How Lightweight Camping Gear Could Save Your Life – Dan Wowak

Heading into the outdoors shouldn’t mean you need a caravan of equipment. Big bulky backpacks filled with tons of gear can many times hamper the excitement of the trip. A fun relaxing weekend adventure can soon turn into a workout of both body and mind. Keeping gear light and minimal will enhance any outdoor experience and will also provide a solid safety net.

Here are a few essential items to pack when camping minimally or just heading into the woods for a few hours. 

Metal Cup or Bottle

Having a metal cup or bottle allows for disinfecting water through boiling. Boiling is the safest and most reliable method of water disinfection.

The Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset is a good example of a lightweight metal cup to keep in your day pack. (shown below)

This lightweight, self-contained complete cooking system is constructed from hard-anodized aluminum and works with solid fuel. The stove is great for heating water or food on the trail, such as a quick cup of coffee, tea, or soup. It includes a windshield type stove and a pot with lid.

Fire Starter

The ability to start a fire is crucial not only for safety but also relaxation. Fire provides warmth, a  means to cook food and boil water, and most importantly a sense of security.

UCO Titan Stormproof Matches

Tarp Shelter

A Tarp can be very easily packed away and setup to provide protection from the elements. Modern materials such as Silnylon and Xenon are extremely light and durable making a tarp shelter a very viable shelter option.

Poncho Liner or Blanket

It is not a bad idea to have an extra something to stay warm and cozy. Blankets and poncho liners make great additions to camping kits because of the versatility they provide. A cover for sleeping, a throw when sitting next to the fire, or an extra layer when traveling, these item is a win all around.

Esbit Titanium Solid Fuel Stove


Our main source of energy, food provides the calories needed to maintain both proper physical and mental functions. Pack away calorie dense bars and gels in case a trip goes longer than planned. It is important not count these snacks into your daily rations, as they should be used only in emergencies.

Remember pounds equal pain and outdoor adventures should be fun. Minimal camping is an exciting and rewarding experience. Carry only what you need and let nature provide the rest.