Updated: Apr 16
Those of you that have followed my Adventure Wild blog for a while now, know that my family and I have always been very outdoors-oriented. We love kayaking, hiking and camping.
We live in the most gorgeous part of South Wales in the UK at the foot of the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park so have that whole backyard as a playground, with mountains and rivers and reservoirs and hiking trails.
Being able to get out into the world has been a massive source of comfort to my mental health as I fight depression and it was from this I decided to use the wonder of the wild, to help others reconnect with nature and get back to basics with wild camping.
I wrote a separate post about How Walking Can Help Mental Health.
Is about getting back to nature with minimalist backpacking. It is about reconnecting with nature, getting away from the 9 to 5 rat race. Hike, stop, camp.
Off the beaten track in a nice quiet secluded spot away from any mod-cons. So what do you need to make your first camping trip a success and stress-free?
Let us look at what we think are the top tips for new campers and 10 things you need for stress-free adventures.
There are times when Dunk likes to hike and camp alone to switch off and enjoy his own company, but sometimes all you need is your dog. Your ‘fur-end’ will follow you to the ends of the Earth and back.
Dogs will never question your map-reading skills or sense of direction. Your dog just wants to be with its master and enjoying whatever you are enjoying. Our camping buddy is a Jack Russell terrier. Their small size is easy to pack for and easy to go off-road wherever you are without complaint, stress-free.
If you do not have a dog and really do not want to adventure alone, I am sure you have at least one like-minded friend who also enjoys the outdoors, so arrange together for an easy-to-go, off-road, adventure.
A flat route
There are those of us that are daredevils and want the thrill of adventure like scrambling Crib Coch on our first ever attempt at mountain climbing.
Then there are those of us that that would like to reconnect with nature in a more relaxed way and perhaps our fitness is not what it once was.
A nice flat route is going to be the easiest and most stress-free activity, especially if you are new to hiking. You want the trail well laid out, well-marked, solid and flat footpath.
There are of course plenty of these around as national footpaths are marked on maps but if you are feeling a bit more adventurous and have the right equipment, by all means, get your OS map out and go off-road, to non-touristy parts, where you really can be at one and see nature at her very best.
Ideally, you want to be able to stay close to a good clean water source and if possible pick up well maintained natural footpaths near to water and if possible a toilet at the destination.
This obviously saves you carrying water with you which is surprisingly heavy and even the most hardened wild campers don’t like the extra weight. A toilet is also luxury as I am not keen on having to dig a hole to let nature take its course but with a well-planned wild camp if you're not too far from your car you can pack a simple camping toilet to have in or near your tent with you.
KIT - Equipment
Make sure you have tested setting up your shelter before leaving and at least make a brew with your stove beforehand. Know your kit before you go.
This list is a useful guide of what you will need to make your camp comfortable and stress-free:
Shelter - this can be as luxurious as a motorhome or a simple as a piece of tarpaulin a true wild camper will obviously go for the latter but we make no judgement over comfort.
Bedding - obviously if you are in a motorhome you can go for the full pillows, quilts and memory foam toppers. Whatever you want to make you comfortable. If you are backpacking though, you don't want the weight so you go for good sleeping bags the top range ones will be lightweight for arctic warmth and expect to pay a pretty penny for those although there are equally good mid-range bags on the market and get yourself a good thermal base layer to wear and a sleeping bag liner even.
Stove - We use a JETBOIL ZIP. Lightweight, compact and so quick to boil.
Food - We either use full army ration packs which can be purchased online or Wayfayrer meals that can be bought in most large camping equipment shops. Or a simple pot noodle or porridge pot will suffice. You can even take a packed picnic, whatever suits your mood.
Water - as already mentioned.
Waterproof trousers and jacket.
Socks. Lots of socks. More pairs than you think you will need.
Top Tip - Wear your hiking shoes or boots to work or around the house for a week or two before your adventures. This helps to avoid blisters.
Over To You
We hope you have found this list useful and now have some inspiration to start your own wild adventures. We would love to hear your stories and any top tips that we have missed.
You can comment below and you can also find us on social media as @Adventure Accessories using the hashtag #AdventureWild.
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