Minimalist Woodland Recon Kit
Alex, who heads up Alpha Bushcraft, shared this great breakdown of his kit with us: I manage to maintain a rotund figure through the regular consumption of bacon and egg sandwiches and Mars bars. This is despite my avid interest and regular participation in bushcraft, survival, rock climbing, wild camping, nature photography, running and more…
The Kit List
Weight = 2.2kg dry
- TAD Azimuth Backpack – Extremely light and tough pack
- C.A.P.E. Clutch Pouch – Handy pouch for storing rough edged items that could puncture your back pack or sleeping components
- Fallkniven S1 + Fire lighting pouch on custom Kydex sheath by RTKnives UK. The knife and pouch are all securely strapped to by belt. The pouch is attached to the knife sheath and stores a fire steel, matches and striker, XL peanut lighter and 2 WetFire tinder cubes
- Fallkniven U2 with DC3 diamond stone in C.A.P.E. Pocket Organiser Type 1
- Opinel Wood Saw Large – Very light weight yet capable woods saw. This has been given a custom paint job
- Zebralight SC50 Head Torch on Klaruslight Headband with CR123 capsule. 1 battery = 1 month of light in ultra-low. Not extremely powerful at 200 lumens on max but I think that’s enough for a head torch
- Spare batteries and min Bic lighter in waterproof container
- Extendable bellows (useful fire tool)
- Jerven Bag in pouch. The Jerven bag is my pocho, tarp, wind break, groundsheet and sometimes even my Bivi bag. It has definitely saved me a couple of times. The Jerven Bag’s bag has belt loops so is carried on my belt for quick access if it rains. The Jerven also covers my backpack keeping it and its contents dry. The pouch also stores a last-ditch pocket survival kit. The survival kit includes fire lighting, signalling, water purifying and navigation equipment. It also includes a small Photon torch and spare batteries. All small survival items stored in waterproof pouch
- Titanium stove, pot, mug, tea & coffee stored in a custom TreadLite UK zip pouch. Can be used for boiling water and cooking. A hot brew can be a real morale boost!
- Water purifying equipment, cordage, repair tapes and adhesives stored in a custom TreadLite UK travel pouch with over the shoulder strap. Stored within back pack
- Water Bottle (Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth) 64oz
- Denatured alcohol (methylated spirits) for the stove. Enough for 2 days
- Infra-red night vision monocular with infra-red mini light sticks
- Lightweight Akammak hat. Extremely unobtrusive yet warm hat. Invaluable
- My 7 year old pair of Snugpak gloves. Their holey but still wear them. Invaluable
- Waterproof PFAK. Pain killers, disinfectant, plasters, bandage, sutures, tweezers, gauze, anti-diarrhoea tablets, anti-histamine and more
Alex: I founded on my passion for the outdoors and my need to continuously consume high sugar and fat containing products, I created Alpha Bushcraft. Now trading as www.alphabushcraft.com, the business is now in its eight year and still expanding, including most recently, a range of technical base layers by Akammak. My addiction to useful outdoor gear means that all items stocked on alphabushcraft.com are cherry picked, only after being thoroughly researched and tested by my big sasquatch hands and body (and brain!).
I do like to test myself both physically and mentally and often do this by very simply putting myself in an isolated wilderness location. Often with intermittent or no phone signal, the feeling of having to be self-reliant is emphasised. Without question, having good equipment is never a replacement for knowledge, skill and experience but it certainly never hurts. This is the philosophy behind Alpha Bushcraft and I try to apply it to all the products we choose to stock and manufacture.
So, this is my lightweight, minimalist woodland recon kit. I take it with me whenever going off the beaten track. Essentially, it’s a bunch of stuff that makes me feel happy and safe when I’m out in the woods, moors, hills, mountains, lakes, e.t.c. If I am unfamiliar with an area, this kit is coming with me.
It is compact and light weight enough to carry unobtrusively on day hikes or quick overnight trips. I use it to find new areas to explore and wild camp in. I have designed it so that if the worst happens and I get lost or injured, I can get myself to help or indeed, to help myself. In many ways, it’s a safety net.
I do like to practice my bush craft skills so there is some provision for that too.
This kit forms the core of my extended wilderness trip set up. With the addition of 6 items, it can be used as a medium to long term wilderness survival kit, which has many applications. To do this I add the following : tent, sleeping pad, blanket, axe, tarp, fishing/hunting gear and a different backpack.
I do appreciate having the lightest gear possible but it always has to be balanced against function. You will notice that for a light weight set up, the knife and saw are rather large. If you ever have to build a survival shelter and fire in frigid conditions, you will appreciate the extra capability of a larger tool. Being able to process larger pieces of wood can be a real labour-saving device, which could be critical in some situations. In my case, as I don’t regularly carry an axe, the larger knife goes a good way to taking up the slack.