack with a waterproof cover. If you are going to hot climates, you might want to choose breathable straps and airflow back support, maybe both. Adjustable chest straps and strong supporting hip belts are important too.

The hip strap should sit tightly on top of your iliac crest and your pack should not wobble when you walk. Follow the 80/20 principle, 80% of the weight should be carried on your hips and the other 20% on your shoulders.

Maintain your centre of gravity by packing the heaviest of things closer to your back and your food and cooking things near your shoulder blades so they don’t knock you off balance.

If in doubt I would recommend going into a camping shop to try on the packs, places like Go Outdoors will fit them to your body and give you any advice you need.

My Backpack - Lowe Alpine Airzone 33L to 40L.

5. Footwear

Get tough ankle support boots. If you plan on hiking and camping in the summer, I also suggest you go for a light breathable option. I would never buy boots online without trying them on in a shop, when the right boots fit around your feet you just know they are the ones.

It is always wise to seek support from a knowledgeable shop assistant on which are best for your feet and the type of terrain you plan on hiking.

The boots I current own are Scarpa Women’s Boreas GTX Mid Walking Boots | GO Outdoors.  £157.50

6. Water Filter

Carrying a water filer means you have to carry less water and a lot less weight, plus there is something quite special about drinking fresh mountain water. I have used two water filters the Sawyer and the Katadyn but out of the two I would recommend the Katadyn. The Katadyn filters the water much faster, and you do not need to scramble in your bag for the accessories. Both come in at the same price at £35.

Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System, Single, Blue : Sports & Outdoors (amazon.co.uk)

Katadyn BeFree Water Filter blue/transparent 2017 camp : Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors

Other important equipment;

7. Waterproof Torch – it takes 15-30 minutes for our eyes to adjust to the darkness so if the stars are out remember to keep the torch off for epic star gazing.

LE Head Torch, [2 Pack] Super Bright 1300L LED Headlamp with 6 Lighting Modes, Waterproof, Battery Powered LED Lightweight Headlight for Cycling Running Camping for Kids Adults : Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors £14.49

8. Pillow – here are two types of pillows, air pillow or a polyester pillow. The decision comes down to personal preference and the amount of space you have in your pack.

Sea To Summit Aeros Pillowcase | UK | Ultralight Outdoor Gear £10.99

Thermarest Trekker Pillow Case | UK | Ultralight Outdoor Gear £13.99

9. Cooker – This is a great little bargain starter kit from amazon which includes a stove, pans, a flask, a cutlery set and a cleaning sponge for £22.89. The difference between a cooker like this and more expensive cookers (which can cost £100+) is the speed in which it can boil the water.

Queta Camping Cookware Set, Camping Pot with Stove Picnic Hiking Utensil Gear Picnic Cookware Cooking Tool Set : Amazon.co.uk: Sports & Outdoors

I hope this beginners wild camp list is useful, any questions drop me a comment below. 



Golden Rules of Wild Camping

  • Be considerate and leave nothing but flattened grass
  • Do not stay for more than one night
  • Pitch late and leave early
  • Do not disturb rocks or vegetation
  • Use a small tent which blends into the landscape
  • Do not start campfires and protect the ground when using a stove
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