Essential Lightweight Camping and Hiking Gear
by James Ellis
Firstly, you’re going to need something to carry all your other lightweight kit, you’re going to need a rucksack of course. For a stylish, comfortable and most importantly lightweight rucksack we recommend the Vango F10 Alplite 35. Built on the foundation of the award winning and widely applauded F10 Alpine and featuring the same customisable and minimalistic approach the Alplite utilises a lighter body of 210D ripstop nylon fabric allowing you to make more of your fast and light trips. Weighing only 0.9kg the Alplite includes 2 compression straps, axe attachments, cord slips and adjusters, internal and external pockets and a top lid with zip pocket. All of this for only £64.99
Now you’re going to need somewhere to sleep, for this we recommend – you guessed it – a tent! We recommend the Robens Arrow Head Lightweight Technical Poled Tent. The Arrow Head’s pitching uses a side-entry sloping tunnel tent design to provide a stable and comfortable sleeping space. The pole sleeve is closed at one end for easy pole insertion, and pre-bent alloy poles enhance headroom. The Arrow Head is also fire retardant, has taped seams and rain safe vents for greater moisture control and a hanging point system, perfect for a mosquito net. Weighing only 1.5kg this tent is perfect for lightweight camping and hiking. Priced at £84.99.
Next, you’ll be needing something to sleep in, a sleeping bag. We highly recommend the Vango Planet 100. Specifically designed for long distance travellers, the Planet has a small pack size and is lightweight, weighing only 1.1kg. With built in protection against bacteria, mould and insects, alongside a built-in pillow this bag is sure to give you a comfortable night’s sleep. Your sleep with also be warm due to the two-way auto-lock zip and zip guard which helps retain warmth, whilst providing ventilation. The Planet is priced at £49.99.
Now you might be wanting something to sleep on. A roll or sleeping mat isn’t a necessity when camping or hiking, though it is often preferred for comfort reasons. For this reason, we’ve found arguably the best sleeping mat for when you want to both travel light and sleep comfortably. Weighing only 150g the Easy Camp Basic EVA Mat is light and supplies an extra degree of comfort for your night’s sleep. Secured simply with elasticated bands for travel and storage. Priced at £5.99.
Even though our recommended lightweight sleeping bag, the Planet 100, has a built-in pillow, you may still be looking for some additional support. For this we recommend the Vango Shangri La Pillow. Combining the benefits of a fully supported memory foam pillow, with the small pack size of a camping pillow, the Shangri-La is the ultimate in outdoor sleeping luxury. Priced at £22.99
Whilst camping or travelling you’re going to need the ability to cook, so you can quench that hunger you built up whilst hiking! First, you’ll need something to cook with, a fire would of course suffice if you’re in an area which allows it. However, a portable stove and source of fuel is almost always welcome. We recommend the Campingaz Twister Plus PZ Stove. A compact, single burner stove ideal for easy transportation and storing during outdoor pursuits. Featuring piezo ignition for instant ignition wherever you are. It runs off Campingaz CV valve cartridges which can be quickly and easily connected or detached. Portable, durable and affordable. Priced at £26.99 (Stove) and £5.99 (Cartridge).
You’ve acquired your stove and you’re ready to eat! Wait, what are you going to cook in? The Vango Non-Stick Mess Tins are portable, easy-to-clean and durable, making them perfect for a lightweight trip. Alongside these we recommend the Kampa Lightweight Cutlery Set for your own personal eating utensils.
And finally, you get to eat! Well, why not try some lightweight food? The Wayfayrer Meal provides a substantial meal to satisfy the hearty appetite you'll build up during any outdoor activity like camping, walking, climbing, or sailing. Sealed in an individual, robust foil pouch, the tasty pre-cooked meals are easy to carry, simple to prepare and can be eaten hot or cold.
So, admittedly there’s some other gear you might need for a lightweight trip – we don’t go into clothing here, as, well…that’s largely personal preference. But for durable, versatile and lightweight gear we stand by this list!
Prices subject to change. Check product page for up to date prices.