updated on 23rd January 2017
Bring these in your next camping trip
Camping in the countryside of Hong Kong is one of the best outdoor activities during autumn and winter. Designated Campsites are reachable by public transport with short walking to sites. The following are camping items you will need for your next outdoor adventure!
ONE – Rucksack
Example: Osprey, Kestrel 48
Sizes of rucksack are measured by liters, I find that 48L is a good size for overnight camping. Optional: Use waterproof bags to put your gears inside and then into the rucksack is pretty neat for packing away and finding stuff quickly. These bags waterproof your gears too!
TWO – Tent
Example: Sierra Designs, Lightning 2
A free-standing, 3 season, 2 or 3 person tent will handle most of the camping situations in Hong Kong. The cost of a tent should be from HKD 500 to HKD 2,000 and beyond. Major difference is the design – ventilation of baseline model usually less efficient than top lines, which is a deal breaker to me. This is because Hong Kong is typically very humid, your tent will build up moisture quickly from breathing and everything will be wet by morning. Otherwise, tents are usually advertised by lightness e.g. the one I am using is roughly 2kg, which is easily half of any baseline models. Consider that campsites are easily reach, the weight of a tent is as important as ventilation.
THREE – Sleeping Bag & Yoga Mat
Mummy style sleeping bags can be unzipped into a blanket for comfort, which is very much the configuration I preferred. You don’t need a really warm sleeping bag , even it is cold outside, say 10c or lower, your tent will block much of the wind and your body temperature will build-up heat inside the tent. The main source of heat loss will be from the ground which can be serious if without insulation even in summer time. Yoga mat will do the job quite perfectly. The downside is bulkiness. If you camp more than a few times a year, you may consider invest an inflatable sleeping pad, e.g. Klymi, which I find their sleeping pad extremely comfortable.
FOUR – Water
Example: Platypus, Big Zip LP
Check campsite to decide how much water you need to carry. Some campsites provide stream water and some build with flush toilet pipped with water in the hand wishing sink outside. Nonetheless, I would suggest you to bring enough water for your full trip. Since water is vital – hydration, cooking, cleaning and first aid. Without adequate supply of water, you probably need to cut short your trip should be the weakest link among other things listed here.
To calculate how much water you need, my experience is that 3L during the day hike to campsite and another 3L for the night and return. Your mileage will vary depending on weather, distance and cooking. Give or take, 6L is a good estimation that should be within the comfort zone. Yes, it can be quite heavy but put you on the safe side.
FIVE – Cooking
Example: JetBoil, Sol
Food is really a matter of personal choice, you would either 1) Cook from raw, 2) Reheat/hydrate packaged food or 3) Dried food.
Consider cost, taste and convenience, I prefer food that only required to reheat or hydrate for ready to serve. Examples are packaged soups that I used to chunk the whole package it in hot water to reheat. I like packaged food from Muji, a Japanese household brand, that are perfect for camping. Their portion usually measured for 1-2 person e.g curry chicken. I will bring couscous or instant mashed potatoes for carbohydrate.
For stove, I use JetBiol mainly for boiling water, that’s all I need to prepare food and coffee. Just a personal choice really and there are plenty of portable stoves for different cooking style.
SIX – Safety
Map – Although hiking trails in Hong Kong are clearly marked, it is still preferable to get a Countryside Maps just in case for any change of plan. Countryside Map can be brought in offices of the Lands Department, book shops or shops selling hiking gears. Try Postshop in General Post Office (GPO) in Central (Google Map) if you have difficulties to buy hiking map from the formers.
First Aid Kit – Get one of those pre-packed first aid kit for hiking, it should cover many of the unexpected situations. If you are into packing your own kit, check out my another blog about wilderness first aid kit.
Headlamps – Flashlight of your phone don’t count as a torch for light source, especially you will spend very long time in darkness during camping. You need light to cook, set up your tent and venture out for your nature’s call. Invest a headlamp that you can use not only for camping but for hiking as well.
Phone, Battery and Cable – No doubt you will bring your phone for camping. We still need Instagram right? Do turn on that power-hungry GPS for tracking, not only photos will logged with locations but also a good way to keep track of your hike using apps. like Google Map and Run Keeper. Since GPS is power-hungry and phones don’t normally last for 48 hours, bring external battery and cable to change your phone.
Utility Gloves – Protect your hands and keep warm at times.
Garbage Bags – Be a responsible camper, take everything away in the spirit of Leave No Trace!
SEVEN – Clothing
These are basic clothing you will need to wear for hiking. They are made from breathable/quick dry materials that could dry easily from sweat. Think socks are much preferred as they are more comfortable and reduce chances of blisters.
EIGHT – Weather
Before you head out, do check the weather and bring extra accessories and clothe for elements of weather condition.Items you will need: Heat – Towers, Sun – Hat, Sunscreen, Long Sleeves, Wind – Windbreaker and Beanie, Rain – Raincoat, Cold – Fleece jacket and Beanie.
Time to Head Out!
So there you have it! Being in the countryside means to think ahead for what to pack in your rucksack. There won’t be shops for you to buy anything last minute like in the city. The reward is tranquility – gazing the stars, watching sunrise and sunset, deep conversation with friends, enjoy the wilderness or even – read a book!
Those are my reasons, how about yours?
Anything missing in this post? Leave your comments below.