Daypack essentials for outdoor adventure
There are easier ways to get attention.
Sure, you can get lost in the woods for weeks at a time, revert to primitive caveman status in the process and drop dozens of pounds as you survive on nothing more than grubs. Survive and it’s a great story.
But who wants to go through all that?
Time spent outdoors is supposed to be fun, after all. It can be adventurous, but it need not be calamitous. They’re not one and the same thing.
Of course, accidents do happen, though. The unexpected occurs.
Go afield prepared, though, and you come back ready to tell your story, though.
A daypack filled with a few simple items can help you get in and out of the woods according to plan or – if worst comes to worst – survive safely in the meantime.
So what to carry?
Water. We’re not talking just one of those small, disposable convenience store bottles either. Two liters is not too much to carry And if you plan to go far or be out a while, consider taking along some kind of filter. Then, any water source becomes drinkable.
Snacks. High-energy foods – granola, chocolate, peanut butter bars, nuts and the like – not only boost morale, but they give y our body the kick it needs to keep going.
Fire. Hypothermia is one of the greatest dangers of the outdoors. So it pays to carry at least one, if not several, tools for starting fire. Paired with some fire-starting material such a tool can keep your comfortable and alive.
Clothing. Darkness brings colder temperatures, right? Having an extra sweatshirt gives you the option of layering up if need be.
Sunscreen. Sometimes, it’s not cold weather, but hot, that is an issue. Sunscreen protects you from getting burnt.
Bug spray. Ticks, mosquitoes, other creepy crawlies, they’re all potential harmful. Treat your clothes with permethrin before leaving home and your skin with a repellent while outside. This can be part of a first aid kit.
Light. Trails that are easy to navigate in daylight can be tricky, and potentially hazardous, when that light is gone. A flashlight or headlamp is the solution.
Knife. We’re not necessarily talking a machete here. You aren’t going to bushwhacking through unexplored territory, most likely. But a knife or multi-tool can help prepare fuel for a fire, cut cords, fix a pack or handle one of countless other chores.
Map and compass. The map lays out the landscape. The compass – provided you’ve learned to use it at home – tells you how to navigate it.
Shelter. An emergency blanket, bivy sac or even a large, heavy-duty trash bag can keep you out of the elements.
Carrying those items won’t keep you from getting into a tough situation. But they can help you get out of one.
Without the grubs.