The explorer belt is a highly personalized adventure, no two people will ever truly have the same experience and equally this is reflected in the gear they’ll choose to bring. What one person considers essential might be a luxury item for someone else.
This blog post is designed to give you a rough outline of what might be required, requirements will change year on year and depending on what climate/country the expedition is being organized in. Talk to your belt organizer if you have any specific questions.
When you get dropped off on the road, you will most likely be provided with
- A map
- Log books
- Letter of introduction and international scout passport
- Possibility a camera (Depending on the year)
At a minimum you will need the following equipment.
- A tent
- A sleeping bag and ground mat
- A rucksack
- Cooking equipment
- Personal medication and toiletries
You’re home for 15 nights! Teams often have little choice regarding tents, and may only be able to take what their group has available. Worse case you might have to invest in a new tent, you can pick up some pretty good second hand ones from the UK.
Depending on the climate you’ll be walking in, you’re generally looking for something light weight (Less then 2.5kg). Rainproof and quick and easy to pitch.
Banshee 200s are a probably choice, although they can’t be a bit tight on space. A neat trick is to either sleep with your feet in your rucksack or leave your gear outside in a survival bag!
Regardless of what tent you bring, make sure to pack a few extra pegs and some duck tape!
Shoes? Boots? Sandals? Go barefoot and pull a Jesus on the whole thing?
Every belter will tell you something different about footwear, but here are a few good tips.
- What ever you pick, wear them as much as possible before going. Including on the training weekend.
- Socks are just as important, invest in a couple of good pairs.
- Have some flipflops for the evening to let your feet air out.
Note the above backpacks are not suitable!
When leaving Ireland, your rucksack should roughly weight between 10 and 14kg, anything above this isn’t good, a 45L or 50L rucksack is generally a good choice.
Correctly fitted rucksack are almost as important as correctly fitted shoes, there’s some good you tube videos about to fit them or most outdoors stores will help you. It’s important that the weight is on your hips rather then your shoulders.
Dry bags are a fantastic idea, not only do they keep your clothing and sleeping equipment dry, they let you keep your stuff organised while on the road.
Sleeping set up
It’s important to remember that a good night sleep can make a massive difference to your happiness, so investing some money in a good sleeping system is important..
Your sleeping bag will depend on the climate you travel to, it might need to lighter then Irish bags if you’re heading to southern European or maybe even something warmer if you’re going north.
An good inflatable sleeping mat will often far greater nice sleep then some old foam mat.
A camping pillow might be worth the investment!
Again.. will depend on your climate.
Normally, however you should be looking for
- Two or so tech t-shirts
- A warmer fleece for the evening
- Two or so shorts/pants
- Some socks
- Some tech underwear
- A light raincoat
- A hat
Don’t forgot you can wash clothing on the road. Bring a small amount of washing up powder and mix everything in a dry bag.
Multi fuel stove
By far the most expensive option, but also the best option if you can afford it. Multi fuel stoves are powered by petrol, which you’re almost guaranteed to find on your first day.
You will need to bring some pots as well. Flying with these stoves requires some work. Check out this blog post here
Although their quick, cheap and easy to use. You won’t be allowed fly with a gas can, which means you’ll be forced to find one when dropped off on day one. This can be pretty tricky depending on where you are….
Again, trangias have the same issue. Mets can be hard to come by…
Solid fuel stoves.
There not ideal for ten days of cooking on, but I have heard of teams bring them for the first day or two. There the only fuel type you’re legally allowed fly with.
- Washing powder for clothes
- Washing up stuff (Washing Up Liquid, Steel Scrubber and J-cloth)
- Small bottle of olive oil
- Personal First Aid Kits: Very minimalistic, plasters and painkillers. Blister pads, (Compeed, both recommend to us and very very effective)
- Suncream/ Insect Repellant
- Small amount of toiletries
- Head torch
Here are a some good links to do extra reading!