Wild Camping Checklist – 31 Items You Should Pack!

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wild camping checklist

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Wild Camping Checklist – What Kit Do I Need?

Wild camping is a great way to experience a different side to camping; it takes you to many places and lets you see some sights you may not otherwise get to see on a commercial campsite. 

Wild camping gets you out in the world sometimes to some quite remote, yet beautiful places. So you are raring to give wild camping a go but not sure what kit you may need, well, what could be better than a wild camping checklist! Don’t get me wrong I’m sure you will not need every item on this list but it’s a useful guide, especially if you are a beginner.

Check out our wild camping guide here for info around laws and campfires, and much more.

Sleeping Equipment

wild camping checklist

Tents

First up you are going to need a good quality lightweight tent, if you are doing a multi day hike, the last thing you need is a heavy tent weighing you down. The Snugpak | Ionosphere with a pack weight of 1520g / 54oz and a pack size of 48cm x 14cm is an excellent robust one man tent that is super affordable compared to other good quality one man tents.
The Snugpak | Stratosphere is a slightly more lightweight option at 1130g / 40oz with a Packsize of 31cm x 14cm, but it does have some drawbacks if you are a bit bigger person it can be a tight fit!

Last update on 2024-06-21 at 11:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tarp/Basha

The absolute go-to for a tarp is the DD hammocks range, a great size for most people is their DD hammocks 3X3 tarp. For the quality you get with a DD hammocks Tarp for the price there is no point trying to buy a cheaper item this will last for years.

DD Hammocks – DD Tarp 3×3 – Jet Black -…
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Last update on 2024-06-21 at 11:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sleeping Bags

A good nights sleep the one thing no one wants to compromise! So make sure to have a good quality sleeping bag that is suited to the conditions you are camping in, it’s no good taking a summer bag in the middle of winter and vice versa!
The 300 Mummy Sleeping Bag is a great 3-4 season sleeping bag for the money; decent wild camping kit does not have to cost the earth. It’s not the most lightweight bag on the market but like most things with camping the weight goes down the price goes up! Just pick a Sleeping bag that fits your budget and is suited to the time of year you are likely to be using it.

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Hammocks

Hammocks are not for everyone but can be a great way of doing a bit of lightweight wild camping combined with a good tarp/basha again here I recommend – DD SuperLight – Frontline Hammock it’s a great bit of kit with a built-in mozzie net. With DD hammocks you know it’s built to last.

DD Hammocks SuperLight Frontline Hammock – Insect…
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Inflatable Camping Pillows

The TREKOLOGY Ultralight Inflatable pillow is a great budget-friendly option and its also lightweight and has a small pack down size. If you feel you don’t need a pillow, you can always roll up some spare clothing for a pillow!

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Sleep Mats

An inflatable sleeping mat is the way to go here as they are way more space-efficient and way more comfortable again you can spend big money here if you want the best of the best. Still, there are some great budget options such as the TREKOLOGY UL Camping Mat packs down nice and compact, and is relatively lightweight. If you want a bit more high-end option check out the Therm-a-Rest ProLite Mattress

Last update on 2024-06-21 at 11:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reflective Mat

A reflective mat is also a good idea as it acts as a waterproof base to place your sleeping mat but also keeps the heat in and cold out and for the cost/weight, there is no reason not to have one! Highlander Reflective Camping Mat 

Sleeping Roll Mat

for a more regular roll style mat, this is the go-to Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite SOL Mattress Tho there are more budget options available such as Highlander Comfort Camper Mat

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Cooking Equipment

wild camping checklist

When wild camping cooking kit is something that you need to try to refine as it can get quite bulky quite quickly, and can also run into a decent amount of weight.
Odoland Camping Cookware Kit with Stove is an excellent budget-friendly option for a cooking kit it has everything you will need all in one kit all you will need is a bottle of gas for the stove. The price, well I don’t know how they make them!
If you already have some of the above items of kit here are separate items you may need

A Spork

The go-to camping cutlery TITO Titanium Spork 

Long Handle Spoon

Yes, you heard me right, have you ever tried to eat a boil in the bag meal with a standard size spork? Wait until you try a long handle spoon you won’t go back! TITO Titanium Long Handle Spork 

Gas Stove 

You will want a small gas bottle mounted type stove to save on weight and bulk, I have this one and have used it a lot over the past four years both camping and fishing. It has not let me down, it also comes with a storage box that I find great as it stops it getting tangled up in clothing etc. in your backpack and it also has electric piezo ignition(i would still carry a bic lighter as a back up). This stove also comes with a gas bottle stabilizer stand saving you some money! – Don’t Forget Your Gas!

There are two accessories I would buy to go with your stove. Both cheap items that will make your life a little easier.

  1. A windbreak, this speeds up cooking times and saves gas.
  2. Support stand to fit your gas bottle, This helps prevent your stove from tipping over when you are cooking.

Water Bottle/Container 

No real need to overcomplicate this just a simple bottle is fine, tho I do prefer one with a large opening as it makes refilling from rivers/streams way easier (always purify your water before drinking) here’s one I like with a large opening Nalgene Plastic Bottles

Ziplock Bags 

There are many uses for zip lock bags when out wild camping, such as food prep, or gathering water and they take up almost zero weight/space so carry a couple of large bags.

Navigation Tools

map reading hiking

When planning a wild camping trip out, it’s always worth adding a map and compass to your wild camping checklist. Navigation is something everyone who intends to go out into the wilderness should learn and at least have a basic understanding of for their own safety. 

Modern GPS navigation tools such as the Garmin eTrex 20x take away some of the navigation skill, but should never be relied on as your sole navigation tool. Batteries die, screens get wet, you could drop it, anything can happen. That is why you should learn to read an Ordnance Survey map that can get you out of trouble if needs be.

Ordnance Survey Maps

A great item of kit that you should have with you whenever you venture out onto moorland ETC. Be sure to get the correct ordnance survey map for the location you are travelling to. To save a little money you could pick up a digital subscription that gives you full access to all ordnance survey maps for 12-months, find it here

Also be sure to pick up a map reading compass – see below

Waterproof Case For Your Maps

Goes without saying your maps won’t be much use if they turn to mush in your hands! – Milestone Camping Waterproof Map Case

Map Reading Compass

Yes, you can buy a map reading compass for only a few pounds, but they are usually inferior quality and often have trouble with the compass needle, it’s worth spending the money here guys, your compass could be your get-out-of-jail free card. Here is a good quality map reading compass, not the cheapest item but it’s well made, and you can rely on it.

GPS Navigation Units

As mentioned above, great bits of kit and super useful, but you should always carry a backup Ordnance survey map of the area. This is a really popular device Garmin eTrex 20x.

Quality of Life Items

wild camping checklist

This kit list could go on forever and probably into the 1000s of pounds on different items of kit you may want/need. I will try to list what I consider the essential items and some things you may overlook, everyone’s wild camping kit list will be different, but these are the main things I like to try and pack when I head out for a multi day wild camping trip.

Led Head Torch 

I use a Ridgemonkey head torch that I bought to go in my night fishing kit, and I can honestly say its the best head torch I have had and used, I have now purchased a second to leave with my camping kit. Its USB rechargeable, IP64 Water & dust resistant, and throws a nice tight beam of light easily 200 feet in spotlight mode. I use the bigger of the two models available but here is a link to the smaller head torch.

Multitool

As the name suggests Multi-use tool, you will probably find more use for this than just about anything else you carry with you, a must for everyone. Again this is an area you can spend a lot of money or a little money, but I would avoid buying cheap copy multitools as they are in my eyes unsafe, blades bend, snap etc. Buy it once; you will probably have it for life. Here is a nice Leatherman 830165 Multitool with Nylon Sheath. Has every tool you will ever need its a little pricey but as I say, you will have this tool forever.

Here is a more budget-friendly Leatherman 831232 Squirt PS4. Not quite as feature-heavy as the other model but you can be sure of its build quality.

Power Bank

look to get a power bank that could charge your phone twice in a day if needs be, then multiply that by the number of days you need to be away from power. I find that it is the safest option.

Take an iPhone 11; it has a 3110MAH battery, so that’s 6220MAH of power per day needed in your power bank to charge your phone fully twice per day, then times that number by the number of days you plan to be out wild camping.

So, if you need to be out for three days you would need 18300 MAH of power, so you would buy a 20000 MAH power bank and call it good.

You should never need to charge twice daily, but its a safety barrier as your phone is your link to safety in effect.

Any extra power can be used to recharge head torches, GPS, ETC. Anker PowerCore 20100 – 20000mAh 

Dry Bags 

Another great multi-purpose bit of kit. A dry bag is ideal for stuffing in wet or dirty clothing to prevent wetting the rest of the kit in your backpack.

Can also be used to collect water. Here is a three-pack in different sizes this should be all you need Lomo 3 Pack Lightweight Roll Top Dry Bags. 8L, 6L, 3L

Basic Hygiene Essentials

straight forward this one. Toothpaste, soap, hand sanitizer, sanitary products, wet wipes (take used wipes home) you get the idea here.

Waterproof Socks 

This is a great one, often overlooked. No matter how good your waterproof boots are they are going to leak at some point, or you are going to have to cross a stream or a large puddle, and we have all done it you end up in over the top of your boots. Well have no fear with SEALSKINZ Waterproof Cold Weather Knee-length Sock you stay dry even if your boots are wet inside!

Backpacking Trowel 

YES, that’s right, a trowel. We have all got to go number two at some point and out in the wild you have got to bury it, so a Backpacking trowel is an essential item of kit. Remember those zip-lock bags I was on about? Yea this is a great use for one of them!

Insect Repellent 

biting insects can be a huge problem while hiking to camp and even around camp. Hence, a good quality insect repellent is essential. I like to use Lifesystems Expedition 100+ DEET Insect Repellent. If you are not into insect spray, you may not know but Avon Skin So Soft. Is an excellent insect repellent. Also, carry some antihistamine with you for if you do get bitten or hayfever ETC.

Sun Cream 

This one is overlooked on people’s kit list an awful lot. Often when hiking we are up high altitude, and the sun’s rays are super strong, its so easy to think about waterproof coats, boots, and all the rest but what about your skin? I like to use a non-greasy spray bottle such as Garnier Ambre Solaire Sensitive Hypoallergenic. Easy To Use Mist Spray 200 ml, this prevents me from having to mess up my hands with cream.

Emergency Items

wild camping checklist

I think this should definitely be a part of a wild camping checklist. A lot of people are more concerned with if they have their pillow rather than their first aid kit. Think about what could go wrong in your location and try to pack for it.

First Aid Kit 

This goes without saying you should always carry a first aid kit when out in the wilds. You should be sure it has everything you need for you and whoever may be with you. Ideally, everyone should have their own kit. Here is a great kit tailored to camping/hiking Surviveware Small First Aid Kit with Labelled Compartments for Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Travel, Car and Cycling.

Whistle 

A whistle should be on everyone’s person who is out camping/hiking. You can get them built into some other items of kit such as the shoulder straps on your backpack or paracord bracelets. Super cheap item just get one and carry it Lifesystems Safety Whistle Outdoors Camping

Signal Mirror 

used to signal to planes/helicopters your location if you are stuck and need help. A cheap, almost weightless item that could save your life. Coghlans Featherweight Mirror

Any Medication You Need Daily

You should work out how long you are going to camp for then at least double your supply of medication. You could drop or spill some; you may end up out for longer than you expected, you may get stuck where you are. No one wants to be in that sort of position, more so if you are missing medication you need. Just pack the extra!

Waterproof Matches 

An excellent backup for when things go wrong small, lightweight, cheap. Fit them in somewhere! Lifesystems Unisex’s Stormproof (25 Matches)

A Means to Purify Water 

This should be at a bare minimum of water purification tablets such as Oasis Emergency Water Purification Tablets. Another great item is the SAWYER PRODUCTS Mini Water Filtration System. Tho water purification does not end there, DO SOME RESEARCH ON THIS TOPIC – here is a guide from Go Outdoors

Final Thoughts

So there we have it one big epic wild camping checklist, this list has taken me a whole weekend to put together.

I’m sure it will be an excellent resource for a lot of people new to wild camping and some that have been doing it a while.

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