Whether going on an overnight camping trip or leaving traditional life for greener fields, you can’t just take off into a thicket empty-handed. On the other hand, it’s not exactly practical pack everything you own to carry along, either. That being said, having a few essential pieces of outdoor equipment is the key to staying alive and well.
First Aid Kit
Challenges abound outdoors where everything from mosquitoes to water moccasins await their next meal. First aid kits don’t necessarily have to be elaborate, but they do need to hold the basics, like bandages, allergy and antibacterial creams, gauze, medical tape, a pre-packaged snakebite kit, sterile gloves, and allergy and pain pills. Special medical needs, such as asthma and diabetes, should also be taken into consideration.
Flashlights and headlamps fall into this category. Though battery-powered options aren’t frowned upon, they’re not completely foolproof. Bring plenty of extra batteries and even one of the shake-charge models for backup just in case.
Waterproof candles and matches are readily available, but consider placing traditional matches safely inside a zip-lock bag to protect them from moisture. Flint-and-stone fire starters also work well. If you happen to be an old pro at starting fires the old-fashioned way, you may very well be a step ahead of the game.
Bottled water is fine, but it tends to be bulky and add extra weight to your pack. On the other hand, drinking water straight out of a nearby creek isn’t a good idea. You never know what types of bacteria and microorganisms might be living there. Personal water filtration systems provide protection from hazards.
Far too many people set out on an outdoor adventure thinking their trusty phones will be their guiding light. After four days of wandering in circles with no signal, a dead battery, and no clue where they’re going or where they’ve been, they realize the error of their ways. Stick with a traditional compass at the very least, and don’t hesitate to get some advice on how to use it if you’re not sure.
In addition to these essentials, a knife, some paracord, an extra change of clothes or two, and some energy bars, beef jerky or foods specifically preserved for a long shelf-life couldn’t hurt. With all these items, you’re likely to make it through your outdoor excursion none the worse for wear.