BEDS AND SLEEPING BAGS
The most important thing after keeping dry and filling the belly is a good nights sleep to keep you going the next day there is nothing worse than broken sleep and waking in the morning feeling like you have slept on rocks all night, mind you there are some who may like that sort of thing. Of course you need to check the ground area you are pitching on first it doesn't matter how good your bed roll is if you pitch with a stone sticking up in the middle of the tent.
I am going to change tactics here a bit and suggest you save up and buy the best bed roll in my opinion and I know I said I wouldn't endorse products but hey editors license. Thermarest self inflating bed rolls do exactly as they say on the tin they are light they fold up well and they are as comfortable as you can get. They can be adapted into a chair, Okay there are draw backs they do have to be stored unrolled I stick mine behind the sofa or lay it under the bed. I do suggest carrying a repair kit but I have used the cycle puncture outfit it worked.
You can of course use the foam type beds that will not puncture and can be stored flat, But I am afraid this will not make up for the level of comfort obtained from the Thermarest do you think if I link to there web site they will pay me for this endorsement.
there is myriad of sleeping bags on the market from very cheap to very expensive however what to buy needs a little thought. Decide on when you intend to use it if you predominantly camp in summer only you will need something different to camping in the winter. For summer only camping a cheaper two season bag should suffice these are relatively cheap however generally speaking the more you pay the better the bag look for the size it stores down to ensure it can be washed. In the middle range of the market for the occasional weekend away in late autumn early spring you will need at least three season with a hood these usually start at about £55.00. If you intend to camp during the winter months you will need a four season hooded bag and possibly supplement with a silk liner for added warmth you will pay from £100.00 for these bags I find going to a specialist camping store and talking to the staff very helpful they usually know what you need but don not be persuaded into buying the most expensive unless you really need to.
POTS AND PANS
These are as important as the stove in many ways a good set of pans will be light and compact but not that thin that your food burns as soon as any heat is applied so we have to strike a balance between light and usable.
The minimum you will need is two medium sauce pans a frying pan and kettle I use the frying pan as a plate. again there are a range of goods available but you need to know what you are going to use them for how many are you cooking for are you just reheating pre- prepared foods or are you going to cook a meal from scratch. This all makes a difference to what you need. Personally for one person I use a small compact Billy can set made of stainless steal it is a little heaver than aluminum but the cook quality is the trade off. Basically if weight is a bigger issue then buy the lightest beware they do burn. Whatever you buy try to buy compact for ease of storage.
Plates Cups etc The only advice I can give here is light light light I find melamine okay I use the saucepans to eat out of as well. You do have to be careful with melamine it will melt if near heat. Some times I also cheat for a weekend I take disposable plates and throw them away okay I have just sent all the environmentalists into a wild frenzy I am sorry I will make up for it by putting them in the recycle bin instead. As for cutlery I carry a Swiss style army knife and a put together knife fork and spoon set.
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