Camping Guide: Trek & Travel
This is the 2nd article in a series of 3 articles taking you through camping gear for various types of camping trip. The previous article goes through luxury camping and how you can make yourself as comfortable as possible. In this article we’ll cover some gear which is better for a lighter weight camping trip, ideal if you’re going trekking or need to transport your gear frequently.
Trek & Travel
Sleeping mat: As covered in the previous article there are some great luxury sleeping mats and they offer an amazing night’s sleep, but they tend to be pretty big and heavy. This is a key area where you can save weight and space with your kit without suffering from lack of sleep. If you’re really not sure about going for something much thinner then the NeoAir Camper is a good option. It weighs just over 1kg, and that’s the XL size. Compare this to the others mentioned above, all of which are considerably over 2kg. The second reason is the pack size. The XL rolls up to 10cm x 44cm, even the smallest of the heavy mats don’t go that small.
If you want something a bit warmer and even lighter then the NeoAir Trekker or All Season are great, as are the Exped Synmats. At a lower price point there is the NeoAir Venture which still provides that excellent NeoAir comfort. You can get good mats at an even lower price point too with the BaseCamp providing great value. The Trail Pro and Trail Lite mats are also good options, as they offer a good compromise between price, comfort and packability. For more information have a look at our How to Choose a Sleeping Mat article.
Stove: Away from a large burner and gas canister there are some good mid size stoves which are big enough to cook a simple meal for 2 – 4 comfortably, but pack away inside themselves to save space. The Primus Power Stove Set is great for cooking for up to 4 people, whilst the Primus Spider Stove is a slimmed down version for 1 or 2 people, similar to the Optimus Electra FE. There are plenty of additional pot sets if you only need the one burner but extra cookware.
Sleeping Bags: For trekking and lighter weight camping trips a down sleeping bag is much lighter and more packable than a synthetic bag. This is because down compresses more than synthetic insulation and because its insulation properties are superior to man made equivalents you can get away with having less. The Mountain Equipment Classic Range is ever popular. The only thing you really need to watch out for is that they are kept as dry as possible as down does not work well when wet. If this is a concern then a Synthetic Sleeping Bag is a better option, the Mountain Equipment Starlight range, the Rab Ignition range and the Mammut Kompakt range are all excellent for this type of use. Have a read of How to Choose a Sleeping Bag for more information.
Dry Bags: An obvious one but worth a mention as they are definitely a necessity once away from the car, tent or a building. We have a ridiculously large array of dry bags. For a camping trip a selection of a few different sizes are indispensible for organisation and keeping your stuff dry. A rucksack liner is also a requirement as soon as you head out away from base. Check out our dry bags here – Dry Bags.
Head Torches: Again, Facewest stock a massive range and there is something for every eventuality. The Petzl Tikka is a tried and tested classic and will get the job done without breaking the bank. If you want something a bit more fancy or are planning on being out it the dark a lot then more advanced torches with extended battery life and pre-programmable outputs are available – have a look at our Comparison Chart.
Bits and Pieces: Care Plus do a range of travel sized health and hygiene products which are ideal for travelling and camping. They are well priced, quality products which have all been scientifically tested. Hydration. Everyone needs a decent sized reliable water container, you could also consider swapping your solid water bottle for a soft bottle, these are surprisingly tough and can save a considerable amount of space in a day pack. Towel. PackTowls come in a range of sizes and although they feel a bit weird if you haven’t tried one before they are a massive space saver – ideal if you think you might fancy a dip in a secluded lochan.
Click here to read the next and final article on camping, covering some must have gear for those who want to go ultra light.