Choose The Right Equipment For The Wilderness
Camping and hiking are great activities, and are often combined with hunting or fishing trips as well. Skiers and others who enjoy outdoor sports should also consider taking along some survival equipment if they are going to be skiing in more out-of-the-way places. Being prepared for the unexpected as well as the expected can often make a big difference in how and whether you come out of the woods.
A camping trip will necessitate more supplies than you will need for a simple day hike, especially if you are going to be some distance away from civilization. Depending on how long you will be staying, you will need to take in enough food to see you through the excursion, even if you are planning on fishing or hunting during the trip. One of the first things to go into the backpack should be a flashlight.
You will definitely need a shelter, even it’s summer, and a good tent can be hung from the bottom of most backpacks. Your backpack should be one that is appropriate for your body size, and you should bear in mind that most people will only be able to carry about ¼ of their body weight. A very fit individual can carry 1/3.
There will be no way that you will be able to carry all the water you need, and even if you plan to camp near a river or lake, you will still need to purify water from this source. There are camp water filters available as well as purification tablets. Filter straws are another good way to get clean water, but have a limited useful life.
Carry dehydrated or freeze dried emergency food to keep the weight of your pack down, and bring along the means of lighting a fire for cooking. A few light weight utensils will keep meals from becoming messy.
A first aid kit should be included in your backpack, and make sure you know where you are. Let friends or family know where you will be camping and when you should be expected back. A cell phone is a good idea for emergencies, and a wind up radio can keep you in touch with weather conditions.
Hiking will usually be a one day trip, and can only encompass several hours. However, a daypack (light backpack) should be used to carry some essentials for the trail. You should have several small bottles of water in the pack, and a Filter straw will allow you to drink safely from streams once your water has run out. You should always have a first aid kit along, and some energy bars to keep up your strength are a good idea.
It is easy to become lost while hiking, but having a whistle and a mirror in your pack will help others to locate you more easily. Emergency blankets and tents take up almost no space and can help you be more comfortable at night or in wet weather. A flashlight will make an excellent signal, as well as providing a way to see, if you get lost at night.
One More Item
If you are going to be hiking or camping where there are bears, cougars, or other large game, it would be a good idea to carry a canister of bear spray. This is a non-lethal, sure-fire way to drive off an attacking animal.