You know how it goes, your presented with a little bit of unexpected free time or the weather takes a last minute turn for the better and a camping trip is on the cards, but where the hell is everything needed to spend a night under the stars.

This has been happening a lot to me lately and I seem to be spending a silly amount of time getting stuff together before being able to leave the house. This means I’m always in a rush to catch a train/bus and its getting very old.

Having a fair amount of time this weekend made me get around to preparing a prepacked rucksack that I can just pick up and shoot off with at a moments notice.

camping bug out kit

Camping Bug out Kit

Staying with the Old

The original plan was to buy a new monster sized rucksack and use that for the bug out kit. This was an attractive idea because like nearly everybody and their hobbies, who doesn’t like a shiny new bit of equipment now and then 🙂

The only drawback with this is how uncomfortable I often find new rucksacks until they’ve loosened up a bit. Keeping this in mind the next best option was to buy a smaller rucksack that can be used for general hiking and everyday use, then turn my old (slightly battered but very comfortable) Karrimor backpack over to the ready to go camping kit.

The plus side of this idea is after already using the new (smaller) pack for a few days, its turned out a lot more manageable than the beast and I’ve stopped accidentally hitting people with the thing when turning around 🙂

hiking day pack

New ‘Dinky’ Day Pack

Choosing Kit Essentials

As most of the places I camp are nearly always somewhere you have to walk a good distance to reach, I’ve learned to keep the weight on my back down over the years, but its no easy task when there’s so much you want to take.

This gets even more complicated when you consider some of my other hobbies (radio communications) go hand in hand with camping (especially on mountains) and this requires me to lug about additional electronic equipment.

The Usual Suspects

1. Lightweight Tent
2. Spare Clothes (2 x Socks, 1x Jeans, 1x T-shirt, 1x Fleece)
3. Handheld CB Radio
4. Handheld Radio Scanner
5. Portable SW Radio (Doubles as a Normal FM Music Radio)
6. Extra Batteries for all Radios
7. Maglite Torch
8. Strong String
9. 5 Black Bin Liners (of course!)
10. Lightweight Waterproof Coat
11. Bed Roll
12. Sleeping Bag (Type Changes Depending on the Weather)

Along with the spare bin liners, I generally pack all the extra clothes and my radios in bin liners too, just to be sure they stay dry. I’m in the habit of making up the batteries in the correct quantities for each radio, this saves a whole lot of time fishing around for individual batteries (sometimes in the dark).

finished camping kit

All Packed and Ready to Go

With the last minute addition of water and food (peanuts and chocolate win every time), there’s now a bag I can just grab when the urge takes me to get outdoors. Its a shame that the sleeping bag won’t fit once I’ve loaded everything else in, but you can’t have it all and that’s comfortable enough when carried over my shoulder.

This ready kit also cuts down on the time spent re-checking after I’ve packed everything, which is something I’m trying to do away with as its very annoying 🙂

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