Below is a list of essential and recommended equipment that you should bring with you so that you can participate fully in the course activities and also be comfortable during your stay.
Some of the items below are specific to those who are choosing to camp on site. Obviously if you are going home each evening you can ignore those items.
Please note this is a self-catering course, so please bring all your own food for the weekend.
As a rule, anything you bring into the woods, you also need to take away, So please be prepared to take all litter home with you. Remember the old saying; “Leave only footprints, take only memories.”
Please double check you have everything you need from the kit list before you arrive, and assume we don’t carry spares.
If you have any questions after reading this list, do get in touch with us at email@example.com
Food/Packed Lunches – sandwiches or food that is quick and easy to prepare is recommended for the daytime. If you’re camping out remember to bring everything with you for evening meals and breakfast as getting on and off site to pop to the shops for supplies isn’t an easy endeavour.
Personal First Aid Kit – this should include a minimum of plasters, anti-bacterial wipes, microporous tape and a small bandage. Preferably your kit should be of a size that you can carry it on your person throughout the weekend. So, a pocket sized ot belt mounted kit is ideal.
Sensible Footwear – these should be warm, waterproof and provide ankle support. A pair of walking boots is usually fine. It never hurts to throw a pair of wellies in the boot of your car too if you have the room…. just in case.
Outdoor Clothing – should be suitable for the season. During cold months, multiple thin layers are better than one thick layer. You should also bring two spare sets of clothes and sufficient changes of underwear and socks. If you get wet in the day, it’s good to be able to change into something dry for the evening.
Waterproof Coat & Trousers – these are recommended regardless of the forecast as weather can change in Wales. They also add a good windproof layer to your clothing options. Remember fire is a big part of the course and modern materials such as GoreTex melt easily so don’t bring your best gear.
Gloves – to keep fingers warm while maintaining full movement. We recommend a pair of leather/gardening/rigger gloves as these will protect your hands whilst gathering natural materials and dealing with the inevitable brambles.
Hat – think about what season it is and whether you might need to keep your head warm or cool. Hats are also great as make-do foraging baskets.
Plate, Bowl, Eating Knife, Fork, Spoon – metal or plastic plates/bowls are best as they are lightweight and less liable to break. We have found that if everyone brings their own cutlery to eat with then it makes things simpler.
Mug – please bring your own mug if you want to enjoy a hot cup of something from the campfire kettle. If everyone brings their own it saves you having to clean out a used mug that someone else has left out.
Drinking Water Bottle or Flask – to keep yourself hydrated through the day. We will have drinking water for you to fill up from.
Bin Bag & Carrier Bags – these are always useful for keeping items dry when camping and also to put any litter you make in for taking home.
Personal Medication – is there anything you need to bring?
Rucksack and Day Bag – hiking your kit in and out of the woods is easier in a rucksack. We recommend bringing a small day bag along too for use when we’re away from basecamp during daytime activities.
Tarp or Hammock Setup – If you are sleeping out in the woods near basecamp then be sure to discuss your plans with us in advance so we can make sure you’re bringing appropriate kit. Depending on which option you’ve chosen there are 3 ways you can sleep out in the woods with us…
1. If you’re hiring a hammock then this will be all set up for along with a tarp roof to protect you from the elements. Please see the notes about bringing a Sleeping System below.. Essentially, only hammock systems or tarps with ground mats are allowed in the woods, unless you plan to sleep in a natural shelter.
2. Bringing your own hammock setup or tarp. If you’ve got this kit already, you probably know what you’re doing with it already, We will show you the area you can choose from to set up your camp.
3. Natural Shelters. If you’re sleeping in one of these, see the notes about Sleeping System below. We will have some extra waterproof tarps available should you wish to borrow them.
Sleeping System – sleeping bag and an insulation matt to sleep on. If you’re sleeping in a natural shelter we also recommend a bivi bag to keep your sleeping bag dry from the elements.
Toilet Paper – it’s best not to get caught short in case the camp loo supply has run out. We try to keep it filled up though.
Personal Wash Kit – everything you need to keep yourself looking beautiful; toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap, towel etc… we will leave the rest to you.
Cooking Kit – Try and keep things minimalist and simple where you can. If you’re camping in the woods you’re welcome to use the basecamp campfire to cook over but bear in mind that pans with plastic handfuls might be liable to melt. You will also be responsible in the evening for keeping the fire going if you want to cook on it after course hours. You can bring your own camping stove if you like. Remember cutlery and something to eat out of; plate/bowl/mess tin.
Washing Up Kit – a sponge/scourer and eco-friendly washing up liquid are ideal.
Torch & Spare Batteries – head torches work great outdoor as they leave your hands free whilst you move about. Otherwise a simple torch or lantern is recommended.
Insect Repellent – if you know you’re susceptible to bites from bugs it’s best to bring some repellent with you so you’re comfortable during the courts.
Suncream – probably not essential in winter 😉
Sharp Tools – You are welcome to bring your own hand tools for use during the course activities. However we insist that our staff check that your items are safe to use before the course starts. So if you bring your own knife, axe or saw please let us know when we do our course introduction. We will provide sharp tools for everyone as required throughout the course. If you are bringing your own tools please not the following…
Knife – fixed blades only, no folding knives. A Mora style knife is ideal. If we are spoon carving and you have your own crook knife, you are welcome to bring it along.
Axe – small axes only, up to the size of a Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe.
Saw – folding saws like the Bahco Laplander only. No large bow saws please.
If bringing your own tools please ensure you have sheaths in good condition to shield the live edge.
Notebook & Pen/Pencil – for making your own notes over the course.
Sit Mat and/or Folding Chair – we have logs to sit on around the campfire circle however they are sometimes wet from rain so having something dry to sit on can be a good idea. The lighter the better, a simple sit mat works greater or just a cushion in a plastic bag can work.
If you are already on your way to the course and you find you’ve forgotten something, we recommend stopping at Pro Adventure in Llangollen, not far from Chirk Castle. They are a local supplier of quality outdoor gear. We use them quite a bit ourselves. https://www.proadventure.co.uk/