This summer, we’re going into the backcountry. We’re going where the road stops and the sky yawns. We’re going on foot, packing light but smart. Our gear needs to be compact, innovative, simple, adaptable and, after the summer, it needs to face down the Nordic winter too. Scandinavia is brimming with outdoor brands making cutting-edge gear, and we’ve scoured the market to find the highest-quality survival items in the region. Here is our top pick of essential camping gear.

Searchable Rescue Reflector by RECCO

The patented RECCO technology is a two-part system, featuring an active detector, carried by the rescuer, and a passive reflector, carried by the user. The reflector, a lightweight, passive transponder that requires no power or activation, consists of a diode and an antenna, and makes the wearer searchable to rescuers. RECCO’s finger-sized adhesive reflectors can be applied to backpacks and helmets, while the lightweight reflector belt is worn as a standalone garment. The Norwegian innovation has already been integrated into garments by more than 150 brands, including Helly Hansen, Jack Wolfskin, Arc’Teryx, Patagonia and Peak Performance, but RECCO’s backpack and helmet reflectors can also be purchased separately and applied to existing gear. They do not age or wear out, and if not mechanically damaged they will last forever.


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Garberg BlackBlade with Survival Kit by Morakniv

This survival knife has everything a real bushcraft enthusiast needs. Its 3.2mm-thick blade is made from carbon steel for stability and strength, while black DLC-coating protects against rust and prevents light reflections. Combined with the textured handle, finger guard, vegetable-tanned leather belt strap, and symmetrical polymer knife sheath suitable for both right and left-handers, this knife enables safe, precise and efficient work in all weather. A Survival Kit with a fire starter, diamond sharpener and reflective paracord is integrated into the knife sheath, so this full-tang knife is always ready for whatever the wild throws at it.


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Large TrekTowel by Asivik

This large, deliciously soft microfiber trekking towel from Danish outdoor specialist Asivik boasts excellent absorbency, is quick-drying and features a fabric clip for easy hanging. This 60 x 95 cm version offers an optimal surface area to pack-size ratio; it will fully dry a shaggy head of backpacker hair and folds into a 120- gram wallet-sized pouch afterwards.


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We Love This: Essential Nordic camping gear

Essential Trail Stove Duo by Primus

The Swedish brand Primus is synonymous with gas stoves in Scandinavia and its Essential Trail Stove is beloved by camping novices and experienced outdoor chefs alike. Offering precise flame control for optimum cooking results, this 114-gram burner attaches onto a canister via a simple mechanism for a kitchen setup of less than a minute, and its 2500W flame can boil a litre of water in three and a half minutes. For those unsure of where their journey will lead, this Essential Trail Stove Duo fits both threaded and non-threaded canister valves.


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L.I.M +3 Down Sleeping Bag by Haglöfs

This premium sleeping bag by the Swedish brand Haglöfs is designed for speed hikes and races. Toting a tagline of ‘an innovative design that cuts grams, not performance’, the zip-free L.I.M bag weighs 470 grams and, uncompressed, occupies just 5 litres. Its tight mummy form is insulated with 90 per cent down and 10 per cent feather for superior warmth and breathability, while the foot is open for enhanced mobility, with easy cord closure. Take this sleeping bag down to temperatures of -12°C.


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Abisko Lite 2 by Fjällräven

This compact two-person tent by the perennial Swedish favourite Fjällräven is built for trekkers who prefer to travel light. Thanks to its reduced height and smaller vestibule, this model achieves a total pack-weight of 2070 grams. But the Abisko Lite doesn’t compromise on performance: suitable for four seasons, the flysheet is made from Fjällräven’s new high-performance TripleRip nylon and is connected to the inner tent to ensure it stays dry while pitching. Set up is simple, colour coded, and double tent poles (an accessory) can be applied in exposed conditions, while openings for ventilation and visibility are pleasingly common-sensical.


We Love This: Essential Nordic camping gear

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