Druid starter kit

What do you need when you’re starting out as a Druid? Robes? Tomes of archaic wisdom? A really good wand? A golden sickle? Here’s my suggested essential kit list.

1)      Clothes and footwear that allow you to be outside comfortably. If you are able to walk, then good walking shoes should probably be your priority investment as this will do most to help you get out and engage with the world.

2)      A detailed local map, for the not getting lost, and for finding sites of possible interest to visit.

3)      A notebook and pencil, a camera or whatever else you might use for your moments of insight, inspiration and bardic creativity.

4)      Something waterproof to sit on – this will help considerably if you get the urge to sit out and contemplate.

5)      A torch – if you are out at twilight it is very easy to get this wrong and being lost in the dark is not funny.

6)      Nibbles and something to drink – if you get carried away and are out longer than you meant to be, top-ups can be very useful indeed.

7)      A staff can be useful as a walking aid, for fending off enthusiastic cows/dogs/brambles.

8)      A useful bag to put things in – feathers, stones and whatever else occurs to you, and another useful bag for bringing other people’s detritus away in.

9)      A pocket nature identification book – just the one, don’t weigh yourself down. Pick an area you aren’t strong in and carry a little information to help you learn.

10)   An open mind, and open heart, ears that are ready to listen and eyes that are keen to see, skin alert to sensation, nose alert to scents. (Insofar as these work for you, we don’t all get the same options, but use what senses you have as far as you are able to.)

This starter kit works as well for the urban Druid as for someone wandering the woods. All the other tools you really need are in your head – tools of thinking and feeling, of being, of taking interest, asking questions, making creative responses. You can leave the golden sickle at home, they’re heavy, and of no discernible use whatsoever. It can be tempting to acquire kit that helps us feel special, magical and glamorous, but that’s often just about the surface, and is nothing compared to how you’ll feel watching the sun come up in some wilder place, finding an orchid or knowing which bird just called and which berries you can eat.

This is just my list, other priorities will suggest different gear, so if you have an essential Druid kit item I’ve not named, please do add it in the comments.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

20 responses to “Druid starter kit

  • Léithin Cluan

    I love this!

    I carry my mobile phone – it has useful apps on it for identifying trees and birds, and I can make notes on it, which means I have less to carry. I personally need to take extra batteries for my electric scooter too XD

  • Aurora J Stone

    This is a useful reminder that it is all too way easy to get sucked into the glamour and forget the soul of a spiritual path — this is not limited to Druids or Pagans either. I too always carry a my mobile, but it is not a smart phone so I can’t use it to look up stuff. I carry mine because I am out on my own and it is a bit of security. Never leave home without the camera, notebook and pen.

    I am amazed by the breadth of what you share here of your Druid Life. The balance you achieve between achingly personal and the thoughtfully practical is itself an inspiration. Thank for your words, I look forward to your post.

  • greenwisewoman

    Excellent list! I enjoy all of your posts but this one is stellar.
    I also add that (if possible in the circs) it’s nize to have a dog proto-Druid as well— it encourages one to get out in less-than-perfect weather. You can borrow a neighbor’s dog to the pleasure of all.

  • grimmorrigan

    As I read the intro to this post on my feed I was hoping that many of the things you listed were going to be present. Always nice to see a list unburdened by the trinkets so many folks surround themselves whit.

  • Christopher Blackwell

    Ah the practical side of a Druid traipsing off into the country side. As I tell my city people Momma Nature has a lot less rules than in the city adequate clothing, adequate food, adequent water, adequate shelter and that you should try not to hurt yourself. Of course, if you break any of those rules, She may kill you.

  • greycatsidhe

    This is the perfect starter kit. Thank you for posting this, Nimue. It’s exactly what people new to the path, or those discouraged with it, need to see.

  • rolandw

    Don’t usually comment on blogs I randomly visit, but have enjoyed your writing for a while now and wanted to add to your list.

    As a long time nature watcher, ecologist by training, and very casual pantheist-druidish spiritual guy, I would include all that you list, plus a small pair of binoculars and/or jeweler’s loupe (they make really nice ones with little lights, but any kind of magnifying glass will do.)

    Nature lives at a lot of scales we don’t perceive and it’s amazing what a little optical enhancement can add to your contemplation, whether it’s the texture of a stone or a bird in flight.

    Just a thought from an American cousin….

  • lornasmithers

    Very sound advice. As a waterproof seat, following John Newton’s advice of taking a cushion in a bin bag works for me.

    May sound geeky, but as someone not naturally a nature buff I find the I-Spy series of pocket books- I-Spy Birds, I-Spy Bugs, I-Spy Wildflowers, I-Spy Clouds very handy. And you get Points 🙂

  • Jack Manx

    I’m very happy with myself that I am at a stage of my experience where I had started to figure most of this out. I think that shows I’ve been learning!

    I’m also going to start including a poncho. Something light. I might take my hat with me. I also try not to take my phone or ipod. Getting outside and hearing nature is the point for me, and I don’t want any distractions. I might have to start carrying Identification books now!

    • Nimue Brown

      awesome! A poncho sounds like good kit. I have a lightweight waterproof military style one that will do as a ground sheet and several people can huddle under it if needs be.

  • grimmorrigan

    Reblogged this on Cast Wide The Circle and commented:
    TRUTH!

  • locksley2010

    Awesome! I always carry a compass and first aid kit in my everyday rucksack. Really should get an identification book though: “I wonder what tree that is?” “What bird is that?”, “Are those ‘magic’ mushrooms?” Etc.

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