As a child, I’ve always dreamt of camping under the stars and finally, I get to live my dreams! Camping in a tent might not be the most comfortable, but here’s how we make it bearable and enjoyable 🙂 So here are our 6 essential items for camping!
1. Portable fuel stove
This is one of our most important items for camping actually. Imagine after a whole day of arduous trekking, all you want is a plate of hot savoury food for your growling stomach. With a simple stove, you can cook instant soups/noodles and boil water to make hot chocolate or coffee. Well, we aren’t very creative with our culinary skills, so we usually prefer to just cook simple fuss free meals. But of course, you can choose to cook anything that you want as long as it fits into the pot.
Where to buy it: We got ours from Adventure Gear Post which specialises in equipment for the outdoor adventurous travellers. They have almost everything from sleeping bags, tents, camping stoves, climbing devices and harnesses to hiking shoes and everything else that you can think of. They’re located in Singapore, 10 minutes walk from Tai Seng MRT, very convenient!
The only problem that we had with this was finding the fuel overseas as you can’t bring it on the plane. Most outdoor shops sell the fuel although we had quite a difficult time finding it in the more rural parts of China. But once you’re in the big cities, it shouldn’t be a problem. The fuel’s also very cheap and 1 canister can last us for about 3-5 separate camping trips.
2. Lightweight 3 seasons tent
This Goondie tent from One Planet is really good because it’s super lightweight! Ours is a 2 men tent but it was still very spacious for the both of us (also because we were both relatively smaller sized) and the entire tent only weighs about 1kg! Also, this tent is suitable for 3 seasons, namely spring, summer, autumn. Well, we tried using it during winter and we almost froze to death. We would say zero degrees is our limit for this tent. But otherwise, it does a pretty good job at keeping the cold wind out.
Another vital equipment for camping especially if you’re camping at the more remote areas like by the beach, in a forest or at the top of a mountain. These places usually do not have any street lights at all and unless it’s a full moon that night, good luck to you. But of course, you can use the light from your phone, but nothing beats a headlight which gives you the freedom of being handsfree. Just like in the photo below when we climbed Mt Kinabalu, you need both hands to hold the rope and hence a headlight would be most practical.
4. Sleeping bag
This is needless to say, you definitely need a sleeping bag if you’re planning to camp outdoors. Unless you prefer sleeping on cold hard ground. Each sleeping bag has a comfort and an extreme level. Our sleeping bag’s comfort level was 0 degrees and extreme is around -5 degrees. Although we used it when it was around -2 degrees and it was almost unbearable for us already.
Tip: If you have one of those foam mats, bring it along if you’re going to be camping in a cold place. Those mats really help to keep your body warm as there’s a layer of air between your body and the ground.
5. Sufficient warm clothing
Not sure if you can see clearly, but in the photo below, there was actually frost that formed on the outer layer of our tent as during the night, temperatures dipped to below zero degrees celsius! We were practically shivering the whole night, kinda torturous actually :/ But thankfully, we survived the night as we brought sufficient warm clothing.
We had to wear a total of 4 layers to sleep in that night! First layer was our TNF base thermal layers followed by the TNF Thermal Ball which is this puffy jacket which has lots of pockets of air trapped inside it and then the TNF Triclimate jacket which consists of the really warm blue fleece jacket and a outer waterproof shell. With all that gear on, we were able to stay warm and erm, alive, and to catch some sleep in our cold tent that night.
6. Solar Portable charger
Especially if you’re planning to camp in the wilderness for more 2 days or more, then you’ll definitely need a portable charger to charge your phone. For us we use GPS when hiking on our own which consumes quite a lot of battery. Also in case of emergency, it’s important to have your phone charged and ready. Solar portable charger is practical as you can just hang it on your bag while you trek and at night, it’s ready for use.
Apart from the above items, we usually bring along our kindle as well as after the sun sets, there’s not much left to do and it’s too early to sleep. So usually we’ll spend some time reading our kindle before going to sleep. But this is more of an optional item, hence we omitted it out of the list above.