Top 7 Essentials for Outdoor Adventurers
Every time you step into the country, packing these seven essential survival items is an excellent habit. Sure, you may not use any of them on a routine trip. But, it’s only when something goes south that you truly realize the value of carrying these items.
7 Essentials for Outdoor Adventures
1. Navigation Tools
Obviously, the most important tools for any outdoor adventure are navigation gadgets. Modern navigation tools include:
Altimeter – An Altimeter utilizes barometric sensors to measure air pressure at your elevation. Plus, it helps you determine your location and track your overall progress.
GPS device – A GPS helps you locate your position accurately. You can also use your smartphone instead of a GPS device. Just make sure it’s rugged enough to withstand the conditions.
Compass – While you can find a compass in most smartphones and other electronic gadgets, we suggest getting a standard baseplate compass. The reason being? It weighs nothing and needs no batteries.
PLB – A PLB or Personal Locator Beacon is an emergency gadget. When you activate a PLB in an emergency, it sends an SOS alert via satellite and helps rescue workers determine your position.
2. Sun Protection
Always bring sun protection along – whether it’s a short trip or a long tour. Wear sunglasses and pack sunscreen and some extra sun protection clothes. Otherwise, withstanding outdoor climatic conditions can get really tough. It can result in sunburns, snow blindness, premature skin aging, cancer, cataracts, etc. So, these three are an absolute must:
Sunglasses – Quality sun protection glasses are indispensable in the outdoors. If you plan on a long tour on ice or snow, you will need special extra-dark glacier glasses. Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of the UV light.
Sun Screen – Spending hours outdoors means exposing yourself to UV rays. Wearing sunscreen limits your exposure. Experts recommend getting a formula that offers SPF 30 along with UVA & UVB rays blocker formula for extended outdoor activities.
Extra Sun Protective Clothes – If you are not fond of swooshing sunscreen on your face, clothing is another effective way to block the UV rays. Go for any lightweight synthetic clothing that comes with a UPF rating. You will still need sunscreen for exposed skin like the face, neck, and hands, though.
3. First Aid Kit
Not only should you carry a first aid kit, but you also need to know how to use its items. A pre-assembled kit is usually a more user-friendly option as it takes all the guesswork out of building your own kit. Many people also go for personalized kits to suit their individual requirements.
Whatever option you go for should include blister treatment pads, adhesive tape, bandages, gauge pads, disinfection ointment, pain relief medication, and nitrile gloves. A pen and paper can also come in handy to log treatments or any other important trip details.
However, the contents of the first aid kit will depend on the period of your trip and the number of people involved. You will need more supplies if you are traveling with a bigger group. It’s also an excellent idea to keep a health emergency guide to deal with any medical emergency.
4. Multi-Purpose Tool
A multi-tool is another must-have for any road trip. Today, a single multi-tool comes with as many as 12 different parts. However, select one depending on the complexity of your trip.
Multi-purpose tools are compact and robust. They come with multiple screwdrivers, foldable scissors, can opener, multiple style knives, etc. – everything you need to do simple tasks as well as complex operations. A multi-tool is any backpacker’s best friend in any outdoor adventure.
While you can go for any good multi-tool brand, Leatherman has been my favorite. Leatherman multi-tools are considered some of the best technology can offer today. Plus, they offer an unmatchable 25 years warranty on their variants.
5. Emergency Shelter
When you are out in the wild, there are always chances of getting stranded or injured. You need some sort of an emergency shelter for refuge if the weather gets too intense or you face an unexpected detour. An emergency shelter reduces your vulnerability in the outdoors.
Your options in an emergency situation include a UV tarp, a bivy sack, a blanket (should be compact with lightweight), and a large plastic trash bag (if possible). Remember, your tent is only your shelter if you can bring it along with you. A tent left behind at the camp is useless in emergency situations.
6. Light source
Being able to wade through the wilderness at night is essential for outdoor adventurers. Therefore, you will always need a light source. Most backcountry travelers prefer a headlamp. Their primary benefit is flexibility as they leave your hands free to focus on hauling other gear, climbing, or making way through the jungle.
Others prefer a more powerful option such as a Flashlight. Flashlights provide better illumination and longer battery life as they aren’t limited to size and weight constraints. But, they do limit your mobility as you have to engage one hand. If it’s a longer hike, we suggest opting for a flashlight.
7. Fire Source
If there’s an emergency, you need reliable fire supplies to start and maintain a fire. Most people go for a disposable butane lighter. But, regular matches are also a good option as long as they’re waterproof. Don’t go for convenience store matchbooks, though. They are too flimsy and poorly constructed to be a dependable option in the wilderness.
An ideal firestarter ignites quickly and maintains the flame for more than a few seconds. Your options include dry timber, candles, priming pastes, heat nuggets, lint trappings, etc.
So, these are the top 7 essentials for any outdoor excursion. However, you can leave some of these items depending on your trip. For instance, you may not need the GPS, Altimeter, or extra clothes on a short day hike through familiar terrain. On the other hand, if it’s a longer outing, you may need all of these tools to find your way. Therefore, the exact items you decide to bring will depend on weather, difficulty, duration of travel, and exact distance from help.