Equipment for summer camping

With more and more people going spending their time outdoors, questions concerning the right wilderness equipment are increasing. Appropriate gear is very much depending on the person, his/her interests and the nature of the trip. Some items are absolutely indispensable, but they come in many different shapes! There are numerous brands and versions from which to choose and it is necessary to clearly define one's real needs. There is always the risk of carrying too much or simply taking the wrong things. If you check thoroughly what you really need before you start packing you can save a considerable amount of weight without missing out on essentials. After several trips you will establish a routine in packing the right things and making appropriate choices comes more naturally.

But until then an equipment list may come in handy. This list does not claim to provide for all needs or situations but should be perceived as food for thought. Evaluate it carefully, take into account you own preferences and do not be shy to make changes. After a while you will have your own way of packing and use the list as a back-up reminder only. This list is written to help you with planning a 1-week summer trip. For outings during the colder half of the year you may want to check the winter camping list below. In order to emphasize how important it is to keep track of the weight of each individual piece of equipment, we indicate both the lowest and the highest weight.

Necessary equipment

ItemMin-Max weight KgMax Weight lbs oz
Backpack1.2 - 4.52.10 - 9.14
Rain jacket0.5 - 1.51.1 - 3.4 
Rain Pants0.3 - 1.20.10 - 2.10
Sweater or other warm garment0.3 - 1.20.10 - 2.10
Extra underwear & socks0.2 - 10.7 - 2.3  
Gloves, scarf (when needed)0 - 0.50 - 1.1  
Sleeping bag0.5 - 31.1 - 6.9 
Sleeping mat0.3 - 1.50.10 - 3.4
Map & compass 0.1 - 0.50.3 - 1.1 
Toilet gear0.1 - 0.50.3 - 1.1   
Bowl for food and drink0.1 - 0.30.3 - 0.10 
Cutlery0.1 - 0.20.3 - 0.7
Matches (lighter)/fire-starter0.02 - 0.20.07 - 0.7
Knife0.2 - 10.7 - 2.3    
Sunglasses/sun screen0 - 10 - 2.3 
Water bottle0.1 - 0.50.3 - 1.1
Repair kit/spare parts  0.1 - 0.50.3 - 1.1
Total:4.03 - 19.18.14 - 42.18

The right choice of food is often the most significant factor for the weight of your pack:       

Food3.3 - 10.57.4 - 23.2 

Joint equipment for a tent team of two (stating half the weight: the weight each person carries):     

Tent 1 - 2.52.3 - 5.8 
Stove and/or cook-set (for open fire)0.2 - 1.50.7 - 3.4   
Fuel0 - 1.50 - 3.4 
Total:1.2 - 5.52.10 - 12.2
Total weight for necessary equipment8.53 -35.118.13 - 77.6 

 

Further possible equipment (but not absolutely necessary)

Down jacket0.5 - 1.51.1 - 3.4 
Over pants0.3 - 10.10 - 2.3 
Further change of clothes0.5 - 21.1 - 4.6 
Camp shoes (also for wading)0.4 - 20.14 - 4.6
Sleeping bag cover0.3 - 10.10 - 2.3
Camera0.1 - 40.3 - 8.13 
Binoculars0.2 - 1.50.7 - 3.4
Candle, lantern0.1 - 0.80.3 - 1.12 
Safety rope0.2 - 10.7 - 2.3
Thermos0.4 - 1.50.14 - 3.4    
Total:3.0 - 16.36.9 - 35.15

Beyond this list there may naturally be further items, depending on the nature of the trip. If you go climbing or on glacier trips your need extra equipment: rope, ice axe, crampons, helmet, harness etc., perhaps even a climbing pack. If you are a fisherman your essentials would be your rod, bait, lures or flies and a landing net. A saw and /or a hatchet come naturally when hiking in forested areas, but apply common sense for your own safety and our natural environment when using these tools! Summing up the weights in the above columns there is a considerable difference in weight between the two. 11.53 kg / 25 lbs 6 oz in the lighter suggestion and 51.40 kg / 113 lbs 5 oz in the heavy one! It is not very likely that you meet someone who actually carries all items listed, let alone in the heavier version.

But it is not so unusual to meet hikers who carry 30 or even 40 kg / 65 lbs to 90 lbs. Unless you are establishing a base camp somewhere, from where you want to undertake your hikes it is really not necessary to tote weights like that. Carrying a pack with 10 kg / 22 lbs for a 7 day trip is not common but not impossible when you are experienced and have bought really light gear. Your load will most likely be around 15-18 kg / 33 - 40 lbs which is acceptable for a pleasant hike.

Have a good trip!