Rantala's Orders: Perfect gear list for your adventuresShare on Facebook
Finland is the hottest travel destination in the world! This is already known by international Instagram celebrities, Bollywood stars, and top athletes (or they at least knew it before this pandemic). Soon also the Finns will understand how beautiful their home country really is…Because domestic traveling is also very patriotic and ecological, the Madventurer and captain of the reserve R. Rantala is telling everybody to fine-tune their backpacking gear NOW!
The prognosis of Rantala’s gear* list is pretty clear: Hopefully the quarantine will be soon over, and the enlightened and well equipped citizens will soon get to enjoy nature, culture, and domestic travel in all its psychedelic dimensions.
However, if we need to continue this social isolation, this gear list can also work for preppers. With these you can survive in the wilderness alone, whether you plan on isolating there completely or just taking a time out for a few days.
The basic list is suitable for three-season camping, and the additional list for winter and other special needs. And even though you can march across the continent with this gear, let’s follow all the country-specific restrictions in place!
*This list has been developed for 30 years so in Rantala’s delusional mind it is pretty much perfect. But to be honest, critical feedback is also welcome. And if damn good ideas come up, the list can also be developed based on those.
Clothing in layers
This is the foundation of the whole list and the most important area. The shitty weather is after all considered to be the Achilles Heel of traveling in Finland. Nonsense There is no shitty weather, only shitty ways of dressing for it! Everything begins with proper merino wool underwear. It is awesome stuff even in the Finnish summer. Remember that good merino wool is mulesing-free. Don’t save your pennies on this part. Pretty much everything else can be bought used or in army surplus or otherwise quite cheap.
- Base layer
- Boxers, merino wool (c. 1 pair / 2 days)
- Long johns, merino wool
- Long Sleeve Shirt, Merino Wool
- T-shirt, merino wool, 2 pcs.
- T-shirt,cotton, 1 pcs.
- Hiking socks, merino wool
- Boot socks, merino wool
- Extra socks, merino wool
- Thick socks for the basecamp, you might guess what kind!
- Outer layer
- Windproof jacket, breathable
- Windproof pants, breathable
- Belt, sturdy, with a belt loop
- Balaclava merino wool
- Commando cap
- Boonie or baseball cap
- Leather gloves (also for handling hot stuff)
- Liner gloves, merino wool
- Waterproof shell
- Proper tall, water-repelling hiking boots
- Light sneakers (for the camp and town)
- In case you feel like partying bonus gear
- Light city pants that don’t smell of smoke
- Clean T-shirt
- Thinner bar socks
- If you need extra insulation, put on your forest clothes or find somebody to hug
- Winter hiking bonus gear
Carrying and shelter
The foundation of overnight trips. The marching rule of an old soldier: You shouldn’t carry more than 30% of your weight (25% in difficult terrain). Often you tend to carry more, so get a proper backpack. You must usually make compromises and think about what you need for that specific trip. Lightweight and durable usually means also expensive.
- Backpack 80 liters or more
- Large waterproof bag inside your backpack
- Waterproof bags
- Sleeping bag, three-season (fourth for winter camping)
- Sleeping bag liner (protects and insulates more)
- Sleeping pad (also for hammock campers when taking breaks)
- OR instead of a tent:
- Moquito net
- Hammock slings
- Axe or Skrama (building stuff and making a fire)
You can easily calculate your daily rations this way: breakfast, two warm meals, snacks. You need at least a liter of water for cooking, and 2-4 liters for drinking depending on the weather. When you hike in demanding conditions or when tired, a little bit of luxury works wonders. In other situations, your food should be light and dried. How much fuel you need for cooking, depends on how you cook, as long as you don’t forget to bring it! Fire-making gear is your life insurance. One set in your pocket, at least two more in your backpack.
- Coffee pot
- Hydration reservoir (3 liters)
- Canteen for cooking (1 liter)
- Water filter
- Dining kit ja Spork
- Matches, 3 sets in waterproof bags
- Fire steel
- Food (See the full list)
- A bottle of booze for all sort of disinfecting
Most important other equipment
Rantala won’t go anywhere without these
- Headlamp and spare batteries
- Camp lantern
- First aid kit (First-aid bandage, disinfectant, bandaids, blister bandages, vaseline gauze dressing for burns, wide bandage tape, pain and fever meds, hydration tablets, antihistamine pills, diarrhea medicine, prescription medicine, cough drops, talcum for blisters, antibiotic cream (Bacibact), hydrocortisone cream, thermometer)
- Hygiene bag (biodegradable soap, small deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, small mirror, small scissors, sunscreen, lip balm, mosquito repellent, hand sanitizer)
- Small towel
- Hiking pole (an absolute must in the mountains and steep hills)
- Duct tape (small roll)
- Extra cell phone battery and charger
- A strong waterproof bag for protecting your cell phone
- Sewing kit
- A few meters of rope
- Some iron wire
- Additional molle-straps
- Couple of trash bags
- Couple of plastic bags (also usable as trash bags)
- Microfiber towel (for drying wet stuff)
Journey-specific additional equipment, if you can fit it
This is stuff that you don’t need but that will bring some additional comfort on certain treks. Some of these can be vital in certain special conditions.
- Small sun panel charger
- Swimming trunks
- Biodegradable hand washing liquid
- Fishing gear
- Travel speaker
- Can of beer (if you’re really thirsty)
- A socket adapter (abroad)
- Foldable saw
- Hand warmerst
- Gas lighter
Rantala’s picks from Varusteleka’s range
It is rarely sensible to buy thousands of dollars worth of hiking and camping gear at the same time – unless you’re part of a professional or semi-professional expedition. However, as your interest grows, you might end up buying more and more high-quality gear. And sometimes it is more expensive to buy cheap crap. A high-quality backpack might last a lifetime and be usable everywhere from wilderness hikes to rock festivals.
Final disclaimer: Traveling isn’t all about the gear, but to some extent it is.You can certainly go hiking without checking all these boxes. You can borrow a lot of stuff, too. However, it is clear that on demanding hikes you will risk losing your sanity or even your health if you go there insufficiently prepared.