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How to Buy the Best Lightweight Camping Gear

How to Buy the Best Lightweight Camping Gear

Camping does not mean you have to take your entire house with you when you spend a day or two outdoors. Not only is that going to be such a hassle when you pack, load the car, travel with it taking a lot of stuff with you means more time spent setting up your campsite.

And most of the time, you are not going to need all the stuff you think you will need. Not to mention bringing stuff like pillows and tables means you are going to have an overcrowded vehicle, and that is not fun. For you, OR your car.

So clearly, choosing lightweight camping gear is the way to go. It makes a lot of sense you do not have to spend a lot of time preparing stuff to bring; you do not overload your car and setting up camp and packing up to go home will be a breeze.

Next question: what are your lightweight camping gear options and how would you go about buying them? Need tips? Don't worry, we have got you covered.


First What is lightweight camping anyway?

On a very basic level, lightweight camping is pretty straightforward - just stripping out all the gear that is not essential and choosing products that are more compact and weigh less than you'd perhaps normally take with you.

We can start to get really technical looking at pack weight, and really strip everything back if we want to talk about ultra light camping or backpacking. For instance, lightweight base pack weight is often defined as less than 10kg, and ultra light as less than 5kg.

However, we're not going to go that far. For the purposes of this guide, we're going to keep it relatively simple and assume you're someone who just wants to reduce the weight of the gear you're carrying.


Our top lightweight camping gear picks

Obviously you should leave behind non-essential camping stuff, but what should you take with you? If you are going camping for the first time and are looking at some lightweight camping gear options, here are some of our top recommendations.



We are not talking about attitude here. A camping swag is your lightweight, easy to set up alternative to the usual camping tent. Not only are these lightweight, they provide shelter from outdoor elements. They are quite comfortable too and have mesh windows that you can keep open during the daytime to let the cool air in, and pesky mosquitoes out.

This works well for solo campers that do not like bringing a lot of gear with them. Or you can substitute swags for each person, over let's say a four-person tent. This gives you and your camping companions more privacy and well each person can easily carry it with them to and from the campsite.


Solar Blanket or Solar Mat

Just because you are camping does not mean you do not need backup power solutions. And solar panels are the safest, most environment friendly way to power your campsite lights and keep your mobile phones charged.

However, we know that certain solar panels can be bulky and heavy. So, if you are looking for lightweight options, we certainly recommend getting a solar blanket. The great thing about solar blankets or solar mats is it has an integrated bag design so you literally just fold it out when you are going to use it. Then you just fold it back on to itself once you are done. It easily fits under the seat of your car and does not weigh a lot.

If you are looking for something that you can use just to trickle charge your car battery or charge your mobile phones, a mini solar panel is also a good option. These types of solar panels weigh less than 2 kgs and are quite effective.


Self inflating mattress

A lightweight self-inflating mattress is another option to make sure that you stay comfortable for a night outdoors. These are made with lightweight materials, but are sturdy enough for even the most rugged of campers. Because they are self inflating, this means that you do not have to bring an air pump with you.

Other lightweight camping tips


As well as the advice above, here are some handy camping hacks that will help you cut down on how much gear you take with you.

  • Cut down the length of your toothbrush.
  • Use a cheap foil emergency blanket under your sleeping mat for extra insulation.
  • If you're taking a map, cut out and take with you only the bit you need.
  • Toilet paper - remove the cardboard centre, so it packs flat, and put it in a plastic bag.
  • Cut up a straw. Fill the pieces with toothpaste for one-use packets. Seal the ends. with a lighter - be careful!
  • Check the weather - by knowing what the weather's going to do, you can plan ahead and leave unnecessary gear at home.
  • Use a head torch rather than carrying a bulky torch in your back. This also frees up your hands.
  • Make a small first aid kit - put plasters, a few pills, antiseptic wipes, and whatever else will fit into a pill bottle.
  • Dry out your gear - if it gets wet, then it's going to weigh a lot more than if it's dry.
  • Use a hydration bladder rather than bottles of water. Some rucksacks come with space specifically for them.
  • Use nearby rocks as tent pegs.
  • Try a microfibre instead of a beach towel - lightweight, quick-drying and dirt-resilient.
  • Use your pack instead of a pillow.


One last and very important tip is to never take any unnecessary risks when lightweight camping. Always make sure you have enough stuff with you to stay warm, fed and hydrated. You might want to cut down on weight, but you need to make sure you stay safe.


So, are you ready to get all geared up for your lightweight camping trip? Give us a call today and we would be happy to help you find the best lightweight camping gear for your needs and budget!