What to pack for wild camping?

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There is no greater feeling to me than getting away for a weekend of wild camping. Setting out with my backpack in the knowledge that I’m totally free and unplanned for a few days is total bliss. The first time I wild camped, I had no clue if I’d enjoy it. Chief on my list of concerns was packing! What to pack for wild camping and how to ensure I had everything I needed but without being stuck with an overwhelmingly heavy backpack.

A wild camping packing list for women

Following a number of trips, I’ve gathered a few tips below on what women should pack for wild camping. Spoiler alert, it’s very similar to what men should pack for wild camping, but for a few little feminine twists.

What camping equipment do I need for wild camping?

There are three main essentials for wild camping. The trifecta of the tent, the roll matt and the sleeping bag of course. All of these need to be as light weight as possible and as durable too. Here’s our suggestions for the best ones we’ve come across on the market.

Which tent is best for wild camping?

We’ve just bought a new tent as we are planning to walk the West Highland Way in a few months time. During our research, these are the best lightweight tents we found for wild camping.

There are more expensive models out there, but as we are budget hikers, we tend to look for tents that retail at around £100.We also looked for tents for two people that would be comfortable for two, rather than one person.

Therefore, the five on our short list were prioritised for comfort, weight and price:

Hyke and Bike Tent Yosemite 2 person tent2.49kg16x45x16 cm£114
Wandelen Appalachian Lightweight Backpacking Tent 1.68kg12.95 x 39.88 x 12.95 cm£129
Forceatt Camping Tent 2-3 Person2.5kg‎14 x 14 x 41 cm£96
Berghaus Lightweight and Compact Cheviot 2 Tent for 2 People3.1kg16 x 16 x 50 cm£136
OneTigris COSMITTO Lightweight Backpacking Tent 2 Person2.4kg16 x 16 x 50cm£124.99

Which roll mat is best for wild camping?

For me, there’s no question about roll mats. The only viable option is a self-inflating one.

I’ve tried a few, but the one I really like at the moment is this self-inflating mat on Amazon. It retails at under £30 and is extremely light weight. The mat has a built in pump, which is great and easy to use. It rolls into a small cylinder and is easy to put away too. We have two ad they can connect up to make a double bed, plus it’s an extremely comfortable sleeping option as it has a built up pillow. Just watch out if you have a very small tent as the roll mat can be quite large once inflated. This also weighs less than 1kg.

If you have a bigger budget, then this self-inflating mat by King Camp comes highly recommended by a friend. At £70 this was a little out of our price range, but we also thought that the 3kg weight was too much for our lightweight packs.

Which sleeping bag is best for wild camping?

For sleeping bags, we’ve had some absolute disasters in our first days as wild campers. We’ve had super light weight ones that were so thin we couldn’t get warm at all. Then, J tried one that was far too short for him – it didn’t go past his chest. We think we’ve sussed it out now though.

E uses the Besteam ultralightweight bag. This retails at around £100, which is not cheap. But, having tried some cheaper bags, we think this is one of the best at this budget. The best bit about this bag is that it is actually ultra-light at 1.6llbs (0.75 kg). However, this is not recommended for anyone tall as it’s not a long bag.

J travels with the Nature Hike Ultra light down bag. This is a super cosy bag and comes in a longer size for taller people. At around £109, it’s not cheap, but good value for what it is. Plus, it weighs 2lbs (1kg).

What other essentials should I pack for wild camping?

A Head Torch – a must pack for me. Doubles up as a light in the tent at night and required if you need to pop out when it’s dark. I use this basic rechargeable head torch.

A battery pack – to charge our phones on the go.

Cooking Equipment – we pack a small stove, that fits into the tiniest box. Its easy to set up and dismantle, light to carry and boils water pretty quickly. We also use this Odoland pots and pans set. We tend to pack one each for longer trips or one to share for short trips.

A 3 Litre Water Platypuslike this one. It’s advisable to carry at least 3 litres, especially if it’s hot or water stops are few and far between. I like using a water platypus too as it fits into my Osprey Tempest backpack in a special water pouch.

What else do women need to pack for wild camping?

Clothing – I go minimal with a change of underwear, socks and clean t shirt. Shorts and leggings. A waterproof and a light travel fleece. Weather dependent of course.

Toiletries – essential for me are my mooncup (depending on time of the month), wet wipes, sunscreen, deodorant and dry shampoo. I also pack a few small bags (doggy poop bags work well!) to ensure I can collect up any rubbish and used wet wipes and throw them away easily.

What do we eat and drink when wild camping?

Here’s what we always pack to eat and drink when wild camping.

Decanted bottle of our fave tipple. We are wine fans. But carrying a glass bottle is too heavy. I like to decant a wee dram of wine into a small plastic bottle and pop this in my backpack!

Coffee Bagslike this. This is a must for me, I need my morning coffee. I use coffee bags which make a nicer cup than instant granules. If you like milk in your coffee, I’d recommend saving the little sachets from hotels you stay in to use on your camping adventures.

Snacks – the best snacks are handy and easy to eat whilst you walk to give a bit of energy. Small individually wrapped cheeses can work well, homemade trail mix with fruit and nut, even some jelly sweets like haribo. Chocolate will melt and makes a mess so I wouldn’t recommend that!

Meals – I like to have a couple of meals with me so I’m not restricted on how far I can walk before needing to restock. I normally pack a couple of packs of microwave rice that can be heated up quickly with a dash of water. I add sugar snap peas or mangetout, and a sachet of soy sauce (saved from takeout sushi.) If I can, I also prepare one meal ready to eat in a disposable Tupperware. Mac and Cheese or Paella can work well!

Happy camping!


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