14 camping essentials to pack for a hiking trip

I’ve dabbled in camping before; camp grounds in wild southern Africa, setting up tent ‘n’ swag in the Australian outback and hooking up hammocks bunkbed style in the Malaysian jungle. Essentially it’s all part of the same vibe though right? Being as in touch with the great outdoors as possible… without actually sleeping with your head on a pile of leaves. But camping in cooler climates requires a bit more kit. And it wasn’t until we decided to head on a camping and hiking adventure to Norway, that I realised just how important it is to invest in the right gear to keep the adventure fully stoked.

So, if you want to get your sweat on hiking by day and push your travel adventures to new heights camping in wild places by night, but you’re not too sure where to start when it comes to getting the right kit, then this is for you. Because camping on a mountain might have seemed seriously far-fetched before, but with the right pieces of kit you’re going to be waking up to epic mountain-top vistas in no time without even blinking at the chilling wind hammering against your tent. Just set yourself up with the right gear and you’ll be taking your adventures to wild new heights before you know it.

1. MSR Hubba Hubba tent

MSR tent set up on mountain ridge in Norway

If the name isn’t enough to sell you this sexy 3-season tent then here are the finer details. It’s waterproof, wind resistent and very well ventilated. But really, the deal cruncher for MSR’s Hubba Hubba are the technical specs – made from durable high-tenacity nylon fabric it’s both incredibly strong and lightweight. Weighing in at just 1.54kg, you’ll be able to get to all those remote camping spots without unnecessary additional weight in your pack… and without compromising the health of your back and supporting muscles. We loved how quick and easy the Hubba Hubba is to set up and dismantle, especially in high winds and rain!

2. Thermarest

It takes about 5 minutes and 10 puffs to blow up and not only is it going to keep you sleeping peacefully, but the Thermarest NeoAir XLite is designed to retain your body heat to keep you nice and toasty. It’s like sleeping on a little yellow cloud so is ideal for resting those hard-worked legs and pack-carrying back muscles. Not only that, but it deflates quickly, rolls up into a 23cm x 10cm stuff bag and weighs just 340 grams – perfect!

3. Merino wool thermals

Mons Royale women's thermal leggings and mountain hardware Lamina Z Flame sleeping bag

Keeping your body temperature on an even keel on camping adventures is important. Especially when you want to combine that tentlife with working up a real adventure sweat. And when it comes to regulating your body temperature, these threads are an absolute must as they wick sweat away from your skin then dry quickly, meaning you’re not going to catch a chill from your sweaty wet clothes.

I sweated in the same Icebreaker merino wool top for 3 whole days (don’t judge me!) and couldn’t smell a drop of sweat afterwards. I’ve never experienced gear to sweat in quite like it – and I’ve sweated in a lot of different fabrics and clothing. Mark and I love Mons Royale for their designs and comfort for both women and men. Your merino layers are sure to be one of your best investments. We both usually take two merino tops (one for the day and one for the night) and one pair of merino bottoms on our adventures.

4. Lifeventure Thermolite sleeping bag liner

Ideal for cooler nights in warmer climates or that extra layer in chillingly cold climates… I even wore mine as a scarf when we cooked up breakfast at the top of Trolltunga! This Thermolite liner is the extra layer you’ll need between your merinos and your sleeping bag when the temperature drops. On the other hand, it’s super soft against your skin for those hot nights camping without the fly as an alternative to your sleeping bag. This is an absolute must in your kit collection.

5. Mountain Hardware sleeping bag

Mountain Hardware sleeping bag with views over the Fjords in Norway

We have a regular and women’s version of the Lamina Z Flame by Mountain Hardware. I tend to get colder at night so have the women’s Lamina Z Flame which is heavily insulated and Mark is much warmer than me so went for the regular Lamina Z Flame which has a smaller amount of insulation per square metre. It also features a small zip pocket for your essentials, an adjustable toggle at the hood to keep you extra toasty and if you are travelling with your bae, you can easily zip it up to their sleeping bag and make one huge double sleeping bag (cute right?!). I love the turquoise colour of the women’s one too!

6. Thermarest fold up pillow

This pillow blows my mind on several levels. Not only does it roll up nice and compact, but when you unroll it, this little gem puffs right up and is just as cloud-like for your head as the Thermarest NeoAir is for your body. And the best bit? It’s upcycled and made out of offcuts from the foam mattresses which Thermarest produce, so it’s environmentally friendly too! Even if you’re not camping and just travelling on a long-haul flight or road trip – this is sure to become your favourite travel accessory. Definitely the best fold up, roll up, portable travel pillow I’ve ever owned.

7. MSR Cooking Pot set

With all that hiking, you’ll need to regularly fuel your body with delicious and wholesome meals and warming hot drinks. And you’ll need something to cook those in. The MSR cooking pot sets are great – there’s lots available so choose one that suits your needs. We went for the Alpinist 2 System as it weighs in at just 611 grams and has everything 2 people could need (apart from cutlery!) and absolutely love it. From a full-on spag bol to filling porridge and cups of tea at picnic spots, we managed to whip up a range of dishes using this set.

8. Osprey Stratos 50

Osprey Stratos 50 hiking packs and Poler Stuff mugs at Trolltunga in Norway

So you’ve got all your gear ready for the big hike. Now you just have to put it in something… something that’s not going to break your back. And for those reasons I have officially fallen in love with the Osprey Stratos 50! The suspended mesh back system provides ventilation for your back as well as supreme comfort and meant I wasn’t constantly trying to stretch out my upper back because there wasn’t so much strain on it. And when it comes to hiking with 10kg or more of gear on your back, trust me you want the best of the best. Not only is the comfort and technology of the fit incredible, but it has heaps of pockets, plenty of straps and loops to hang caribenas on and a nifty rain cover tucked away at the bottom.

9. O’Neill Jacket

Ok, so it doesn’t have to be O’Neill but a good snow style jacket is perfect for active outdoorsy adventures in cooler climates. I loved my O’Neill Jeremy Jones jacket because it kept me warm when it was very cold, kept me dry when it was very wet and kept my body temperature regulated as I sweated in both of those conditions! Surfdome offer a great range of snow jackets, so shop around on there to find one with the technical specs you’re after.

10. Teva Hiking Boots

Teva Arrowood Lux Mid mens and womens styles in Norway

Teva might be best known for their sandals, but 38km through some tricky terrain has proven that they are owning the hiking scene too. Water and mud just falls off these guys and they are super comfy too. So happy we invested in these his ‘n’ hers Arrowood Lux mid-tops. Be sure to wear with thick merino wool socks for ultimate comfort to keep the fit comfortable and ensure foot sweat control by those moisture wicking threads.

11. Teva Sandals

Teva sandals on a camping trip in Norway

Speaking of Teva… we love Teva sandals for post-hiking chill outs beside the lakes or getting from the tent to the hammock and camping stove when barefoot isn’t an option. The originals are also waterproof meaning you can wear them as you traverse rocks, jump into lakes or just walk about on rainy mornings in the campsite.

12. Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen sports cap style 800ml bottle in use on a hike

Hook a Klean Kanteen to you pack and prepare to stay hydrated through the hike filling up at available water sources and keep closeby in your tent to stay hydrated throughout hot and cold nights in the great outdoors. These come in a variety of sizes but our favourite is the 800ml sports cap style bottle.

13. Camping Mug

Collecting water from the river on a hike in Norway with Poler Stuff mug

Along the same lines as your Klean Kanteen, but this is even easier. Hook it onto a caribena on your bag and whip it out when you hit a water source for sips on the go. I love my Poler Stuff mug but there’s heaps out there, so take your pick.

14. Caribenas

Last but definitely not least – hook them to your backpack, hook them to your camping mug or Klean Kanteen, hang your cooking pots up, hook up your shoes, attach your hammock to a tree… the list goes on about all the things you can do with this piece of kit. Caribenas are incredibly useful so be sure to grab yourself a couple of heavy duty ones for more intense tasks like hanging a hammock, as well as some of the cheaper ones for ad-hoc clipping moments such as hooking a mug onto your pack strap.

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