Summer is right around the corner, and many of us will soon be packing our gear and heading into the great outdoors. As an avid backpacker, myself, I love to spend a few days alone out in the wilderness, seeking adventure. However, I never embark on the journey before packing a few tried-and-true items.
Here are the best I’ve found from the past week.
1. Diggold First Aid Kit
Regardless of where you choose to hike or camp, danger is always a fall or bug bite away. If you aren’t prepared to treat injuries and prevent infection, things can go from bad to worse very quickly. It’s crucial you have a first aid kit with you at all times, and Diggold knows that well. Check out their comprehensive pack.
2. Stealth Angel Survival Bag
As you’re taking in scenic views and enjoying the sunshine, you want to prepared. What does “prepared” look like. It looks like the Stealth Angel Survival Bag, which comes with everything you could ever want – and then some.
3. Altimeter GPS With Barometer
While you should take a physical compass with you whenever heading out into the wilderness, sometimes these gadgets don’t work correctly. Whether there be fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field or electrical interference, your compass can malfunction and lead you off course. Avoid getting lost by downloading the Altimeter GPS.
4. Life Bivy Emergency Sleeping Bag
Sleeping bags are at the top of most adventure packing lists, but what about emergency sleeping bags? Unlike most sleeping sacks, emergency bags — also called bivvies — are weatherproof and you can use them alone or in conjunction with a normal sleeping bag. Check out the Life Bivy to see a prime example of a great emergency sleeping bag.
5. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Carrying enough water to stay hydrated on long hikes and backpacking trips is practically impossible. Water jugs are obviously heavy and awkward to pack. Plus, you’ll likely run out of water eventually, which could result in dehydration. Instead, bring this water filter from LifeStraw.
6. Gerber StrongArm Survival Knife
Whether I’m hitting the trails for days or just a few short hours, I always bring a knife along, and you should too. While many think of a knife as a weapon or an eating utensil, knives can serve many other purposes. From cutting rope to sharpening sticks, these handy tools are essential for any adventure. Gerber’s StrongArm is a great place to start if you don’t have a trusty knife already.
7. TinderQuik Firestarting Tabs
Any good hiker knows that having more than one fire-starting options is key to staying safe, warm and well-fed in the wilderness. What happens if your matches get wet or your lighter stops working? In these situations — which happen more often than you might imagine — pull out your TinderQuik tabs and feel safe.
8. ICFun Outdoor Lighter
Even when you carry a backup, a lighter represents one of the fastest ways to get a blaze glowing. Flameless lighters reduce the chances that you’ll unwittingly start a forest fire when you need to warm yourself in the woods. It also protects your fingertips from burns. This version recharges via USB — so carry a backup solar charger.
9. 1TAC Paracord Survival Bracelet
You never know when you’ll need a military-grade parachute rope, but when you do, carry one on your wrist instead of weighing down your backpack. You can use this item to tie on a tourniquet if you get hurt or string out a washline to keep your socks clean on extended treks. It also comes with a stainless steel firestarter — because twirling sticks is tiresome — and a survival whistle, compass, thermometer and multi-function tool. It’s basically survival on your wrist.
10. Leatherman OHT Multitool
You can’t carry a toolbox comfortably into the woods, but sometimes, you need a screwdriver to tighten a tent peg or a pair of pliers to remove a bee stinger. The Leatherman OHT Multitool does not disappoint. You’ll have everything you need, including bottle and can openers — hey, hydration matters. You’ll also get multiple knives and cutters for doing anything from stripping brush to gutting small prey.
11. Eceen Solar Charge Panel
Electronic gadgets can save your life if you get lost in the woods — if they have power. Make sure you always have a charged cellphone, lighter and other communications gear using the power of the sun. This version is compact enough to not take much room in a backpack, and it automatically adjusts output to work with a wide variety of tools.
12. inReach Explorer+ Satellite Communicator
As much as you wish they would, standard cell phones leave something to be desired when it comes to getting a signal in remote areas. In some regions of the western U.S., you could find yourself stranded and lost, even if you have full signal. However, you can always reach out and touch someone when you have a high-tech satellite phone. The price tag is well worth the investment if you venture far from the beaten path. You are, however, responsible for programming your partner’s and best friend’s phone numbers — you know you haven’t memorized them.
Expect the Unexpected
Avid outdoorsmen know the only thing they can expect on an adventure is the unexpected. Scraps, bruises, bad weather and bad luck are the name of the game and it’s best to be prepared if and when an emergency arises. Having these essential items on hand will help you both enjoy your time in the outdoors and survive if things get hairy.
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