Is it just us or there is a sense of pride that comes with keeping your outdoor kit going, year after year.
That weekend in the wild you have been planning approaches and you dig out the same headtorch, tent, sleep system, boots, stove.. Your personal, adventure treasure trove.
Both Alex & I have had practically the same kit now for over 8 years, some of it much older, going back to our teens when we first started our expeditions & adventures onto Dartmoor and beyond. There might be an expectation that because we are starting a project centered on wild camping, that we have the shiniest, snazziest & most expensive kit. Trust us, you couldn’t be more wrong!
There has been a real sensationalism around outdoor kit the past few years, presenting the best tent or camping brands as seemingly unattainable unless you rank in the elite of the outdoors world. It makes adventures in truly wild places appear out of reach and this is a big problem.
The reality is there are so many options to build out your own kit room with clothing, sleeping & cooking gear, technology and those outdoor luxuries that you sometimes see some influencer raving about on socials. The key is slowly building up your kit list and you can do this in so many ways.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Saving up and adding that one piece of kit you have wanted for a while. On your terms - you have worked hard for it. Be it a new tent or a fancy fleece, slowly but surely you will become the outdoors poster kid you dreamed of.
You know you used to think socks at Christmas were a rubbish present. Well now you can ask for those snazzy merino or waterproof ones! Gifting through the year is a great way to add those smaller items into your bag.
Second hand is such an important way of adding kit. Whether its Facebook Marketplace, ebay, vinted or even just your family & friends - you can find some awesome kit lying around unused. Always cheaper and the vast majority of the time in nearly new condition!!
Renting kit is a brilliant option for those wanting to try new adventures or new places, without investing for the long term. Our partners KitUp are the way to go here, using their app to look at what kit you can rent from surfboards, to bikes, to winter climbing gear, tents and more. It is a more affordable, sustainable and circular approach to kit and we are here for it.
Beg & borrow from brothers, sisters & parents. Our families are likely reading this going ‘And you still haven’t given back that compass you took in 2011’. (yeah well, you haven’t asked…)
Once you have built up your list, it isn’t going anywhere.
This is where that pride comes in - you will begin to look so fondly over your growing stash that you will protect it at all costs. Clean regularly, store carefully, re-waterproof & wax - whatever it takes because the kit you add today could still be keeping you warm, dry and in wild places ten years down the line.
Both Alex & I take genuine pride in curating and caring for kit that becomes our lifeline when we are out in the wild. We have built our kit up over years and years of adventures together and each year, each trip, we add, repair or replace item by item - potentially to the point when our little ones start to beg and borrow it from us (sorry dad!).
Take a look through our kit store today at some our favourite, longest lived gear:
Tom’s Berghaus Trek Bag (brought 2012 - still in good condition and used several times a year)
Alex’s military Bivvy Bag
Tom’s Vango F10 Helium Tent (brought 2015 - rewaterproofed, stored carefully and still in great condition nearly a decade later).
Alex’s Brasher walking boots (15 years old and going strong!)
Outdoor, adventure & camping gear can be seen as a barrier to experiencing the wild places we have in the UK but it should never be the case. We are definitely advocates for investing in (new, used or rented) the best quality clothing and equipment you can as it will last longer, naturally with better materials. However, there are some fantastic companies out there offering technically quality kit at affordable prices, many of which we will be adding as partners over the coming weeks & months. Part of this project is to develop a number of different options to help you get the kit you need to get out wild camping, so watch this space!