Backpacking List: 13 Things You’ll Need for a Hike

   Never going outside is the only guarantee against wilderness accidents. However, for outdoor enthusiasts, this is not a way of life. What’s the best solution? Pack emergency gear and be prepared for almost anything you can imagine. Thankfully, The Mountaineers, a mountaineering and outdoor club, has come up with a list for just that reason, even though it was made nearly a century ago. As the name suggests, the 10 Essentials are a brief list of outdoor gear and equipment that every adventurer should have for a wilderness trip. No matter how far you have to go, no matter how long you plan to be offline, this is the key piece of equipment you’ll need to survive.

   Hiking list:

   The original list of climbers has been updated since it was first written in the 1930s. Here, we offer our slightly modified version, including all the essentials a modern outdoorsman needs in the middle of nowhere:

   Navigation: Map and compass

 Sun protection: Sunglasses and sunscreen

 Lighting: Headlights

 First aid: A kit or supplies

 Fire: Waterproof match or lighter

 Nutrition: Extra food

 Hydrating: Extra water or filter

 Insulation: Extra clothing

 Tools: Multi – blade cutter

 Emergency shelter: Blanket or light down jacket

 Communication equipment: cell phone or satellite phone

 This short list is deceptively simple, even obvious. But, it’s easy to forget one or two items, and in an emergency, one of those opened items could be the most crucial factor in your survival. Here are our suggestions for all the essentials you’ll need for your next outdoor adventure.

 State-of-the-art GPS devices or mobile navigation apps are also useless without electricity. Batteries will die, electronics will get wet, or your gadget will accidentally drop and stop working completely. That’s why bringing an old-fashioned map and compass is crucial. Need to brush up on your navigation skills? Start by learning how to use a compass and how to read topographic maps. Highly detailed topographic maps of national parks, BLM lands, etc., are easily available online.

   In addition to excellent fitness watches, Suunto is the world leader in compass. Its M-3 D Leader Compass is a reliable, field-tested baseboard compass for even the most extreme adventures. Built-in magnifying glass and luminous markers make it easy to read, day or night, in almost any lighting or weather.

 In remote areas, sun protection is crucial, even on overcast days or when you think you have enough clothes that you don’t risk getting sunburned. Start with an appropriate layer of sun protection, but make sure to pack sunglasses and sunscreen as well.

   The best sunglasses protect both UVA and UVB, and polarized lenses are a good option if you’re spending time near snow or water. Spy Optic’s Dirty Mo sunglasses offer all of these features and more. With sharp mid-sized packaging designs and chiseled surfaces, they are bold, lightweight and suitable for almost any environment or adventure.

 All Good’s line of organic products is good for the skin and good for the planet (it’s a certified b company). The brand’s mineral sunscreens offer broad spectrum protection without leaving your face greasy or chalky. It’s also safe against coral reefs, waterproof, and the small 0.6oz stick pack is suitable for day wear.

 A good headlamp provides the utility of a flashlight while keeping your hands on field tasks. The best headlights are lightweight, durable, rechargeable and, most importantly, bright.

   BioLite has always been a favourite of The Handbook. The brand’s latest Headlamp 750 delivers everything we’d expect in a great headlamp. The lightweight design features a slim-fit construction and a comfortable fabric headband that wicks moisture and sweat. The output of 750 lumens is one of the brightest on the market and is sufficient for daily tasks and emergencies in remote areas. A variety of lenses, including red dot, white dot and flood modes, can help you maintain night vision according to your needs.

 Most ready-made first aid kits include essentials for a variety of adventure, weather, or survival situations. Start with a simple, pre-prepared kit, then add any specific outing items you might need (like insect repellent, foot care, etc.).

   As the name suggests, VSSL’s Adventure Ready First Aid kit is durable enough for any adventure. Inside, you’ll find nearly 50 first-aid essentials, including a flashlight, an accurate compass, bandages, burn cream, painkillers, tweezers, and more. It’s all housed in an ultra-compact 9-inch tube made of waterproof, impact-resistant, military-grade aluminum.

 The light and heat from a fire can make a world of difference, which is why you should always have something to start a fire with. Waterproof matches and some dryer lint are a good, cheap backup. However, your primary source of fire should be a reliable lighter as an outdoor starter.

   Sol’s Fire Light fuel-free lighter uses electricity to create a double top arc that ignites any flammable item it comes in contact with. At just 2 oz, it is light weight and weather resistant, making it ideal for hunting in the wild. In addition, the built-in LED lights and kindling parachute add two pieces of spare survival gear to your backpack essential kit.

 Bring more than you think you can eat. If your hiking or kayaking trip takes longer than expected, you’ll be glad to find those extra chocolate bars or dehydrated treats at the bottom of your backpack. Foods that are high in calories, high in nutrients, and last a long time will keep you going the longest. Nuts, energy bars, and beef jerky are ideal.

   Kate’s Real Food Bars offer everything we’d expect in a high-quality energy bar. They are well-balanced, nutritious and 100% organic. Plus, they taste great, without the weird artificial aftertaste you get in small bars.

 Without water, the situation will get worse. Humans can only live so long without it. This is obvious, but bears repeating: Always bring more bottled water than you think you’ll need. We love the convenience of a hydrating bladder or hydration day pack, but you’ll also want a portable water filter. In a survival situation, your water supply can quickly run out. You need to be prepared to filter any water you find in the wild.

   Unless you plan to travel far, far away, you’ll probably leave this elaborate multistage water purifier at home. LifeStraw’s personal water filter is designed specifically for emergency situations. It’s lightweight, affordable, compact, filters up to 1,000 gallons of water, and contains no chemicals. This is a good emergency kit to carry in your backpack for survival situations.

 Whether you’re hiking in the mountains, deserts, or tundra, the weather can change dramatically without warning. It’s important to wear an extra layer or two, even if you’re sure you don’t need one. Bring a lightweight, waterproof, preferably merino zipper or pullover sweater in case of a sudden thundershower or snowstorm. Because you never know.

   Smartwool’s Intraknit Merino 200 Crew sweater is perfect for a base or middle layer. Buy your usual size as a base, or plus-size and wear a more snug T-shirt. Merino wool is soft, lightweight and dries quickly. Best of all, it’s warm when you need it: a perfect extra piece to add to your day backpack to stay warm ahead of changing weather.

 It’s always wise to bring an extra pair of merino socks. If the mercury drops suddenly in the water, or if your feet splash in the river, you’ll need a spare pair. Swiftwick’s Pursuit Seven Merino socks blend soft, non-itchy merino wool with nylon and spandex for maximum warmth, comfort and perspiration. In addition, reinforced heels and toes increase durability for intense off-road adventures.

 Everyone should have a reliable multitool in their EDC toolkit. This is especially important in remote areas, where you never know when you might need to start a fire, build a shelter, or mend your pants. The “best” multitool is almost as personal as Johnny Cash’s best album or Bruce Lee’s best movie. It depends on you and what kind of adventure you like. At the very least, multipurpose tools should have knives, pliers, scissors, and awls. And bottle openers – no self-respecting man should carry a multi-tool without one.

   Gerber’s suspend-nxt Multi-Tool perfectly balances availability, versatility, size, and price. The slim, butterfly-shaped watch weighs 6.4 ounces and fits nicely into a front pocket. Open the spring-loaded design and you’ll see 15 basic lockable tools, and at less than $30, it’s practically free.

 Shelter is high on the list of essentials you need to survive. If things do go wrong and you don’t have a real tent or cave to hold up in, you need a way to keep warm. An extra light emergency blanket or down jacket is the trick.

   SOL’s Emergency Bivvy is specifically built for those rare situations when you find yourself unexpectedly spending the night in the wilderness. It’s shaped like the best sleeping bag, but has the structure of a space blanket. It reflects 90 percent of your body’s heat, is waterproof against wind and won’t rip like a traditional mylar blanket. It also comes in a sealed waterproof bag and is ready for use.

 We are fortunate to live in an era of unprecedented accessibility. That means being able to make a call or send a text message from almost anywhere on Earth. If things do go awry, bringing along a two-way satellite messenger is a smart last resort. Always plan and prepare as if you don’t have it in your bag, hoping that you might need it when you need it.

   Garmin’s inReach Mini is near perfect for a small, ultra-portable emergency satellite messenger. The palm-sized device is easy to attach to the outside of your backpack with a carabiner, and it’s light enough that you might forget it’s there. It offers basic two-way messaging, so you can keep your family and friends updated with your latest location. In an emergency, professional rescue services can be summoned from almost anywhere on Earth by pressing the dedicated SOS button.