Summer camping in Hong Kong: it’s hot, it’s humid, and its a helluva lotta fun. When heading out for a night under the stars in Hong Kong, it’s essential that you customise your usual camping gear to suit the environment. Here at BloomMe, we’ve skipped over the usual basic gear you need for a hiking and camping adventure, and instead focused on what unique camping preparation you will need for your time in the wilderness (aka. Lantau).
Before you gear up with Hong Kong-centric equipment, make sure you choose the perfect spot here.
Insect repellant & sunscreen
Need we say more? Stock up on both of these. Take more than you think you’ll need and thank us later when you’re not a blistering, itchy, sad camper.
The right tent
You may be shocked to learn that there are several difference between camping at Mt Everest basecamp and on Lantau island, the key difference being vastly different climates (the other difference includes less mosquitos at Base Camp, but a higher chance of dying from altitude adjustment issues so it’s close tie).
The right tent for a Hong Kong camping trip is definitely not one that locks in moisture and heat. Look for a tent with lots of mesh and ventilation so that you don’t wake up in a sauna or with too much condensation inside the tent. Also make sure that the mesh gaps aren’t big enough to let mosquitoes in. If you can find one that can support a small, hanging mini-fan, even better. If you don’t feel like splashing out on a tent for the haul, a lot of camp sites have tents you can rent out, but make sure you call ahead to book them- otherwise your sleep under the stars may end up being too literal for comfort!
The right sleeping equipment
Stash away that gigantic thermal sleeping bag that looks like a mattress, and instead opt for a cooler, lightweight sleeping bag that can easily unzip for maximum comfort. During the ridiculous summer months, a useful sleeping instrument to take along with you on hikes is a small sleeping bag sheet. Usually stashed inside a sleeping bag as a sheet (as the name suggests), a sleeping bag sheet is ideal for a little something to cover yourself without feeling like you’re in an oven. They come in a range of materials from 100% cotton to the luxurious silk, and pack down to such a small size you won’t even realise you have it.
As an added bonus, it can also be used when you’re travelling and your hotel bed sheets are questionable. Sliding into your sleeping bag sheet inside the hotel bed gives you a level of hygiene and comfort like no other.
Available online, you can also pick up a sleeping bag sheet from places like Overlander.
Need an extra bit of ventilation? Bring one of those trusty portable fans that every true Hong Konger has throughout the Summer months and use a string to attach to the roof poles of the tent so you can get a little breeze whilst you sleep. Make sure you charge it before setting off because once the battery is dead, it’s not coming back honey. Plus they have a handy flashlight on them (for unknown reasons) so if you need a torch during the night you always have your trusty hand fan!
What do you want to eat on your journey? This all depends on what equipment you bring along.
If you want to take a small travel stove or some pots and pans for boiling water, you can take along packaged food that you just add water to. Noodles, instant soup, oatmeal, all of these cuisines are possible on the road.
We recommend heading to Muji for their amazing selection of dried food. Did you know they have a Coconut Chicken Curry that serves one person for $20HKD? Brilliant. To make the meal even more gourmet, bring along your own simple spices, nuts, and berries to add to your meal to take it up a notch.
Even 7/11 has a range of instant meals, from the humble Noodle Cup to the fancy full meal available in some outlets.
Just remember, your rubbish belongs in the bin and not on our hiking trails. Clean up your damn noodle cups, people!
Google maps helps you, but what are you going to do for directions when your phone is flat and your portable battery is out of juice? A simple but essential component of camping is bringing along a physical map with you. It will help you with landmarks, directions, utilities, and can also provide interesting information about the camping spot you are currently inhabiting.
The Hong Kong Post Office in Central, just aside of IFC, has some good hiking/camping guides available for purchase. Consider stocking up before you head out.
A hefty water supply
During summer months in Hong Kong, we sweat waterfalls just walking from the MTR to the office. Be warned, you will sweat even more when carrying equipment over a big hill with the sun beating down on your neck. For a Hong Kong hike, you’ll be needing water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and washing your face after a long day.
Check ahead to see if your camping location has a fresh water supply or if you have to bring your own. Some spots across Hong Kong are close to fresh water streams and other natural water sources, but if you’re going to drink from them we recommend investing in some water purification tablets or a strong water filter so you don’t fall sick.
If you decide to bring your own water, always overpack so you don’t find yourself dehydrated and in real danger. A rough estimate of how much you’ll need is around 3L for a day hike, and another 3L for a night and return journey, but always take more if you think you’ll need it.
Dash into Protrek and stock up on all the hydrating goodies.
Now, all you have to do is pick your camping spot.
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Summer camping in Hong Kong: it’s hot, it’s humid, and its a helluva lotta fun. When heading out for a night under the stars in Hong Kong, it’s essential that you customise your usual camping gear to suit the environment. Here at BloomMe, we’ve skipped over the usual basic gear you need for a hiking…