There’s nothing worse than getting cold when camping. It’s much better to prevent the chills than get cold and have to find ways to get warm again. Below are some tried and tested ways to keep warm when camping:

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Its summer and with the many lockdown restrictions still in place for going abroad a lot of people have decided to holiday at home in the UK, so why not try wild camping?

With this comes the problem of deciding what you actually want to do, and the many different options available to suit many budgets, where to start. But this can easily begin at under £200

For many people the thought of wild camping is off putting because inevitably where do you start? What kit is good? What kit is the best? What kit isn’t going to leave you cold and wet and let you have a really good time!

The reality is with all kit you have to start somewhere. If you haven’t ever wild camped before then preparing for it can become a little daunting. Here at Bean Camping we are on a mission to include all aspects of the outdoors – we absolutely love it – that’s why we want to share with you a basic kit guide to get you in the outdoors! Be aware that the most expensive items don’t always guarantee a dry, warm & comfortable night.


Tent

OEX Phoxx 1v2 – There are a myriad of different types and set ups, but for an absolute beginner, I would recommend the OEX phoxx 1v2. Its light weighing in at just 1.6kg– and pitched in the right place will hold out against many a bad storm. For around £55 you can’t get much better for the price point – it’ll go up against many an expensive tent as do itself proud against the top guns. 


Rucksack

Eurohike nepal 65 – for £30 this rucksack will pack all you need for a few days away. Its 1.4kg weight doesn’t make it too heavy for the overall pack weight, and has a few configurations and that all important waist support. It’ll go with you anywhere and everywhere!

 Eurohike Nepal 65 Rucksack image 1


Sleeping Bag

Vango Latitude Pro 300 – At £50 this is probably the cheapest I would spend on a bag to get started. It says 3-4 season however I would be tempted to use this only during 3, and that would also be with extra layers. Bags are the bane of many a wild camper and finding the right one for you will be a challenge – I must have gone through 5 bags before settling on a Alpkit pipe dream – however that isn’t to say I haven’t enjoyed every piece of kit Ive used up to now. Always check what the comfort rating is and add +5 – thats probably about as low as you would comfortably get a good nights sleep. Through the camping world, its pretty much agreed that the more you can spend on a bag, the better so our advice is take you budget – and double it! Don’t forget to test the bag if you can, they come in all shapes and sizes and consider if you are a side sleeper or lay flat for example. This all add to the dimensions and the really do make a difference out in the field.

Sleeping mat

Forclaz Trek 100 – For £15 this mat will do you just fine. Its light and folds down, doesn’t matter if it gets wet and you can use as a seat when you stop for a rest. I’m a relative newcomer to mats, mostly because I was happy to sleep on the floor however the thermal loss was getting too much as Ive got older so I too have a sleeping mat and recommend you take one too. If you really wanted the make the difference, the Thermarest NeoAir comes as a top end but highly recommended alternative. This is another area where you should spend as much as you can afford if you can, like the bag, waking up aching isn’t fun and other than being cold & wet (both can be avoided), it’s the number two reason why folks don’t return to the wild.


Cooking 

MSR pocket rocket 2 – for £26 you cant get much better than this. It’s small, light and packs down to nothing. This gas burner will boil your brew water in just a few minutes. It takes screw in gas cartridges (while not refillable they are recyclable) and cost about £5. I don’t recommend the use of an open fire unless you have permission from the land owner or campsite! Alongside rubbish & litter, fire scar is right up there in the top reason why land owners object  to wild camping – and you can understand why. 

Utensils

TBS billycan cup for £17.95 – a knife, fork and spoon from home and a frying pan too. The billy can boil your water and sits perfectly on the MSR pocket rocket. The gas canister will fit inside it to help keep your pack organised!

Now, if you’ve got this far, this kit list will be approximately £200 pounds get will get you on a regular campsite or out into the wild. If you want a real adventure then join the Nearly Wild Camping Club and experience wild camping with the security of the land owners’ permission and the odd luxury along the way, such as fresh clean water (in most instances!). Remember, you’re kit is never definitive and will always change to suit places, environment and budgets along the journey..

For honourable mentions and additions to kit, you might consider some thermal leggings for those cooler nights and a first aid kit. Also worth noting is a map! If you do plan to set up base somewhere or walk and hike, its best to have a paper map, research and plot your route out before hand! Don’t forget to notify others of your plans, just in case.

So there we are, a basic kit and budget to get you into the outdoors whether thats for just one night or for several. This kit will see you through until such time you upgrade and re-invest in various items. Above all, just get outside and have fun. All the best – Ben. 

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Many of us have found a reignited passion for the great outdoors over the last year and a half and what better way to reconnect with nature than to go camping?! I recently heard of a new concept; “nearly wild camping” and was really intrigued to find out more about it. As someone who has enjoyed camping throughout my life, including wild camping (bush camping) across Africa, I am open to all things camping and started doing my research.

To understand Nearly Wild Camping, we need to understand what Wild Camping is. So What is Wild Camping?

Wild camping is where you camp on land that is not set up as a campsite and enjoy nature and solitude in the wilderness. Generally it is illegal to do so in most places in the UK without the landowner’s permission, and so, if you do get caught, you risk being asked to move on. In many areas like Snowdonia and other National Parks there are wardens and gamekeepers who often move people on. The one place that does allow Wild Camping in England is Dartmoor but you must follow strict guidance on this. Check out the guide here. All wild campers love Scotland as it isn’t prohibited there, so you can technically pitch up wherever you like including it’s incredible National Parks, although there are some restrictions around Loch Lomond, so again check out and follow the local guidance here. Wild campers in Scotland are advised to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, which is a great guide for all wild campers. Despite it being illegal, Wild camping is generally tolerated throughout the UK as long as you camp responsibly by following the ‘leave no trace’ principles; take all litter with you and leave no evidence of you having been there (burnt logs or damage to nature).

A typical wild camper travels light and minimalist, packing a little tent and the basic necessities for a night or two, then heading off into the mountains, pitching up at dusk and leaving at dawn, never staying in the same place more than 1 night. The idea is to be discreet, pitching up in a remote location where others are unlikely to see you.

How does Nearly Wild Camping compare?

Nearly Wild Camping a growing network of locations ‘willing to host campers (in tents, hammocks, campervans or roof top tents) who are looking for a wilder, secluded or quieter camping experience’. There are over 150 locations across the UK in very different environments including by lakes, in forests, on clifftops and by beaches, with most locations allowing campfires/BBQs. They provide campers with a safe and secure location to enjoy a wilder camping experience at a price. Many locations also offer additional experiences such as bushcraft, bee keeping, pottery and fishing amongst others. With all this in mind, I had to try it out for myself!

I went on a solo adventure with my Tentbox to North Wales where I stayed at 2 different Nearly Wild Campsites. I am a usually a very sociable person, so for me solo adventures are a fairly new thing. I have found solace in solitude throughout the Covid19 pandemic and healing in nature and hiking, but the thought of wild camping in my car on my own did give me quite a lot of anxiety. Nearly Wild Camping for me, was a great way to help me overcome this anxiety and grow confidence in being able to go on wild camping adventures in my car, on my own in the future.

My first campsite was in Anglesey at a Bee Keeping farm. I had the place to myself and parked up in their newly planted Bee friendly forest. The site offered fresh drinking water but not toilet or shower facilities due to them being built at that time. They had a large area of land dedicated to people who want to Nearly Wild camp and the lakeside area, I was told, had been really popular with hammock campers. They provided Bee Keeping courses and experiences and showed me their bees telling me all about their importance and how to become more bee friendly.

I had sheep, wild rabbits and birds for neighbours that night and sat out enjoying the evening until dusk. It was an incredibly peaceful night. I had my roof top tent all to myself for once which was great too as I could spread eagle. I made the most of my location to explore Anglesey including the stunning Newborough Beach and Bryn Celli Ddu, a 5000 year old neolithic burial chamber that was nearby.

My second night was at a Nearly Wild camp site on the Hafod Elwy National Nature Reserve. I had a great drive through the Ogwen Valley to get to it. This site was fairly busy with lots of campers, however due to the site being so big, everyone was dotted around with plenty privacy and space to themselves, so it did feel quite secluded. I had a perfect spot for my roof top tent with great views out to the nature reserve. I explored the site that offered Shepherd Huts to campers should they need. These were cool little huts that were completely empty inside but would offer protection against the elements in a storm for instance. There were hammock campers, families with children in large tents, groups of friends in wild camping tents and campervans. This camp provided toilets, showers and drinking water.

It was a great base to explore the Alwen reservoir and Llyn Brenig, so I went for a little adventure into the forest and got some stunning views. Despite the drizzly weather, it was a perfect weekend of peace, exploring and solo adventures.

I have since also stayed at a Nearly Wild Campsite in Cornwall during a weeklong road trip with my mama and son in my Tentbox. We were the only ones camping on a large clifftop field and had the most incredible views of the sea. This site provided a compost toilet and drinking water. Washing is fairly easy when camping if there are no shower facilities. We simply warmed some water on the stove and used this to have a proper wild camping wash… face, pits and bits.

The Benefits of Nearly Wild Camping

There are lots of benefits of Nearly Wild Camping. By paying to stay at a nearly wild camp, you have no risk of ‘trespassing’ or being asked to move on. You also support local businesses and landowners, something that the UKs economy will benefit from this year more than ever. Nearly Wild Campsites provide safety and security to those travelling alone, with children or who are just a bit nervous about trying Wild Camping yet. Many have amenities such as toilets, showers and drinking water which you wouldn’t otherwise get when Wild Camping, although these are dependent on the individual locations. The best thing for me is that they provide wilder natural spaces for you to enjoy and re-connect with nature. Where normal campsites tend to be plain fields with no real character, Nearly Wild Campsites are just that… “Nearly Wild”. I will definitely be staying at more Nearly Wild Campsites this summer and I think you should try them too!

Whether you Wild Camp or Nearly Wild camp, make sure you enjoy the beauty of nature and all she has to offer you and treat her with respect. Make sure you camp responsibly and ensure you follow the ‘Leave No Trace’ principles so we can all continues to enjoy these camping experiences and have ongoing access to the great British outdoors.

Janire is a travel blogger based in Shropshire who specialises in camping, outdoors and adventure travel. Her blog posts have been featured by Acacia Africa, Tentbox  and The Travel Cult.

Check out her Instagram account www.instagram.com/rayofsun_adventures

Fi Darby is a freelance outdoor writer, and one half of the popular outdoor blog Two Blondes Walking.


The list of things you actually need for a wild camping trip can be pared down to the basics but two things I always include are my compass and an Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 map of the area I’m visiting. Wild (or nearly wild) camping is all about getting away from it all. For me being able to explore using my navigation skills is my key to achieving exactly that.


What’s over there? I think the instinct to explore is set deep within most of us. Even on a campsite, where everything is new, it doesn’t take long before I’m wondering what’s just around the corner, or planning my first walk. Walks that take me directly from my campsite are a joy. No wrestling with traffic, finding car parks or holding my breath down narrow lanes (we have plenty of those here in Devon). Just me, my map and compass, and the thrill of what might be around the next corner.


Just looking I usually take a book or my Kindle camping with me but I definitely prefer pouring over my map, and planning my own adventures to reading about someone else’s. I can while away hours sitting outside my tent thinking about where I’m going to go next, or retracing where I’ve just been. Map reading is a great way to fix my location in my head, and really become part of the landscape. Here’s that hill, there’s a stream, I wonder what that wooded valley looks like.


Can I sleep here? Although I love wilder camp sites, I also sometimes crave the slight feeling of uncertainty I get from sleeping in a wild lonely place. Finding my own wild camping spot is a thrill, one which is made much easier (and safer) by my map reading ability. With a map in front of me I can plan longer trips, avoid huge hills with my big rucksack, and pick out shelter from the weather. I also know that with decent navigation skills, and my trusty compass, I can find my way back off the hills in the dark if I need to (I never have yet).


Can I swim here? I’m a keen outdoor swimmer, and spend a fair amount of time when I am away looking for locations at which I might be able to take a wild dip. For me the fun is in the exploration rather than the result. I don’t mind if my predicted river pool length turns out to be a shallow stream splash. What I love is finding water on the map, then working out a way to use the network of lanes and footpaths to get to it.


Beautiful accidents Some of the greatest things about exploring using a map and compass are the unplanned finds. The places and things I see along the way to where I thought I wanted to be. Views are a great example of this. We all presume that the best views are from the top of hills but these are nothing compared to that glimpse of the sea down a valley, or the lambs nestled next to a spring green hazel hedge. If I don’t explore, I don’t find, and if I don’t have my map and compass with me, I’m far less inclined to explore.


Exploration culture Exploration and the skills we need to do it aren’t just good for us. They’re good for the environment too. As long as we take a leave no trace approach, exploration can help us fall back in love with our natural spaces, and consequently want to look after them. It can also take the pressure off some of our more popular locations. With a map and compass in my hand I can find my own beautiful places, and leave the location gathering to the destination junkies.


Skills for everyone? Sounds like a bit of outdoor snobbery? Not at all. I’ve spent much of my adult life teaching other people how to navigate using a map and compass. I firmly believe these skills, alongside camping and expedition skills, should be included in the National Curriculum.


Learn to navigate It’s easier now to find navigation courses than it ever has been, and I would encourage everyone, to give map reading a go. Contrary to popular belief, successful map reading isn’t about having a good sense of direction, it’s about learning how to use the available tools. I’m a good example of this, my natural sense of direction is hopeless but if you want someone to guide you off Dartmoor in the middle of the night, I’m your girl!

Each year Fi and Lucy from Two Blondes Walking run navigation and wild camping workshops on Dartmoor. They are Ordnance Survey Get Outside Champions, have appeared on ITV’s Britain’s Favourite Walks and Channel Four’s Devon and Cornwall, and love nothing better than sharing their love of navigation and adventure with as many people as possible. Join them this year for some fun and relaxed outdoor learning.

Some time ago I saw an Instagram post that one of my friends had made showing the kitchen set-up he was using that weekend, I think in his permission woodland. I can’t remember the photo exactly but it probably involved a bulky Frontier type stove and a fair amount of cast or wrought iron, not to mention an oil lantern and probably a large cool box.

Anyway, someone in the comments said something like, “Makes me laugh, these kind of photos. How’d he walk that in? I bet the car’s just out of the frame!”. And I thought to myself, what does it matter if the car is just out of the frame? Why does the car need to be somewhere else? Why is it 100% necessary to carry all your gear some distance on foot in one go? In fact, I’m pretty sure the car was behind him when he took the photo, because I know where he parks it and he definitely needed it to get all his equipment to where he was camping. But this commenter seemed to be under the impression that the only way one can enjoy ‘proper’ camping is to pack all one needs into a backpack and hike 10 miles until he’s satisfied that he’s remote enough to be able to make his fire and call himself a wild camper.

Nonsense I say. But let me clarify that.

I totally agree with, and applaud the idea of, packing light and getting out and about on your own two feet. There is something magical about wandering off into the distance and leaving all of civilisation behind you, with all you need on your back. It’s a real feeling of freedom and of being released from the clutches of a busy modern world. Not having to rely on anyone else or anything other than the carefully chosen kit on your back.

But I’m also a big advocate of heavy cast iron cookware and comfortable chairs. I don’t want to compromise on the things I like, so I don’t, but that doesn’t make me any less an enthusiast of the great outdoors. I put things in the big storage box that I carry things in – the one that has ‘Discovery 3’ written on the back door. Because I think that there’s also a great feeling of freedom when you pack up your old Land Rover/modern Land Rover/ other 4×4/motorcycle/modern hatchback (delete or add as appropriate) and set off along the open road for a week or weekend’s camping just somewhere different to where you were when you dreamed up the idea. But that’s just how I like to do things. I certainly wouldn’t dream of assuming that anyone doing something different was somehow wrong or not behaving in the correct manner.

My point is that there is no one rule book to adhere to when camping and enjoying nature, and I don’t think it’s fair of that commenter to suggest that my friend wasn’t doing
‘it’ properly just because it wasn’t how he himself went about the business of ‘getting out’. To operate to one strict set of guidelines seems to me to be a fairly limiting way to go about life and missing the point about that feeling of freedom. There are many styles of camping and being outdoors, ranging from wild camping, perhaps utilising some primitive skills, bushcraft, glamping, caravanning, 4x4ing and so on, and many people do a bit of all of these. Often the overriding reason for doing any of it is to get outside, relax and reset those brains of ours that have spent the week being frazzled by that thing called life. Being outdoors is good for the mind, however you do it, and, of course, the majority of people are extremely accepting of other people’s preferences. But there’s always that one or two that aren’t.

Part of the reason that this particular Instagram incident riled me slightly is that I own a business that sells our own brand of heavy duty canvas swags and tarps. A really not very lightweight option. For those that don’t know, a swag is of Australian heritage, a bit like a bivvy in that it’s a very small, usually one man tent-like structure but is made of canvas and has a thick, comfortable mattress inside. As such, it rolls up to something like the size of a packed away bell tent and weighs in at 5-10 kg depending on model. So it doesn’t make much sense to many – a tiny shelter that packs down to something the same size as a very large shelter? Madness! But somehow it works and those that get it truly do get it.

I too have experienced people commenting on my own social media posts, about swags – “5kg? No, thanks. I’ll stick to my 500g superlight backpacking tent thanks” or “How are you going to carry that up (insert favourite hill walk here)?” and it just makes me think, why can’t people just be accepting of other people’s ideals or preferences instead of insinuating that they’re ridiculous? Maybe I’m being too sensitive and I perhaps shouldn’t think about these things too much. And, to be fair, forgetting worries and unwinding is exactly why I do go off in my Discovery to some woodland somewhere (again, another point of contention as some will have you believe that the only real Land Rover is a Defender).

So I thought it a good idea to list, for anyone that was interested, what I feel the benefits of camping with a swag are. Not why its better, mind you, or why you should camp like this instead of any other method of spending time outdoors, just why its a really comfortable and old school way of doing things that you might consider adding to your list of options.

1. Super fast set up (and break down)
As with the early bedrolls in the days of the Aussie ‘Jolly Swagman’, modern swags are quick and easy to pitch. You can just turn up at your chosen site, throw the swag on the floor and unroll it. OK, in some cases it’s a bit more than that, but most swags need only two pegs, or none if tying up to a tree or vehicle. Dome swags usually have between 1 and 3 poles and set up really can be done in around a minute. Couple that with the fact that you may wish to keep your sleeping bag or blankets inside the swag when travelling and you have a very quick and efficient set up.

2. Carry the swag and nothing else
If you are looking for a no-frills overnighter it is perfectly possible to take everything you need in your swag roll. Lay your sleeping bag, pillow and maybe a tarp on top of the mattress inside your swag and roll it up. This gives you a single item to throw in your vehicle or carry a short distance. A packed and rolled swag could easily weigh in excess of 10kg, so it’s not the lightweight trekking option but it gives you a useful way to carry all your gear and not leave anything behind.

3. Excellent temperature control
Most swags are made from heavy duty cotton or polycotton canvas which both have great insulating properties. So if it’s cold outside, the swag will keep you warm. The supportive foam mattress and PVC base add to the experience, giving you an extremely comfortable place to lay your head. Swags generally have great ventilation which means that, coupled with the relative small size and thick canvas, they warm up quickly and condensation is minimised when compared to many modern tents. In the summer the swag will keep you cool. That ventilation and the ability to fold back the storm cover, leaving just the bug net, allows the breeze to wash over you.

4. Stargazing – the romance of the Great Outdoors
In the summer months it is a joy to spend a night under the stars. A swag, with its bug mesh, allows you to sleep in comfort with the storm cover open, safe in the knowledge that you’re protected from insect bites. The solid canvas sides of the swag still afford you a feeling of security with the entire universe looking down on you.

5. Hard wearing
Swags were originally developed in the Australian outback where conditions can be harsh. Heavy duty canvas and thick PVC bases are only part of the story. Quality stitching, wide nylon webbing and strong aluminium poles all contribute to a tough piece of equipment that can be relied upon for far longer than your average polyester tent. Brushing against thorns, being thrown onto the top of the 4×4 or in the back of the truck, freezing cold nights – all no trouble for a quality canvas swag.

6. Perfect & quick ‘ready bed’
A lot of people in the UK drive pick up trucks, just like the Aussie ‘Ute’. A swag is perfect to set up in the back and sleep in the load area. It’s equally at home as a guest bed when you turn up at your mate’s unannounced. Just unroll your swag and you have a comfortable mattress and sleeping bag at a moment’s notice.

7. No poles? No problem!
If you were to lose, forget or break your tent poles it is much less of a problem with a swag. A swag generally needs between zero and three pegs but, because so few are
used, it can be tied to nearby trees or other objects. Just try pitching a tent correctly using only pre-located branches and so on!

8. Longer nights
Due to the heavy canvas, a swag lets in very little sunlight when the storm cover is closed. This means that you won’t ‘boil in the bag’ like a brightly coloured polyester tent and you will also find that the bright early morning sunlight won’t necessarily wake you up before you want it to. The heavy canvas also gives a real sense of security as it deadens sounds from outside. It gives the swag camper an incredibly comfortable night’s sleep with a feeling of safety and sanctuary that other systems cannot.

So there you have it – some good reasons to try out swag camping. Granted, it’s not for everyone and it’s definitely not the lightweight option for trekking miles on end. But it is a good option for some. For those that are into the heavy duty and old school kind of getting outside that many of us are, it could be just the ticket. Just don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Ollie, outhaus.co

2020 saw a huge increase in the number of people enjoying the joys of camping in the UK. It was fantastic that so many people dipped their toes into the adventures of wilder camping. The process and knowledge required can be a bit daunting for newcomers and even seasoned veterans alike.

One of the most obvious obstacles to overcome in wild camping is food; how do you manage to feed yourself out in the wild? Well, us here at Base Camp Food don’t see food as an obstacle, but as a means to maintain and enlarge adventures! For those who want to expand their wild camping horizons, and move beyond sausages and burgers at the base camp, with the prospect of creating lots of pots and pans to be cleaned you may want to consider more convenient options. This blog post will introduce you to the benefits of meals for all your adventure needs!

How do you have a nice lunch if you go away from camp for a big, long hike? You take a lightweight, easy to serve Wayfarer All Day Breakfast meal. All you have to do is add the bag to boiling water to have it hot or you can have it cold, and there you are, a delicious, calorie dense lunch just like that. You will no longer have to worry about food affecting the length of your adventures! This type of meal is considered ‘wet’ meaning you don’t have to add any water, it is ready to eat as it comes – though most people prefer them hot!

Similarly, at the end of a long day exploring and experiencing the gorgeous nature of Britain, or just arriving to the campsite late at night and feeling lazy, you can turn to home comforts with an easy to prepare and delicious to eat Firepot Chilli Con Carne and Rice! All you need to do is boil some water, add to the pouch (remembering to remove the oxygen absorber – if it has one) and then in a few minutes you can have a taste of the indoors, outside!

These type of meals will add an extra dimension to your camping experiences. They offer convenience whilst not sacrificing good tasting food. Food may not be the reason as to why we go camping in the wild, but our meals may well be the source of motivation to push you further! And there are also quick and easy breakfast options too so you can pack away in the morning without having to deal with lots of  washing up.

Head to www.basecampfood.com to discover more information about different types of camping meals for your next camping trip – even if you just keep a couple to hand for emergencies. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter – @basecampfood

It’s that time of year where the days are shorter and the temperatures drop. Does that mean we
can’t get out and about due to the worsening weather? Absolutely not and we actively encourage
it, but more consideration into our safety whilst we are out and about is paramount. Whilst we
should already be looking after ourselves when in the outdoors on a normal day, there are extra
precautions to be observed when the weather changes for the worse and the temperature drops.

In the current climate of COVID-19, general camping unless in your own garden or private land
isn’t advised but daily exercise and outdoor activities within your local area is encouraged, so it’s
important to follow basic safety advice by not to put yourself in a situation that could cause harm
to yourself or others, thus putting extra pressure on the NHS.

Cold temperatures place physiological stresses on our bodies and dressing properly is one of the main
key factors to staying safe and healthy whilst in a cold climate.
The healthier and fitter you are reduces the risk of these stresses. Vulnerable people such as those
who are elderly, disabled, young kids and people with underlying medical conditions would of course,
require extra care and attention. One of the best ways of ensuring you stay warm is clothing – be sure
to wear the correct clothing or be prepared to suffer.


In the military we prepare personnel before going into any situation by providing them with the
necessary clothing and equipment for any situation. Even more so in my trade which is survival
equipment and SERE (Survive Evade Resist Extract) instruction where I teach personnel ranging
from Royal Marines to Fast Jet pilots the importance of personal survival, the correct use of
survival equipment and constant continual preparation training, should the need ever come.
I have seen many people in my career or even whilst out and about in my own free time in the
outdoors wearing the wrong clothing and not carrying the correct gear. This will have undoubtedly
ruined their outdoor experience and all it takes is a little knowledge of how to dress correctly and
be prepared for cold conditions.

Many people get confused by the term ‘layering’ when it comes to clothing, it doesn’t mean pile
on as many layers as possible or a single bulky garment to provide warmth. This could cause you
to overheat, not be able to regulate your body temperature appropriately and possibly add
unnecessary extra weight that could be cumbersome, thus impacting on mobility and flexibility.
‘Layering’ is made up of 3 layers which are classed as: base – insulation – outer. For cold climates
you would require all 3 layers.

  When it comes to the above mentioned groups of vulnerable people, an added layer is important to provide the extra warmth required. Especially when static, for example, young children in a pushchair or carrier or wheelchair users require a double layer on their static limbs with a blanket or cover as due to there being no or little
movement, it’s harder for the flow of air between layers to generate the heat required, hence the extra layers required to provide the warmth needed.


1 – Base Layer
The base layer should comprise of a soft, comfortable garment that is able to wick away
perspiration. Moisture in clothing will reduce the insulation, so it’s crucial to wear a base layer that
draws away the sweat. The most effective and efficient base layer should be close fitting to the
wearer’s skin.

2 – Insulation Layer
Next up is the very important insulation layer which would comprise of either a fleece or an
insulated jacket. This layer provides you with the warmth and should be breathable and be able to
retain heat. Fleeces offer warmth by retaining heat and removing moisture. Insulated jackets
provide a great array of properties and there many good options out there to choose from to suit
your personal preference. Adjustment is an important factor on the insulation layer to control body temperature with the use a zip for example.

3 – Outer Layer
The last layer is the outer which provides direct weather protection. It should be windproof and if
necessary waterproof providing warmth in cold, wet conditions. Ideally the layer should have
features such as draw cords or fastening cuffs to prevent heat loss.

Things to watch out for:
Cotton is a no-no when it comes to layering as it absorbs moisture/water and will leave you colder
rather keeping you warm! The last factor not to forget is to accessorise appropriately, by that I mean winter hats, scarfs, gloves, socks and adequate footwear. People often overlook many of these garments but even if
they are not a staple (hopefully you would surely have some sort of socks and footwear on
regardless!) it is so important to at least just carry these whether you end up needing them or not
after all, it’s better to have something and not need it, rather than not have something when you
do need it.

Now that you are correctly dressed for the occasion, it’s important not to forget the equipment
you may require whilst out and about, even if it is just a local walk. The risk of injury is always high
when conditions are cold or hot, but staying on the topic of cold conditions brings up issues of
slips and trips resulting in cuts, bruises and possible broken bones. Do you carry a basic first aid kit in your backpack? If not, why not? A simple injury turning worse could be prevented by basic first aid.

Things to consider putting in your pack for a general local walk would be, basic first aid kit as
stated above, foil survival blanket (wrap round for warmth or to sit on cold ground if an accident
occurs and you are awaiting medical assistance), water for hydration, basic high energy snacks as
being out in the cold uses more calories, emergency whistle to attract attention if required, spare
socks in case feet get wet and of course, your mobile phone (fully charged before leaving) to call
for help if required.

If you’re planning to go further afield, then adjust your equipment accordingly and be specific to
the climate you’re going to be in. The last piece of advice I can give to you is, to learn not just how a piece of equipment helps you in a situation but to also understand how that piece of equipment functions to help you in a
situation! This will help raise your own awareness and therefore your understanding of any equipment you may be required to use. Knowledge is powerful.

Preparation is key to all situations in life and when faced with cold conditions, this is even more so
important. At Prepper’s Paradise, we like to use the motto “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!”

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