Camping, hiking and photography are three ingredients for a fantastic adventure in the wild. Whether you are thinking of going it alone or teaming up with fellow photographers, you will want to kit yourself out properly. Making sure you have the right supplies is going to make your trip both comfortable and productive. Here is a list of things to consider taking.
Having some good thermal base layers is always a great way of keeping warm throughout your trip. These can be worn under clothing during the day and used as warm nightwear too.
Hiking trousers and tops
Clothing that is designed specifically for hiking is going to be the best choice for any type of outdoor adventure. This clothing uses lightweight materials that dry easily and also wick the sweat away from your skin. Perfect for ensuring the hiking part is as comfortable as possible. The last thing you want to end up with is wet clothing that won’t dry easily.
The weather can always change even if it looks like the sun is likely to shine. Having a good quality waterproof jacket that can pack down small is always a good move. If you are going somewhere especially wet be sure to pack more substantial jacket and some waterproof trousers. Staying warm and dry is crucial in order to prevent you from becoming ill and ruining the whole thing.
Socks and boots
What you wear on your feet is going to have a huge impact on your comfort level. Therefore, be sure to invest in good quality walking boots that will give you the support you need as well as keeping your feet warm and dry. Don’t underestimate the importance of having good socks too. Get some purpose made hiking socks so that your feet will stay warm and not suffer from blisters. A bad blister can end a trip so take a few good pairs of socks that you can change into. Changing socks regularly will keep the sweat from harming your feet.
Face warmers, gloves and hats
Keeping your head and hands warm is a priority. If you lose feeling in your hands then not only are you going to be extremely uncomfortable, but you also won’t be operating your camera well. Having a warm hat and face mask will keep you toasty and prevent you getting too battered by strong winds. If you get cold during the night you can always put your hat, face mask and gloves on. You’ll back to temperature in no time.
You may have to pack all the food you need or stock up locally when you get there. This will depend on where you are going and how long you plan to be away from civilisation for.
Tinned food or ration packs are a great way to carry substantial food that will be easy to cook and provide you with the nutrition you need to keep going.
Food on the go
If you are staying active between meals then it is likely that you are going to need some extra nourishment. Be sure to pack yourself some energy bars, cereal bars and maybe some energy gels. These will really help keep your energy levels topped up.
Of all of the things on your list, water is most certainly one of the most important. Make sure can carry enough water to keep you going between refills. A couple of water bottles as well as collapsible water container is the minimum you should really take.
Water purification tablets
If you are heading out into the wilderness these are definitely a good idea. Getting stuck without water is one of the worst situations you can find yourself in while hiking. These weigh nothing and could turn out to be a life saver.
There are a few options when it comes to choosing a device to cook on. Obviously you could opt for an open fire. However,in most cases you will either want something more practical or won’t be allowed to do so. There are plenty of options each with their own benefits. Gas bottles with a single burner or a solid fuel stove are brilliant lightweight options.
When deciding what to cook it is a good idea to research supplies you will be able to pick up. In some places certain gas canisters may not be available. So, if you run out then you won’t be able to restock.
Pots and mess tin
When it comes to working out what to cook in try to keep the size and weight down as much as possible. There is no point carrying a whole set of pots if you are only going to be using one. Keep things simple. One or two pans will do everything you need. Invest in a mess tin, as this can act as both a cooking pot and a dish to eat from. The military love them for good reason.
Of course, don’t forget your cutlery, you’ll need something to eat with.
This part is pretty important. If you are heading out into the wilderness on your own you are going to want a lightweight and reliable tent. Solo tents usually pack down to a very small size, weigh little more than about 2kg and take very little time to set up. As long as it is waterproof, has a strong ground sheet and fly net you are good to go. Don’t forget to pack a few extra tent pegs.
As with everything this wants to be as light as possible but keep in mind the conditions you are going to exposed to. You will definitely need this to keep you warm enough to stay comfortable as getting cold can lead to many problems. Do your research and make sure the sleeping bag you take is up to the task. It may be a good idea to take a sleeping bag liner to provide an extra layer of insulation.
This bit of kit is just as important as your sleeping bag as it will ensure you get a comfortable night’s sleep and don’t lose boy heat to the ground beneath you. There are two main lightweight options to choose from – either foam or air. Foam mats can be rolled up and strapped to a backpack, these are light and very quick and easy to use. The alternative, air mats, are usually slightly heavier but usually pack down to a smaller size. This means they can be packed inside your backpack to keep dry.
Much of this is going to be down to what you own and what you want to achieve when you are out on your adventure. However, here a few things that you might want to consider on top of your camera and chosen lenses and filters.
Tripod or Gorillapod
A lightweight carbon fibre tripod is the best choice is you can afford one as this will give you a super sturdy platform to mount your camera to. However, if you need something smaller, lighter and/or cheaper then a Gorillapod is a fantastic alternative. These can be wrapped around branches, fences, stood up or hung up anywhere.
Having enough power to last your entire trip is obviously of great importance. The last thing you want is to run out of power just as the light hits and your composition presents itself. Take as many as you can and make sure they are all fully charge.T
Never let your batteries get too cold. This will cause them to discharge quickly meaning you get less time out of them. If you are travelling somewhere with cold conditions then put all of your batteries inside your jacket so that they stay warmed by your body heat.
Spare SD cards
As with batteries it is crucial that you have enough memory to keep you going through your trip. The last thing you want to be doing is filtering through your images while on location just so that you can delete a few to free up space. Save yourself the hassle and get a few extra cards.
Waterproof camera cover
If you are likely to be out in the wet then protecting your camera from the elements is pretty important. A rain cover can be bought for next to nothing but could save you a very expensive bill for a water damaged camera.
Tools and medical
It would be best to have at least two of these. One head torch and one hand held torch is a good combination to have. This way you can have both hands free while doing stuff like cooking, setting up your tent or even using your camera. The hand held torch could be a brighter torch for when you need it. Take some spare batteries for both.
A lighter is a must have, This will allow to light your gas stove, start a campfire or even provide light in a pinch.
Multi-tool and penknife
Many unforeseen issues can arise when out and about that might need a tool of some sort to fix. For this reason alone having a good quality multi-tool and knife is essential.
Waterproof tape/ gaffer tape
This is stuff is so useful. Make sure you have some with you so that you can fix any damage to your tent or backpack, strap kit together, label things and so much more. Tape can save the day sometimes so having a roll of some that is both tough and waterproof is a no brainer.
First aid kit
Injuries can happen even in the lowest risk situations, so if you are out in the wilderness then it would make no sense to be unprepared for such a thing. A small cut or blister can rapidly become a problem big enough to ruin your adventure if not taken care of. Having some good quality waterproof plasters, dressings and antiseptic wipes and gels will prevent you from getting nasty infections from seemingly minor injuries.
If you or someone else gets injured or suffers from a trauma of any sort then on of the first things that must be taken care of is ensuring they stay warm. A foil blanket is the choice of paramedics for a good reason. Almost all of the heat that is emitted by the person’s body is reflected back onto them keeping them as warm as possible. These are super lightweight and compact so there is no valid reason for not carrying one.