This is currently what will be found in my bag if I was out for just a night or two in the woods. Everything I need (not just to survive a night outdoors but enjoy it in great comfort too) can fit into this 35 litre rucksack. And in many ways, out of all the different configurations of gear I have, whether it’s for a multi-day trip by bike or on foot, or just a day out on the hills; this overnight pack is perhaps my most refined: pared down to the essentials but without compromising on comfort.
There is no tent; just a hammock, bivvy, and tarp - and to be honest, if the weather is looking good the tarp will stay at home. I will take this opportunity to endorse relegating your tent from your overnight setup and switching to a hammock. It is lighter, much more comfortable, and there is no better sight to wake up to than the sun breaking through a thick canopy of green.
Below is a walkthrough of all my gear with a brief description of what is and how it found its way into my bag (and perhaps what it pushed out too).
Lowe Alpine Airzone 35 litre Rucksack
ENO Double Nest Hammock - I bought this while I was in the States from a huge outdoor store called REI. It was a steal at just $30 or $40 (I can’t remember exactly now). Sadly, these seem hard to get in the UK without having to pay out a little more.
OEX 3/4 length self inflating sleeping pad
This is made by Go Outdoor’s exclusive brand OEX, as a cheaper alternative to a Thermarest I think it is very good indeed. You can read a full review here.
British Army Gore-tex Bivvy bag
Love this bivvy, sure it takes up more space in my bag than other bags but it is extremely breathable, tough, and big enough to stow your rucksack in the bottom.
Vango Planet 50 sleeping bag
Cheap and cheerful. Packs really small and is more than good enough for a warm summers night.
If you haven’t got one, get one. Amazing value for such a high quality knife.
Zebra 14cm Billy Can
Really nicely made billy can that quickly found a permanent spot in my bag despite being slightly cumbersome.
MSR pocket Rocket
Small, powerful, and won’t leave too much of a dent in the wallet. Only complaint, when rigged up on top of a gas can with a pot of boiling water perched on top it does topple very easily.
Camelbak Podium Water Bottles
I bought these for cycle touring and now they come everywhere with me. They have great locking valves that never leak in the bottom of your bag.