You don’t need much in the way of special kit to get started on a simple microadventure, the important thing you need is the will to leave your front door and take the first step!
Of course, to make your night out a little more comfortable it’s good to have a few essentials!
You will need Warm Clothes (at any time of the year), dress for the weather, make sure you have warm layers, such as jumpers and jacket. If it’s, wet make sure you can stay dry, if its windy make sure you can keep the wind off.. Always wear a hat, they really do keep you warm!
Sleeping Bag – A reasonable (not necessarily expensive) sleeping bag is a start. You need to make sure you can keep it dry over night as dew and damp is likely to be a factor on uncovered kit (this goes for your backpack, shoes and anything else left out) If it’s cold you can put one sleeping bag in another to increase the warmness. Sleeping bag liners (cotton, fleece or silk) will also add an extra ½ season to your bag, and are also easy to put through the washing machine!
Bivi bags are basically waterproof covers for your sleeping bag. Most bivi bags are made from a breathable fabric such as Gore-Tex which allows moisture to pass through (as you breath / sweat overnight inside the bag). You can use a thick plastic survival bag as a lower cost option, but you may feel a little damp in the morning.. You can pick up the fantastic Alpkit bivi bags from around £30. Ex-military Gore-Tex bags are also pretty good, and very durable.
Insulation mat – These can be picked up from most outdoor stores, and really do make a big difference through the night, without one the cold ground will soon sap the warmth out of you from below, resulting in a pretty uncomfortable night. There are many different types, from foam mats, to inflatable ones, they all do the same job, it’s just down to budget and preference!
Eating & Drinking
If your just out for a night, you might not want to carry cooking kit along with you. There are plenty of options for a cook free breakfast! I normally like to have the ability to boil water, from that you can have a warming brew, make porridge (the just add water pots are very convenient) or even cook a pasta dinner..
Cookers range from the very (very) cheap to over £100 mark.. again, it depends on how often you will use it and what you want to spend. Use metal mug directly over the heat to get a cup full of morning coffee brewed, or go to the other extreme and take a stove top espresso maker..
You can make a simple lightweight ethanol cooker for pennies with an old beer or cider can
You will need to be able to carry your kit, obviously a backpack is ideal here. Add a big black bin liner to your bag, and place your backpack, boots and anything else in overnight to keep any rain or dew off.
You will figure out what you should have brought to help, and also make a mental not of the kit to brought, but didn’t use.. this allows you to learn and tailor your packing to your own needs. The outside world can be surprisingly comfortable with minimal kit!