Facewest’s ‘How To’ – Lightweight Camping

The guide to Fast & Light Camping

The first article covered luxury camping and the second how to lose a bit of weight from this gear. This article will go through some ultralight camping gear which is definitely worth while if you’re looking to do a long distance trek, a mountain marathon or some fast and light peak assaults.

Exped-Synmat-Winterlite-7-M1
Exped Winterlite

Sleeping Mat: As with the other articles your sleeping mat is a key one. For the ultimate in comfort, minimal weight and space the Thermarest NeoAir Xlite or NeoAir Xtherm and the Exped Hyperlite 7, Winterlite 7 or Synmat Ultralite 7 are the mats to look at first. If you’re bivvying on rough ground then the Z lite SOL is worth a look.

Rab Guides Siltarp 2

Shelter: Facewest stock a small range of high quality MSR lightweight tents ideal for trekking and hiking trips. The Hubba Hubba HP is a lightweight 2 man tent capable of withstanding British weather. The Hubba NX goes even further and is a one man tent with a lighter weight inner – perfect for British summer and more settled climates. For those who are serious about saving weight or know that pitching a tent is not going to be feasible then there are always tarps and Bivis. Click here for all of our Tents, Tarps and Bivis. If you’re out with the bare minimum it’s definitely worth having a foil blanket – we’ve got some Blizzard ones on offer as well as some from AMK and Care Plus. They’re in our Emergency Shelters category.

Stoves: The Pocket Rocket, Micro Rocket and Crux Lite are excellent minimalist stoves which don’t get much lighter they all weigh less than 100g, though you will need a lightweight pot as well. Titanium is the lightest and most durable option, the MSR Titan Kettle a tried and tested bit of kit. The classic all in one solution is of course a Jetboil of which many have made some serious ascents.

Optimus-Crux-Lite-M1
Optimus Crux Lite

Food: There’s no point buying a load of super light gear and then lugging jars of pasta sauce with you. We stock Expedition Foods and Mountain House, both of whom offer high quality freeze dried meals. OK they’re not pub grub but they are pretty tasty for food which needs rehydrating and there are plenty of different meal options and flavours. Just add boiling water and tuck in – Freeze Dried Foods.

Drybags: Change your standard or tough drybags to ultralight ones. OK, they’re not as durable, but they are a significant weight saving and for such a useful item it’s definitely worthwhile. Have a look at our Lightweight and Ultralight Drybags.

Lightmyfire-Firesteel-2-M1
LightMyFire Firesteel 2

Bits and Pieces: A spork, the only piece of cutlery you’ll need, get a plastic one so it doesn’t damage the surface of your pots. A Fire Steel is a completely reliable method of getting your burner going. Matches can get wet, piezo igniters aren’t always reliable and lighters can run out of fuel or break. They do take a bit of practice if you want to use them to start a fire though.

If your kit is still too heavy then it’s probably time to either leave things at home altogether or start cutting bits off them. If you’re on a short trip and can accept a night or 2 of broken sleep then leaving your sleeping mat at home is an option – it’s not for everyone though. To really take it to the extreme people have been known to cut labels out of their clothing and snip the end off their toothbrush!

 

Video – Stu takes you through the luxury Thermarest Fast & Light range:

2 comments

  1. Hi Phil. Thanks for your comments. I agree that the Sea To Summit mats are very comfortable and I do like the different baffle design. However, I think the warmth they provide compared to how much they weigh doesn’t make them an ideal choice – particularly in the UK. I think they do deserve a mention in this series of blogs as a comfortable choice for warmer weather. Unfortunately I had to neglect them as current supply issues mean that we have very limited stock for the time being.

  2. Regarding the above sleeping mats, in my opinion the Sea to Summit range of mats blows the Exped and Thermarest offerings into the water with the baffle design, they are the ultimate in comfort and lightweight mats

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