Weekend in the woods is a pretty picture in the societal consciousness. Family on a picnic, a couple tracking mountains, or friends gathered for a hike are highly advertised images and for a good reason. A holiday spent in nature relaxes the mind and bonds people together. However, incredible photos on social media don’t show the backstage of such adventures – gear preparation and planning to protect yourself in the wilderness.
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Trees won’t provide the best shelter from the rain, and open-air is a fruitful setting for mosquito raids and visits from wild animals. You won’t find any necessities at hand in the woods, so everything should be thought about before the trip and packed to take with you.
With everything said, a comfortable and ‘homy’ trip to nature is possible. All you need is to take your home with you, but in a transformed appearance – a camp kit. To prepare it, you’ll need knowledge from likely an entirely foreign sphere because, in ordinary urban life, you don’t discuss with friends the best winter tent with a stove or a waterproof hammock.
Here we list the crucial gear for spending a night in nature, offering several item options for your comfort.
Essentials for a safe trip
Before diving into the separate gear categories, let’s settle on the basic kit for a successful journey outside a city. Apart from a tent and a portable barbecue stove, you’ll need to prepare or pack several items that will help you out in unexpected and inconvenient situations.
- Navigation. Internet and mobile connection are scarce in woods, so download offline maps like maps.me beforehand. You’ll also need to charge your phone and take a power bank. There won’t be any sockets, so take a source of additional energy with you. Moreover, in the case of a disaster like losing or breaking your phone, pack a paper map with a written route inside. It may save you time and nerves.
- Lightning. The best option is to have a headlamp because it frees arms for other tasks. Moreover, you can put it in the tent’s upper socket, creating an improvised lamp, which will light the whole place perfectly. We recommend petzl tikka or petzl bindi, which are affordable and quality options for travelers.
- First-aid kit. You’d like to pack protection from mosquitoes, foot plaster to avoid blisters or corns, and a mirror to help your eyes if something gets inside. Don’t take this stage carelessly. First-aid is crucial for a safe and pleasant trip. Nature is full of hidden dangers, so you’ll need to be ready for them.
- A knife. Opening packages, slicing cheese, and cutting clothes to treat a wound won’t be possible without a reliable knife. We recommend a victorinox climber with scissors because they become handy in various situations, for which a blade is not so convenient.
- Firestarters. Except for lighters and matches, prepare homemade light starters to make a fire without trouble.
- Additional food and water. Stack some snacks to treat yourself or a loved one in addition to a cup of tea. Sweets and chocolate taste a million times better after a long walk in the fresh air.
- Clothes. Nights are colder than days, and the weather becomes unpredictable with the change in altitude, so prepare a light puff jacket and a watch cap to warm your ears during the night and long evening near the fire.
- Protection from water. If rain starts, you’ll be glad to have a rain cover for your bags and tent. Moreover, take a waterproof bag that is perfect for storing things and carrying water from a spring.
Tent – your portable home
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The ideal tent should possess two characteristics – be well-protected from changeable weather and have everything needed to live comfortably. One of the sphere’s legends is a GoLite Imogene UL2 Tent, perfect for two travelers to rest and continue the journey. It is an affordable variant with double walls for better protection and is light to carry in a backpack without trouble. However, it isn’t fit for having a meal or a cup of coffee inside because of the limited space.
Another option is a family-sized Eureka Space Camp 4 suitable for camping in three seasons. A vestibule will help keep the inside dry and provide an additional storage space perfect for shoes and backpacks. Furthermore, with a rugged aluminum frame, the tent will last any storm and keep you safe and cozy during the rain at night.
If you travel with extended family or plan friends gathering in wild surroundings, CORE 9 Person Extended Dome Tent will suit your needs. It is fully sealed against water to preserve the inside from humidity. A venting system is designed to keep a steady flow of fresh air to maintain a stable and pleasant temperature in all seasons.
Sleeping bag – better than a mattress at home
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After a lovely evening with instant food, you allow yourself only on such special occasions you don’t want to freeze to death during the night. Sleeping arrangements require some considerations because, without a warm and comfy sleeping bag, you will be turning around those limited and precious hours for recovering your strength. We recommend Nitro Quilt 20°, which is a blanket and a bag at the same time. It has arm pockets to prevent drafts, and a hood to warm your head. Moreover, it’s designed to be oversized to provide soft and cozy rest.
If you travel with a loved one and prefer to spend a night near each other, there is an alternative to separate sleeping bags. Stoic Groundwork Double Sleeping Bag is perfect for two people, has soft fabric and zips at each side. It repels water and dirt, keeps warm inside even if it gets wet, and can be unzipped into two bags if necessary.
Kitchenware – tasty dinner on an open fire
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Fortunately, you aren’t doomed to eat stone-cold food and drink plain water during the trip. With adequate equipment, you can create a modern kitchen among oaks and bushes. Some of it allows you to cook without making fire, which is helpful in damp weather. But before thinking of a three-course meal, prepare the means to carry water with you. The best choice is a light and portable Seeker™ 3 L, which will take a minimum of space after usage. It won’t break or crack as metal and plastic bottles and can be easily attached to the backpack with lash points, while a scale with measurements will help you estimate the amount of water you pour out.
For cooking, we recommend gear from Jetboil. MicroMo Cooking System will boil water to prepare dehydrated foods, brew coffee and tea or cook any cereals. For a real stove, look at the HalfGen that is perfect for any dream meal. Using the pan, you can fry eggs, bacon, or cook pancakes, enjoying the mountain landscape at the same time. Both of them work on gas, so remember to buy a fuel canister compatible with your gear.
If you can’t live without coffee even a day, take AeroPress Go with you. It includes a mag and a measuring spoon for brewing the best cup.
The tremendous range of equipment and advice on traveling shouldn’t scare you off and deprive you of the enjoyable rest in nature. Look for the gear with hot-tent.com and prepare for a real adventure with comfort and safety.