We’re guessing you’re at this page because you have made a powerful decision that will have far reaching ramifications for the rest of your life: You have decided to expand your life experience portfolio with a spot of Wild Camping. Well done and read on. Your journey begins here.
Step 1: What are you Planning to do?
If you have already visited the about us section, you will be familiar with the following diagram:
Underneath this seemingly tongue-in-cheek, bemusing little diagram lies an important point. Your first question, before buying any kit is: What kind of feisty activities are you going to get up to? Make yourself a cup of coffee, ingest a few cookies and have a think about this.
Step 2: Choose the right kit for your activity
Once you have decided on your activities, you now need to choose the right kit for the job. The most important thing to consider is your own safety. Remaining warm and dry is paramount when camping. Now we move on to another diagram:
When choosing kit there are three key considerations:
1. How much weight do you want to carry? The lighter the kit the easier it is to carry but it is often less durable and smaller.
2. How “bombproof” or durable must it be? If you are camping in Snowdonia in a storm you need something that is up to the task. Durable materials will allow you to survive but there is nearly always a weight penalty.
3. Will you regularly be camping with the same friends or family? How much room/other features do you need? Extra room/features generally equal more weight. However, you can often offset this by splitting the kit which can sometimes make things lighter than all buying individual items.
The diagram above is most readily applicable to a tent but you could equally envisage a diagram similar to this for other camping equipment such as cookware or a torch. Just substitute comfort for another word like “technical stuff” or “features.”
From this diagram something immediately becomes obvious. Taking tents as an example (which can be applied to all equipment), it becomes eminently apparent that the most lightweight tent is not going to be bombproof or comfortable. It is impossible to have all three things just like you can’t have your cake and eat it. Well actually you can have both of the latter but I digress.
Something else becomes apparent from using this diagram. Once you have decided the activities that you are going to go for, it becomes much easier to decide where on the triangle you need to be. For example a climber will be in the lightweight and bombproof side of the triangle and will make a big comfort sacrifice. A canoeist who stores their kit in barrels in a canoe and camps by the side of a river will want something that is bombproof and comfortable and may not be so worried about lightweight. A hiker may want a combination of all three, possibly leaning slightly towards lightweight and bombproof depending on times of year. A summer camper will be less concerned about having bombproof kit and may want lightweight, comfortable gear.
Step 3: The price
Now that you know roughly what sort of kit you need, you can do your research on individual bits of kit. Please feel free to go to different parts of our website and read our guides on choosing individual bits of kit. Then decide on a budget. Sadly high end camping can become rather expensive but we have tried to put in some good value cheaper stuff as well. If price is a key consideration for you then why not check out our section called Feisty Camping for under £100.