Backpack lying on grass along with a hat, map and compass

It’s important to be self-sufficient and fully prepared during any overnight camping trip or DofE expedition, not only for your comfort but also for your health and well-being. Please find below suggestions for some of the items you might need to pack.

The packing list should be adapted based on the requirements of the trip. For example, if you are walking a long way with your kit then you might decide to take just the essential items in order to reduce the weight of you bag. If you are camping in a group then you might be able to share some items (such as the cooking stove, trowel or washing up soap).

This list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only, and other items might be required depending upon the circumstances of the trip (for example, water purifying tablets might be required).

Navigation

  • Compass
  • Map(s) and map cases
  • GPS device

Shelter

  • Tent
  • Sleeping mat or airbed
  • Sleeping bag (appropriate for the weather)
  • Pillow if necessary (alternatively you can improvise a pillow by putting some clothes in a pillow case)
  • Torch or lantern

Food, water and cooking

  • Water flasks/bottles (filled if necessary)
  • Hot-drink flask
  • Pots and pans
  • Cutlery
  • Washing up sponge and soap
  • Tea towel
  • Source of food
  • Matches (in waterproof container)
  • Mug
  • Camping stove and gas
  • Tin-opener
  • Plastic bags for rubbish

Hygiene, health and safety

  • Soap
  • Towel
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Anti-bacterial hand wash
  • Sun block and sunhat
  • Safety
  • Survival bag
  • Insect-repellent
  • First-aid kit
  • Sunglasses, spectacles and cases
  • Toilet paper
  • Trowel
  • Whistle
  • Any required medicines

Clothing

  • Underwear/t-shirts/shorts (preferably sportswear which helps remove moisture from the body – not cotton)
  • Layers for warmth (for example, fleece, hat, gloves, walking trousers – not jeans)
  • Waterproof layers if necessary (for example, rain jacket, hood, waterproof trousers. ‘Breathable’ itmes are best as they can help water evaporate from the body.)
  • Appropriate walking footwear (suitable for the expected terrain, possibly spare pair. Make sure all footwear is ‘broken in’)
  • Spare socks/sock-liners (at least two pairs per day)
  • Bin bag or sack to keep dirty clothes separate from clean clothes
  • Sandals or flip-flops (to allow feet to dry out and make showering easier)
  • Nightwear
  • Gaiters

Other items

  • Pen knife
  • Appropriately sized backpack (with bag liners if necessary)
  • Money
  • Notebook
  • Pen or pencil
  • Watch
  • Book, playing cards etc.