Posted on July 31 2018
What is the best equipment to carry for short 2-3 night bushcraft style, wild camping trips?
We have been asked this question many times, over the years and have now come up with a comprehensive list of equipment that we would suggest is the minimum for a comfortable, safe and productive trip.
This kit list is catered towards the temperate, British climate but is useful for many environments and climates. This kit wil be particularly useful for woodland environments.
Any outdoor/survival kit worth its salt should cover all the basic needs of survival which are : shelter, fire, water, first aid, food, signalling and navigation. The following list comprehensively covers all these necessities whilst still being minimalist, to save weight.
A note on clothing - Moisture wicking baselayers close to the skin will maximise comfort and performance. Trousers and tops appropriate to season. Outer water proof layer for rain/sleet/snow/wind protection (we would recommend a poncho as they are lightweight, versatile and will stop your bag getting wet too). For colder conditions, we would suggest another thermal layer as opposed to a single, thicker, garment. Layering clothing is more effective as it allows for greater temperature regulation across a spectrum of conditions. A good pair of lightweight, durable boots which offer lots of support is invaluable. A warm hat and pair of gloves is a must in most seasons. A spare hat for sleeping and rest is a great idea! Remember, your clothes are your first line of defence against the elements.
A note on shleter - For the most versatile and east to use shelter, we would recommend a tent. Lightweight and compact, these can be set up in most environments and offer the best protection from the elements. To extend the life of your tent, we would recommend using a ground sheet (this will also help isolate you from the ground).
C.AP.E. BUSHCRAFT KIT LIST BY ALPHA BUSHCRAFT
1. Good clothes, 1 spare pair of socks and 1 spare top (this way you can sleep in dry clothes should your main items get wet).
2. Tent (a hydrostatic head of 3000 or more is recommended)
4. Sleeping pad (the thicker, lighter and warmer, the better!)
5. Sleeping bag or quilt (one that is warm and comfortable for you!)
6. 25 foot of spare cordage
7. Good quality cigarette lighter which has been filled, why not carry two?
8. Fire steel (ferrocerium rod). An effective way to light your stove too!
9. Tinder (which must be kept dry)
10. Steel or Titanium water bottle x 2
11. Alcohol stove with pot rest and windshield
12. Plenty of fuel
14. Steel or titanium solo cooking pot
15. Spork and cup
16. Plenty of water and food (at least an extra day's worth for emergencies)
17. Water purification method if you are not planning to carry in all you water. We would recommend a water filter and chlorine tablets as the safest means of producing potable water. Know how they work before needing to use them!
18. A loud survival whistle
19. A small signal mirror
20. A fully charged mobile phone (keep it off until you need it or carry an alternative means of charging). You never know where you will get an signal.
21. Light sticks x 2 a reliable safe way of producing light for signalling
22. Map of area
24. Let someone know where you are going and when you can be expected back! Know how to use your map and compass!
25. GPS units can fail but we would recommend one anyway. You can always rely on your map and compass skills but GPS can make life very simple.
26. Backup compass (compasses can fail, if both are pointing in the same direction, you're probably ok. It is psychologically comforting, which can be important in a dangerous situation).
27. 4+ inch full tang knife (needs to be tough for wood processing)
28. Smaller folding or fixed knife
29. Bushcraft saw (for collecting project or fire wood).
30. Small hatchet - only necessary for bigger projects or longer trips. In our opinion, a knife and saw will suffice for making fire wood for your campfire and for collecting wood for small projects (spoons, bowls, forks, bows, traps etc). Not taking a hatchet can offer a significant weight saving too). Your knife should be able to baton through campfire sized wood with ease!
31. Headtorch (hands free lighting is invaluable!)
32. Spare torch
33. Spare batteries
34. First aid kit (plasters, bandages, disinfectant, butterly sutures, pain relief, anti hitamines, anti diarrhroea, eye wash)
35. Your rucksack/backpack. This is a really important piece of equipment, particularly if your are planning on trekking any distance. If you are planning on getting down and dirty, we would recommend a pack made from Cordura fabric or similar. If you are not going to encounter thorns, brambles, branches and other abrasives, you have the choice of using a lightweight pack made from ripstop SilNylon or similar. In either case we would recommend a pack size of 60 litres or more with padded shoulder, hip and sternum straps. These straps prevent the bag moving around which causes friction and can throw the walker off balance. Make sure your pack is suitably adjusted before setting out.
This is a well balanced kit which gives you lots of options and will keep you safe in most conditions encoutered in temperate climates.
We hope this helps.