There’s no better way of escaping the constraints of civilization than to drop it all for a few days and set off on a camping trip into the wilderness.

You’re instantly gifted the chance to rediscover yourself, as your list of concerns is whittled down to just three simple things: how far to walk that day, where to pitch your camp for the night, and what’s on the menu for dinner.

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Heading out into the backwoods offers unlimited freedom and adventure — as long as you’re properly prepared with the right equipment. We’ve got you covered.

Protection from the elements: the right tent

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The be-all and end-all of a camping trip is, of course, a robust tent.

As nice as the idea of sleeping directly under the stars on a warm summer’s night is, the reality can sometimes be a lot less comfortable. Left exposed, rain, plunging temperatures and swarms of mosquitos will certainly make for a pretty uncomfortable night’s rest.

For these reasons, investment in a portable roof over your head is unavoidable. A good trekking tent will always have a waterproof outer layer and a breathable inner tent.

To avoid stewing in a zipped-up tent on a hot, humid night, whilst remaining protected against bloodthirsty insects, mesh mosquito net inserts are a minimum requirement. Likewise, for adequate airflow the tent should feature vents that can be securely closed, to keep it wind and waterproof should rougher weather strike.

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To keep your luggage dry and, ideally, provide space for an indoor kitchen, a separate entrance hall is another prerequisite. This should be spacious enough to allow at least a foot of distance between a camping stove and the tent walls. It goes without saying that the tent’s design should include a sufficient number of guy lines and peg fastenings to ensure it can withstand even the stormiest of conditions.

Recommended: After a hard day’s hiking, the time and effort required to pitch your tent can seem more than a little daunting. It’s moments like these that pop-up and inflatable tents were designed for. French manufacturer Quechua's Fresh&Black range can be erected in seconds and features a special inner coating that keeps the interior cool in summer and dark for a perfect night’s sleep.

Lie comfortably: the best sleeping mat

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As well as the right tent, you’ll need to find a suitable surface to rest your weary body on after a tough day on the trail. A good sleeping mat must be comfortable and offer good insulation — qualities that are best found in inflatable models.

Recommended: If you want more than air between you and the cold ground, take a look at the range of mats made by U.S. manufacturer Exped. These inflatable models are also filled with goose down or synthetic fibers, providing great insulation as well as a high level of sleeping comfort.

Wrapped up warm: the appropriate sleeping bag

Last but not least, to guarantee a restful night you’ll need to look for a matching sleeping bag. Mummy-style sleeping bags, with a hood, a thermal collar and a well-insulated zipper, are an excellent choice.

Before you buy, be sure to find a good balance between spaciousness and a firm fit. If the sleeping bag is too tight, you’ll overheat; vice versa, if it’s too wide you won’t be warm enough.

Recommended: Clothing tech firm Ravean has developed a sleeping bag liner you can wear like a jacket and still look good in round the campfire. To keep you warm in colder climates, the liner has a temperature-controllable heating element, powered by 12-volt lithium polymer battery that can also be used to charge your smartphone.

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