If you’re wondering what gear you should have with you to help you stay safe in the backcountry, you’re in luck. Outside magazine has compiled a list of the essential tools that we should have with us at all time when we head out on our adventures to remote places, and unlike most of the other lists that I share on this blog, I don’t mind spoiling the items that make the cut.
Of the items that Outside recommends, several will be familiar to anyone who already knows the 10 essentials of hiking. For instance, you’ll find a flashlight/headlamp with a fresh battery on the list, as well as a knife and tools to help you make a fire too. Each of those items has an obvious purpose of course, so there isn’t much need to explain why you should take them with you. But other gear that the magazine recommends may not seem quite so logical for the uninitiated.
For instance, Outside says that you should take Krazy Glue and Gorilla Tape with you on your adventures, although they may not seem like things you want to have in your pack. But, super-glue is excellent at closing deep cuts and other wounds, while Gorilla Tape can serve as an excellent bandaid as well. Both items are perfect for making small repairs to gear too.
Other emergency essentials include carrying a water filter for helping to make fresh drinking water (Outside recommends the MSR Trail Shot) and extra clothing in case the garments you’re wearing get wet or you have to deal with someone who is in shock or hypothermia. Extra layers mean warmth, and most of the time they don’t take up too much space in your pack either.
To wrap up the list, the author also offers some advice on what to leave at home as well, including satellite messengers, a staple gun, and even a compass (I disagree here!), as they just take up room in your bag and add unnecessary weight. His reasoning is that he has never needed them, so you probably won’t either. I’m not sure that is sound logic, but his point is that many of us head out with too much stuff, and in the end we don’t need it all. There is some good logic to that argument, although it also doesn’t hurt to play it safe depending on where you’re going, how long you’ll be gone, and the threat of danger you might face along the way.
Check out the entire article, including tips and advice on using these essential items, here.
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