I have written before on some of the choices to be made when considering whether to take artists’ materials on the trail, what to take, some of the compromises to be decided upon. What I decided on a number of years ago was to take a minimal set of materials with me on my longer hikes.
Not only do I want to give my trail journals some life, but also capture just a few of the sights and views on my various walks. However I do recognise that I am a poor one for pausing to do so. I have always tended to be a ‘head down and keep moving’ type of hiker. It is a failing of mine and one I keep working on rectifying. This sort of mentality is fine to get the miles done, but my longer hikes, my 2000 mile hike in 2018 especially, were and are intended for me to enjoy this great nation. On occasion, this means stopping.
So, a minimum of artists’ material it is then. I concentrate on keeping both weight and bulk to a minimum. To that end, I look carefully at the artists’ materials I own, what I use most, what I like to use most, what has been carted along with me on hikes and, more crucially, what gets used. I look at each main item in turn- pencils, pens, etc. Most of these are covered in more depth here.
This is not intended by any means to suggest what you should take. It is not authoritative enough for that, instead, it is a personal glance at my own art kit and its refinement over the years.
I end with two examples of lightweight art kits- one for my day hikes, the other for multi-day excursions.
Part 1- Graphite pencils
Part 2- Coloured pencils
Part 3- Mechanical pencils
Part 4- Sharpeners
Part 7- Watercolour paint and palettes
Part 8- Brushes
Part 9- Pencil wraps and cases
Part 10- Paper and sketchbooks
Part 11- My lightweight art kit for day hikes