How To Spend A Night Outdoors With Less Than 2kg

By Mark Roberts

You can get to some pretty cool places if you don't need to back for tea. Imagine if you didn't have to be back till breakfast!

With useable light extending deep into the evenings and warmer nighttime temperatures, Summer opens up a whole new avenue of exploration. But you wouldn't see very much, weighed down with a hefty expedition-sized rucksack. Stripping your kit down to the bare essentials means you can cover more ground and get further off the beaten track. Here's how to spend a night outdoors with less than 2kg:


  1. Pick A Good Night
  2. Choose The Right Camp Spot
  3. Take Only What You Need
  4. Pack Lightweight Gear
  5. Eat And Drink Smart
  6. The 2kg Summer Bivvy Kit List

Bivvying

Pick A Good Night

You can get by with surprisingly little kit on a mild, dry summer night. Taking a  2 season summer sleeping bag and a bivvy bag instead of your tent can easily save you a kilogram or two. But conditions can vary dramatically – especially in the British Isles. It’s not unheard of to experience frost in June! Keep your bag packed and an eye on the weather forecast and make a dash whenever the overnight temperatures look warm and dry enough – above 10°C and you should be fine with the below kit list.

Choose The Right Camp Spot

Remember to take elevation and windchill into account – particularly if sheltered sleeping spots could be limited. Most weather forecasting services provide ‘feels like’ temperatures that factor in wind chill. Mountain-specific forecasts like MWIS (Mountain Weather Information Service) and the Met Office’s Mountain Weather also provide temperatures for different elevations. If you can’t find this info for the area you’re going, subtracting 1°C for each 100m of elevation gained will give you a rough temperature guide in clear weather.

Take Only What You Need

Getting everything you think you might need in front of you is a good way of deciding what’s essential, what's only desirable and what's completely unnecessary. Sleeping bag? Absolutely essential. Inflatable pillow?  Desirable, but could you make do with a jacket behind your head? Rechargeable camping lantern? Probably won’t be used if you're in bed by nightfall. Keeping a list of what you took last time and recording what you didn’t need and what you wished you’d taken is a good way to refine your packing list.

Pack Lightweight Gear

This doesn’t mean you have to replace everything in your gear cupboard with space age camping technology! Often, it’s just a case of smart material choices. Opting for an inflatable sleeping mat or a closed cell foam roll mat over a self-inflating mat will save you a good few grams. Titanium cookware combines the strength and durability of steel with the weight advantages of aluminium. High fill power down sleeping bags (750FP and above) still provide the best warmth to weight ratio, even with the availability of quality synthetic alternatives. You can find out more about this in our Spotlight on How to Choose A Sleeping Bag.

Get Food and Drink Smart

Make sure you’re well fed and watered beforehand. You’ll definitely need to carry more food and water with you if you start your evening hungry and dehydrated. Freeze-dried food and dehydrated meal packets give you the best calorie to gram ratio, but only if you don't count the water and gas needed to make them edible! Camping by a clean water source saves you from carrying water with you to boil up for your meal pouch. If you’re starting from the roadside, leave some breakfast and a full water bottle in your car for the morning. Alternatively, you could plan in a café breakfast if you’re not sleeping anywhere too remote.

2kg summer bivvy kit list flat lay

2kg Summer Bivvy Kit List

Sleeping

Cooking

Food and Drink

Total: 1955g

* When empty... 500ml of water weighs 500g... Ok, we may have cheated slightly! 

Pack

2 comments

  • Would have liked to see some safety equipment included in this, I love how you encourage and inspire people into the outdoors, bit I think there should be some responsibility for their safety. Minimum fully charged mobile phone, whistle, safety blanket, first aid, map included?

    Steve

  • This list is ropey at best. A warm layer, hat, gloves, headtorch, first aid kit etc should also be mentioned. These are not nice extras but essentials for anyone who requires a post to know what to take on a bivvy. Even the fact that water has been excluded from the list (1kg per ltr) and even the bottle to carry it! In addition to this the advice of the Pipedream 200 (comfort limit of 7oC) is… optimistic for most people even during summer.

    Andy

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