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In Search of Alastair Humphreys

Updated: Mar 19, 2021

Wild camping on a budget.

Let’s face it Wild Camping isn’t for everyone, travelling light isn’t for everyone, but you won’t really know if you like it until you have tried it.

So, your best bet is to try it for the first time for the price of a single night in an average hotel. That way you haven’t lost anything, and you could always sell off your gear to a mate or on Ebay to make half of your money back.

For your first time it’s highly recommended to go on a nice weather night in the middle of a high pressure spell to guarantee (as much as it is possible) a fine dry and low wind spell for an enjoyable night.

On a night like this you don’t really need to use a tent, a simple bivi bag will do to keep you off the damp ground and stop any condensation on the inside like you would get in one of those cheap emergency orange bags. Being in a bivi bag you really feel the air around you, you see so many things once the sun has gone down and once your eyes get accustomed to dark.

So, there are 2 very good bivi bags in this budget to look at*

A Tyvek bag like this one from the village of Hawick in the Scottish borders

£32.99 +£0.99 P&P

Or a more mainstream one like this one from Alpkit

£64.99 free P&P

The Alpkit although it does have a large hole that you crawl inside it is more waterproof than the Tyvek one which although made of a waterproof and breathable material it doesn’t have it’s seams sealed. On the plus side the Tyvek one is half the price, half the weight and it packs down much smaller than the Alpkit too.

If there is a chance of rain and you have a cheap tarp the Tyvek one would be my budget choice.

Please note

* If you are slim then an air mattress inside both of these bivi bags will be fine.

If you (like me) are of an average build then I would recommend you using your air mattress on the outside of your bivi bag because if you sleep on your side inside it with the mattress you will crush the insulation of your sleeping bag against the side bivi bag and it will make thin here and a become a cold spot that won’t help you sleep. Use a simple ground sheet, bin bag, 2m length of Tyvek off a building site, or a tarp that you could maybe us into a C shape over and under you for more shelter.


Air mattress for summer use doesn’t need to have any insulation and can be bought for little money. Although I’ve not tried them you can buy them from Ebay for under £17 with a built in pillow, just search Ebay for “Inflatable Camping Mattress Air Mat”

Sleeping bags, most people have one up in the loft, if not they can be bought for around £20 and the same goes for a back pack, there’s probably one of these in your loft or shed to and if not you can pick them up for another £20 or so.

And that’s it that’s all that you need




So, that’s a starter set for under £51 if you have a sleeping bag and a ruck sack

And under £100 if you need those two as well.

Food, buy a bag of fish and chips on the way to your bivi spot and some breakfast bars for your walk home.

Should it rain, simply lay your waterproof jacket over your head ensuring that you have a breathing hole

No need to worry about cooking and importantly take extra warm clothing as the sun goes down to keep warm so there is no need for a fire to mark the ground, damage the area and prevent you ever going back to this spot as there will be no camping signs in place next time because of the damage caused. If you’re cold do some star jumps orhave a jog.

Enjoy your budget #MicroAdventure

PS, for a good nights sleep take some ear plugs to help shut out the noise of your surroundings and your snoring bivi buddies.

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