If you were marooned on a desert island it would be helpful to have, in addition to your statutory selection of reading material, music and luxury items, some really good outdoor travel gear.
- Therm-a-rest – packs down to the size of a loaf of bread but makes nights in tents or airport floors extremely comfortable
- Leatherman – a more manly version of the Swiss Army knife. I love them primarily for the tools and pliers. If I didn’t need those then I’d plump for a mid-size Victorinox instead
- Hilleberg tent – the best of the best and probably overkill unless you are going to be camping in some hardcore conditions. For most conditions I’d look at Terra Nova’s tents as a benchmark and then perhaps find a different brand with a price to suit.
- MSR Dragonfly – quite expensive for a stove, but it will last you for many, many years. I’ve used mine on expeditions galore, but also for cooking up a cheap meal in places as varied as a Roman theatre (Syria) and a 5-star hotel I’d blagged a night in where I couldn’t afford room service (Japan). If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Ray Mears and like to travel light then this is a good option for you
- Down Jacket – essential kit meets lovely luxury. They pack down small, are very light, are very wonderful and worth the money!
- Head torch – In readiness for power cuts, reading on the nightbus or getting an early start in the hills, LED head torches are small, long-lasting and cheap
- Sunglasses – obvious, but vital, and not just for looking cool for your Facebook photos
- Sunhat – obvious, but vital, even if you won’t look cool in your Facebook photos
- Buff – headband, neck warmer, ear warmer, balaclava, hat, eye-cover, hair scrunchie, knee brace, face flannel, towel, bandage… A useful little thing!
- Silk sleeping bag – keeps you cool when it’s hot, a nice extra bit of warmth when it’s cold, keeps you off flea-ridden mattresses, stops your sleeping bag becoming smelly and packs down tiny. Worth tucking in the pack
What do you think of my selection? What should I take instead? What would you never travel without? Please have your say in the comments.
This piece originally appeared in Wanderlust