Here’s a piece i recently wrote for Al’s site.
The key to Micro Adventures is to pack light. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy overly expensive, ultra light kit. You can simply use whatever you have lying around at home but focus on taking the bare minimum.
Below is my kit list for a weekend Micro Adventure.
I decided on a 40 litre rucksack as I thought “if it doesn’t fit in, I don’t need it!” So don’t be concerned about buying a huge and expensive bag. Just go with what you already have!
I use a simple synthetic sleeping bag that I can squash down in a compression sack. I should really fork out for a down filled bag but I’m a skinflint so I make do with what I have! During the warmer months I use a Vango Ultralite 400 (around £60) and during the colder months I use my Mountain Equipment Starlight III (between £80 and £90).
If you decide to fork out a little more money for a down bag then I’d go for perhaps the Marmot Never Winter 2009 which retails at £140 for the summer months and the Rab Atlas 750 (£180) for winter.
There are expensive ones on the market such as the Rab Storm Bivi, which sells for around £60, but I bought a military Bivi for about 30 quid from the local army surplus store, which is perfectly fine for my needs. Water-resistant, breathable, and adds a little extra warmth on a cold night
The poncho was suggested to me a few months ago by a friend who told me how versatile it is. When I looked a little unconvinced he took me to a patch of woodland and turned it into a shelter in less than 5 minutes with the help of a bit of paracord. As well as a shelter, the poncho, when worn in the proper manner, covers you and your pack at the same time, keeping your kit dry. I bought my poncho for £20 but alternatively you could try the ShellTA from Furtech which costs £50 and can be used as a Poncho, for a shelter but also as a Bivi Bag.
If it looks like a weekend of rain I’ll pack my trusty Trangia stove. I have the Trangia 27-5 UL, which costs £50 – £60 (I take out one of the pans to reduce weight further) to cook on and eat out off, but this also means carrying fuel too which adds to the weight. So, if I can get away with it, I’ll just take a pan from the Trangia set and a lighter or fire steel and cook my meals over an open fire.
Some people feel that the Trangia is a little bulky so you could go for many people’s favourite the MSR Whisperlite (£75) coupled with MSR Titan Mini Cookset (£85).
When I go on my little Micro Adventures I take the bare minimum of clothes. I usually take what I have on my back, which consists of a baselayer, a midlayer and a waterproof. I wear lightweight trousers which will dry quickly if I get wet and if I’m expecting bad weather I’ll pack a down jacket, gloves, hat and waterproof trousers.
Other bits and pieces I take that aren’t necessary include – a camera, Moleskine notebook, bushcraft knife, head torch, Ipod, Blackberry (or any phone) and my trusty Freeloader Pro Solar Charger.