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Staying in a bothy is a great outdoor experience. With no creature comforts, and no luxuries, it's a beautiful step back to basics. However, just because the shelter is simple, doesn't mean you don't need the right kit. Just like wild camping, to enjoy a night in a bothy, you need the right equipment to enjoy the experience. Here's our kit list with everything you need to have a great overnight adventure...

Sleeping Mat

Just like camping, a good sleeping mat is essential for a good night's sleep. The difference here is that the surface your mat lies on may be rough wood or stone, unlike a tent floor on grass, which means durability & toughness are key. It's worth considering a good quality foam mat, like the Multimat Summit, or a heavier weight inflatable matress, like the Thermarest Trail Lite, for some peace of mind.

Multimat Summit XL Thermarest Trail Lite

Sleeping Bag

If you plan to camp and visit bothies, a quality sleeping bag is a must. A good quality bag not only keeps you warm, but packs down small and light, and if it uses down, should be ethically sourced. Tundra are a small sleeping bag specialist using great materials, and a very sustainable approach to manufacturing. Their Pure -5 sleeping bag is pricy, but will last years and performs brilliantly most of the year round in the UK. For synthetic bags, Mountain Hardwear lead the way with quality, and their Lamina Z Flame is a great all-rounder for the UK. Tundra Pure -5 Mountain Hardwear Lamina Z Flame

Stove & Cook Kit

With stoves and cooking kit, it's all about how much you want or need to carry. Sleek all-in-one systems are great for one person dehydrated meals, while larger systems are better to cook actual ingredients, and for more people. For lightweight and minimal pack size, the MSR Windburner is hard to beat - everything fits within the pot and the built in wind protection ensures fast boil times. For a more involved or larger meal, the Primus Express Spider is a super stable platform and efficient burner. Combine with a versatile pan set like the Sea to Summit Alpha and you can easily cook a great meal for two or three people. MSR Windburner Primus Express Spider II Stove Sea to Summit Alpha Pan Set


Chances are you will need a torch of some sort when bothying, whether you arrive in the darkness or just want to see what you're doing inside. The Black Diamond Spot is a great all-round head torch with plenty of light (300 lumens) and the ability to cycle through different modes for seeing further away or close up. For something a bit more fancy, the Petzl Reactik automatically adjust the light beam to your surroundings, giving you a gentle glow when close to an object (like reading a book) and a more powerful, focused beam for looking further away. Black Diamond Spot Petzl Reactik


A multitool can be handy at any time, though more so when visiting a bothy. Taking care of these buildings is something all bothy users should consider and having a good multitool to hand can mean you can make small repairs when visiting, in addition to tidying up etc. A classic Swiss Army knife can be handy in many situations and the Spartan model offers a good array of tools at an affordable price. For something with a bit more oomph, the Leatherman Sidekick is a great set of pliers with a host of extra tools combined making it perfect for tinkerers. Swiss Army Spartan Leatherman Sidekick


A night in a bothy is all about escaping modern life. There's nothing better than getting curled up in your sleeping bag with a cup of tea (or something stronger) and a good book. Our book selection is constantly changing and features tales from some of the leading adventurers of today and those of the past. The other part of bothy life is meeting new people, and what better way of bonding than over a game of cards? Check out these outdoor themed games to keep you entertained. Books Playing Cards

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Duke of Edinburgh Award - Recommended Retailer of Expedition Kit

Tiso are the official supplier of kit to all Duke of Edinburgh's Award Expeditions. If you are a participant or leader, we can provide advice, one-on-one fitting, facilities, planning tools and approved DofE kit, all delivered by our expert staff. Not to mention 15% off for participants, and 20% off for leaders.* Get your expedition off to the best start.

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