The spring season is coming. You feel like rushing to the bush to forage for wild edibles and build yourself a little shack in the middle of nowhere.
While we’re big fans of minimalism and survival, we thought you might want to cover your camping basic needs for the coming season.
And because it’s Father’s Day and you haven’t found a present for your wild dad yet, here’s the Men’s Edition of our Camping Start Kit. Click on the photos to discover amazing gifts!
#1 A tent
You didn’t see this one coming did you? There’s a huge variety of tents available out there. This small paragraph could never cover the kilometers of lines of poetry that could be written about tents, nonetheless here’s a few practical tips about getting your nomadic dwelling.
Before you buy your tent, make sure it can host the amount of people that it is intended to cater for. The rougher the conditions in which you intend to camp, the higher the quality of your tent will need to be. Weight is also to be considered: a light tent will make your life a lot easier if you walk to your camping oasis, while you can chuck a heavy tent in the back of the van / ute / car if you’re drive it.
Camouflage and colours can be important if you intend to stealth camp.
One thing to know: there is an odd-ish trend of really kickass photos of tents without any external layer (see #12). If you intend to sleep in your tent, we do recommend that you buy a 2-layer tent and that you mount your tent fully before you go to sleep. With only the inner tent, you’ll smash your Instagram goals when you publish your photos, and you’ll certainly freeze to death all night. Not to mention the floods on a rainy evening…
#2 A Jet Boil
It is hard to describe the bliss of putting cold hands on a tin cup of hot food in the crisp of a fresh camping night. If friction fire is not your strongest skill, you’ll want to acquire a Jet Boil.
The jacked-up version of a regular camping stove, able to withstand high-altitude conditions, Jet Boil stoves boil half a litre of water in 5 minutes and your cup of canned beans in 2. It is easy and safe to carry, mount, unmount and wash. Gaz cartridges, although slightly more expensive than the regular camping stove ones, will last long.
A warning: the stove is so powerful that whatever is at the bottom of the pot will burn if you go full-throttle! Keep this option for boiling water only, and spare yourself some gas by using a slower regime for your favourite bush foods.
We lived in our van for two years and this guy was our kitchen. We cannot recommend it enough.
#3 A Leatherman
Splinters, twisted pegs and unbreakable branches are the common lot of the wild man. The ultimate survival tool for your camping adventures, the Leatherman will become your best mate in times of camping sorrow.
Rivaling in style with his colleague the Swiss Army knife, Leathermans are tough as rock and will last you a lifetime.
Don’t let it fall from your belt when you’re hiking and chuck it in your check-in luggage at the airport, otherwise it’ll become the border control agent’s Father’s day present…
#4 A Flannel shirt
Are flannel shirts a hipster thing? Are they not? Are you not a hipster yourself? Why not? Isn’t the whole hipster thing a bit overrated in 2018 anyway?
Just get a flannel shirt and look proper.
#5 A Hatchet
For some inexplicable reason inherited from our colleagues back in the Paleolithics, men in the bush will want to burn things and cut things.
An axe will help you with wood collection, chopping and splitting. The axe can also be used to sharpen a stick or plant a peg (with the blunt side of the axe… don’t re-invent the flint and chop your hand off), be thrown from a distance to impress or to carve your initials into the bark of an old oak. All things that you can’t do with your favourite block splitter…
#6 Camping Chairs
Sitting on a fallen tree is nice and stylish for a few minutes, before the discomfort of resting your teeth on your knees beats that of your sensitive tooshie on the rugged bark.
Camping chairs come in all kind of upgrades and number of hidden secret pockets. Whether solo or in group, you will need one per camping bum.
For when you get up in the middle of the night for a quick weez and to find the Leatherman that has fallen from your belt pocket.
#8 Foldable kitchen utensils
To eat your boiling hot beans coming out your Jet Boil when you haven’t had 16 hours to carve a spoon beforehand.
#9 Hiking Shoes
Camping will get you into uncharted territories and rough terrain. While any kind of boots could do the trick, I find hiking shoes comfortable, offering good ankle support and looking stylish. Plus you can use them when you go hiking!
I’ve been wearing these shoes for years in my travels around the world and I’ll get the exact same pair when they die. They’re just a hit.
#10 A Water bottle
The sting of the cold winter breeze will not last. In hot weather, the ability to carry drinkable water is essential. Same as for the tent, your bottle capacity will determine the weight you’ll carry and the volume you’ll sacrifice in your bag pack.
Make sure you rinse your water bottle on the first use as dust and chemicals may have accumulated between production and your kickass adventure bag – see #11.
#11 A Back Pack
How much a back pack can carry is measured in Liters. 10L are small running bags and 75 Liters are serious hiking packs.
In the same way my shoes have been following me around for years (it’s always better this way), I’ve owned this back pack for half an eternity and it is just impossible to fill out. I have carried more than 30kg of equipment in it. While such a heavy weight is not recommended for a pleasant stroll, this bag is a toughie and will make your camping expeditions a gentle walk in the sunshine.
#12 A Sleeping bag
For the same reason that you need two layers on a tent – see NOT photo – you’ll need a sleeping bag: to tackle the cold.
Apart from tropical Australia, most places in the country, whether on the coast on inland, get quite cold at night.
I’m actually pretty terrible at picking sleeping bags so I’ll refrain from giving any profound recommendation here.
The main parameter is the Temperature Rating, which is the temperature at which your sleeping bag will maintain you just enough so that you… survive? Keep your feet warm? I really don’t know, I’ve been winging it for years and you’ll have to ask the vendor on this one. But you’ll need one or else!
#13 A Foam / Air mat
The inseparable friend of #12.
Foam rolls are the 0.5 star version of a camping mattress. They will average the terrain beneath you but not enough that you forget you’re sleeping on Earth’s crust. They are very light, take 1/2 second to install and are great when moving around every day.
Inflatable mats can be more comfy than foam mats but they require more logistics or a serious amount of lung power to come to coziness.
If you’re a couple sleeping on an air mat, be warned! Your every movement will make your lover move in reaction to you, and vice-versa.
I go foam, but it’s your call.
#14 A Solar phone charger
Rewildin is about discovering the wonders of nature and taking a break from our hectic busy lives. Why not taking the challenge to turn your phone off and put it in the bottom of your bag pack?
If you’re a dedicated influencer or you can’t refrain from binge-watching People Are Awesome vids, you’ll need a phone charger.
You can charge your smartphone within an hourd solar has the advantage of being off-grid if you need your phone for emergency and safety purposes in your adventure’s darkest hour.
An interesting alternative, portable wind turbines will charge your phone on cloudy days too.
#15 Mozzie net / Citronella Sticks
You will kick yourself if you don’t bring some, or your mates will.
#16 A Compass
To prevent your adventure from going South.
#17 A Survival Kit
It’s the only one thing you bring that you hope that you won’t have to use! Make your own or buy one for a safe trip in the bush with your loved ones.
Now if you haven’t found a gift for your dad out of this list, I don’t know what will! If your dad is already a badass and has all his gear ready in his camping bags, you can expand his curious mind with some nature education too.
See you out there!
Find our List of Camping Spots immersed in Nature here.