Basic Kit - What do I need?

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Nov 5, 2012
Chelmsford, Essex

As a complete newbie to bushcraft I wanted to know what kit I need to get as the basics to get started. I have completed a one day bushcraft course which has made me want to get more involved but I only have some of the basics from camping, I'm not one to go and spend £100's on the best of every little thing that I could need so I would rather start with what I DO need and slowly build up my kit as I go.

I have the below in my head at the moment, any help would be appreciated :)

Water bottle
Thermal Layers
Walking boots
Adventureous spirit
Hip Flask

Ogri the trog

Apr 29, 2005
Mid Wales UK
Welcome aboard Col,
Most of the answers you'll get to this kind of query will be that you don't NEED the kit, but it does make things a little easier to begin with.

An eye for a bargain will come in handy as folk sell stuff through the forum and some things are just good value no matter where you get them from.

Enjoy the forum

Ogri the trog


Full Member
Aug 24, 2012
Welcome aboard. Others will be along in a minute to offer advice but here's a thought , a rucksack, something to boil water in and to cook in. Glad to see you have the right way of thinking by becoming a tree swinger rather than joining the odd lot on the ground!!!!!

"If we had some bacon we could have bacon and eggs, if we had some eggs"


Full Member
Sep 25, 2012
Apologies to whoever first posted this on here - I can't remember who you were, but I saved it because it was so useful! I think this came originally from Ray Mears:

something to carry your equipment in,
something to sleep under,
something to sleep in,
something to sleep on,
navigational equipment,
something to cook in,
something to cook over,
means to carry water,
a mug
illumination at night,
wash kit,
medical kit,
eating utensils,
odds and ends to make life comfortable (possibles),
I've been using this as the basis of my kit buying.
Dec 5, 2011
United Kingdom
i wont go mad with suggestions but here is a couple

A head light. petzle are great but my daughter uses one from the pound shop and its just fine

Swedish army trangia set for cooking is cheap as chips.

you can live without an axe quite easily but a folding saw is a good bet. that said you can get some perfectly good axes for cheap.


Aug 17, 2006
Yeovil, Somerset, UK
As well as what others have said I'd add some cordage and a first aid kit. I would never ever go anywhere with sharps without a first aid kit in fact.
Feb 15, 2011
The only real bit of kit you'll need is enthousiasm, You have the basics listed so get out there & do it, don't get bogged down with gear, you'll learn as you go along what you need or don't & also what works for you because as yet, there is no such thing as ' one size fits all ' when it comes to kit. (nor first time starter kits :))
Drop the axe though, You won't be needing it at first. If you don't mind second hand stuff check out eBay too .....some real bargains to be had for starting out with & once you're into the swing of things & know more about what you need & want you can improve your kit as you advance in the adventure. Remember too that you don't need to be fully kitted out for your first few forays, it's much more fun & instructive to learn as you go have fun.

Big Stu 12

Full Member
Jan 7, 2012
The most important thing is not to get carried away with buying kit, do as you have started to do, ask for info, people will always let you know how they got on.

the way i look at it is,

You need some were to sleep, be it a Tent or Hammock and Tarp,

Something to sleep in.. this time of year a good Sleeping Bag,
Dry and warm Clothing,

A cooker of some sort, remember that Gas can be temperamental in cold weather, and something to cook in, I think the Swedish army cooker is a good start, and cheap.

A knife is good, start off with something like a Mora clipper and learn how to sharpen that up first

An Axe is good but learn to use it safely, maybe a folding saw is a better starting place.

First Aid Kit

A fero road is good, but also have a lighter with you as well,

A hank of paracord is handy,

This time of year a small flask.... always handy to boil more water then you need and keep it in the flask... put it in your rucksack hot and full when you leave home that way if you stuggle to light the cooker/fire then you got quick hot drink.

and a good rucksack to put it in

Best of all find a group that Camps in the winter and join in - you will learn loads, see kit then buy what you find to be the best.

ex member pyrophil

New Member
Jan 15, 2012
Something to put your stuff in, doesnt have to be a rucksack if not travling far.
Something to sleep in and something to keep you dry.
Plenty of cheap stoves about, pan and a cup, spoon.
thats all you need to get started.
Then pick up any bits you fancy as you go along, getting out is the best part.


Full Member
Don't we just love giving advice! It's all good so far, but I'll pass on some tips I wish I'd picked up earlier:

1 Buy what you need, not what you wish you needed.
2 Wait until you know what you want and then buy the best you can afford. That way you'll avoid paying for the cheap stuff AND the good stuff later.
3 Expensive doesn't always mean good and cheap doesn't always mean bad. For example, following advice posted on BushcraftUK, I bought a Mora knife: cheap and does every thing I need. Like me, it aint beautiful but it's reliable and sharp.

If only I'd followed this advice myself! BushcraftUK didn't exist when I started out about 60 years ago so I had to learn from trial and error: luckily I made plenty of mistakes along the way.
Dec 5, 2011
United Kingdom
I second what Stu said about getting along to a meet. Pretty much all my purchases are following seeing stuff in the flesh and in use. You can learn much from the old hands at meets as they have usually refined kit over many years and have distilled it down to gear that just works.


May 26, 2009
Mora clipper knife
Wilco £5 folding saw
Husqvana hatchet

For sharps, incidentally the kit I use
Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2


Mar 30, 2011
Athens, Greece
Really depends on how much you want to play act, where your going and if your car camping or hiking.

We have a vast sweep of folks here with a vast difference in what they want from their outdoor experiences.
Some like playing cavemen, others like playing army, others camp within spitting distance of their cars.

There really is no right or wrong, the only goal is to enjoy yourself.

Personally i tend to backpack, so weight is extremely important to me, so my kit is paired back as much as possible.
I've never needed an axe in 30 odd years of outdoors roaming, i'm also sick of seeing good solid trees being disfigured and left to disease and rot just because some city kid wants to play at survival and doesn't have the common sense to use dead wood.

So i'd sit an think about what you want to accomplish, where, when (seasons are very important when considering kit) and how (i.e. carrying everything yourself or camping out the car).