When I first started camping in the jungle I went out and bought a very expensive and expansive rucksack which could hold every item I might possibly need – I then proceeded to fill it with every-possible-item-that-I-might-need. Halfway up a hill – with rattan and bamboo hindering my progress – sweating and feeling dizzy from the beginnings of heat exhaustion, I realised my mistake.

When I think about it, the only times I haven’t enjoyed being in the jungle was when I was carrying too heavy a load and I go to great lengths to avoid doing so again.

Until you are in the tropics, it is difficult to imagine the difference the heat and humidity make to your ability to carry a heavy rucksack – what you can comfortably carry when in the UK will be much more of a burden to lug around in the sweltering  jungles of Malaysia.

Of course, if you are going on a long expedition there may be no option but to carry a heavy rucksack (extra food needs to be carried for starters), but for a 1 or 2 night stay in the jungle this isn’t the case and, the lighter your pack, the more you’ll enjoy the trek and the experience.  The other option to a light pack is to get someone else to carry your heavy pack for you – locals in the tropics are generally stronger/fitter and more acclimatised than the average visitor and may be glad of the work – but my own preference is to travel light and carry my own gear.

I now use a rucksack which is almost too small (30L capacity) as it forces me to cut down on what I take in.  Every item I take gets weighed and, if a lighter option can be found, replaced.

In this video I show you the rucksack, tarp/hammock/net set-up I use and cover an update on jungle boots.

For anyone who is interested in knowing more about the items shown I’ve listed the websites below:

Rucksack: Karrimor airspace, 30L

Sleeping bag: Snugpak Jungle Bag

Field sharpening stones: Outdoor Dynamics

ENO nest tarp/hammock/net: Eagle’s nest outfitters

Altberg Jungle Boots: Altberg

As with all equipment, personal choice and cost play a big part and I am not saying that the gear I use is the best there is – it’s just gear that works for me and gear that has worked well in the jungle.