Basic Kit types

1- Belt Line (or the stuff that goes in your pockets/handbag, that you always carry) – obviously, you’re going to have all sorts of things (such as keys, wallet, cellphone etc), but a really useful combination to maintain or add would be:

  • a multitool
  • torch
  • lighter.

These 3 things will solve an amazing amount of problems and allow you to get things done really effectively.

2 -Daily Carry – Most of us carry a bag around with us, these days. I like to keep a truly scary amount of gear with me most of the time. I add to my ‘belt line’ with:

  • First aid kit
  • camera
  • small library of Collins Gem books – I carry 3 (Tree Identification, SAS survival guide and Food for Free) and plan to add to them – 4 or 5 will take up less space than a moderately sized paperback.
  • a thermal cup with lid (a good idea for carrying liquids and protecting more delicate items. also you can mix up cordials and powdered drinks / soups, if you need to)
  • A small waterproof box with lid containing various things like packet soup, condiments, spare torch and lighter and paracord)
  • A few pens and a notebook
  • an Mp3 player with both music and audio books on it.
  • Spare batteries (the camera, spare torch and Mp3 player all take the same batteries).
  • A few snacks – help you ward off the demons of fast food, if you are a bit peckish, during the day.

I plan to add a small ‘basha’ or poncho to this loadout, as well as some kind of cooking vessel, stove and a water carrier, to allow this pack to serve as a microlight camping solution, in the near future. Watch this space.

3 – Camping Kit, or Bug out Bag – a much larger purposeful assemblage of kit, designed to allow for a short period of stand-alone survival. Camping is a really good way of assessing your real needs as a human, as opposed to your wants. There seems to be a lot here, so I’ve grouped them into categories, and only put the items I deem essential in bold.

Shelter – shield yourself from the elements.

  • Tent / Basha / Tarp & Hammock or poncho – Tents are more comfortable, but take up more space, It’s all a question, of weight, size and comfort. Everything in the shelter section is a bit of a trade off.

Sleeping- I would reccomend:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat – I would reccomend a self -inflating mat – they cost a bit more, but weigh the same and take up the same amount of room, but are much more comfortable.
  • Blanket – keeps you warm and has loads of other uses – wool is best, as it won’t easily catch fire, and stays warm, even when wet, but it is heavier.


Some form of water carrier. Even if you dont wash with it, are in a temperate clime and are not exerting yourself, you will need 2-3 litres per day. The US style soft sided water bottle holds around 2 litres, I use that, in conjunction with a 1ltr Nalgene bottle.


You will probably need the means to make fire. Try to learn at least 3 ways of getting a fire lit – have a go with flint and steel and a fire steel, but always take a reliable lighter.


Take at least 2-3 days of food with you(even if you don’t think you’ll need it). The kind of stuff I prefer is easy to prepare, tasty and supplied in well-sealed and waterproof packaging.

  • packet pasta / rice
  • packet soups
  • powdered drinks
  • boiled sweets
  • chocolate covered coffee beans.
  • Tea coffee, sugar and powdered milk are also a really good idea.

Make sure you like it! It is a miserable camper, who packs loads of noodles and packet rice without trying them out and discovers he hates them, when miles away from any store!

You will also need to prepare or cook your food (this may require extra water) so pack a stove for boiling water and heating your chow. This is where boil-in-the-bag products really come into their own – you can use the water you boiled your food in to make a hot drink, and you have a lot less washing up.

There are loads of stove types on the market, but make sure you will have a ready supply of the requisite fuel! Stove types include:

  • Gas stove – try to get something lightweight and stable. Finite fuel will be available to you in the field.
  • Wood burning – go for some kind of gasifier stove, such as the bush buddy (I will review this elsewhere on the site). Fuel is pretty plentiful, unless you are on a prairie, or in a desert.
  • Meths – you can pretty much make these, and the fuel is easy to carry.
  • Boot polish stove – cheap and easy to refill, uses carboard soaked wax to provide heat. COsts bout 20 pence in candle wax to refill, and is made from recycled materials (construction guide elsewhere on this site)

Other things to remember to take with you:

  • Knife fork spoon – get a simple military issue set (I generally take spares, too)metal, rather than plastic, as you may need to stir your cooking food with it.
  • Mug – Either an insulated plastic or tin mug
  • Mess tins (can be used  as both pans and plates) Ideally yout would take 2 mess tins and reserve one for boiling water only – that way you can always make a drink.
  • washing up liquid and a scrubbing device .
  • C.U.B. (Culinary Upgrade Box) a box containing extra spices, salt, pepper, plastic spoons and flavour sachets that you can use to liven up your meals. I like to take all those things fast food places tend to throw away at you, and do interesting and useful stuff with them.


  • Knife – There’s nothing more useful in the field than a good fixed bladed knife. Pick something non-threatening, but sturdy (there are too mant variants to list here, but go for something solid and workmanlike).
  • Axe, or hatchet – good for light chopping of wood, to make structures or even other tools.
  • Saw – another excellent wood preparation tool. If you have to choose whether to take an axe or a saw – take a saw – they generally end up being the more used of the two.
  • Other wood working tools – if you intend to make stuff in the field or try out different survival tecqniques. Things like chisels, files, awls and sandpaper can all come in very handy.
  • As much paracord as you can reasonably carry – always handy and very hard to break. paracord is the best cordage I have ever used. Take loads.


A lightweight collection of clothes that can be worn in layers are a good idea. Clean clothes are a real morale boost, when camping, if you have the opportunity to wash, it’s great to change into a clean set. Make sure you have plenty of clean and dry socks. Arctic fleece is a brilliant material – make sure you have:

  • A light weight fleece jacket
  • Gloves
  • A hat
  • some kind or waterproof jacket or poncho.

Entertainment / Other

You might find the need to entertain yourself, whilst out there, so some form of rechargable personal entertainment is a good idea, as are a few books. There are also a few useful things not covered in the other sections:

  • First aid kit – tailor this to your environment, if you can (mosquito repellent, anti venom, salt tablets etc) but always include scissors, wipes, bandages and plasters. Painkillers are also a good idea, but you must not give these to anyone but yourself.
  • Wind up radio – good for entertainment, and also for news of any local disasters. You might be out there a long time, so a radio that does not require batteries is a great advantage.
  • Wet wipes – serve double duty as toilet paper and the opportunity for a wash, if you need it. If you don’t take them, take small packets of tissues, sealed in plastic – nothing worse than wet loo roll!
  • Hand sanitiser – the liquid hand  sanitiser is also flamable, and may help you lght a fire. You might not have water to waste washing your hands, but cleanliness is a must when camping.
  • Wash kit – Soap, towel and tooth brushing stuff, as a minimum. Always know where your towel is!
  • Wind up torch – extra light is always handy
  • PMR radio – as used by rescuers, if you want to be found. Also if you have people with you, PMRs save a lot of time in camp organisation. Wind up ones (see a theme here) are also available, but require constant winding.
  • Zip-Lock style plastic bags – are cheap, make anything watrerproof and weigh almost nothing – take some in various sizes.

4- your house – this will be covered on another page, to be added soon.

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Basic Kit types from R4nger5