The most crucial factor of surviving the wild is the steps that come before your feet ever hit the forest floor. If you’re taking on the great outdoors, then be sure to pack up all the necessary gear and sack of tricks you’ll need to earn your place at the top of the food chain. Listed here are the essential points to consider before venturing out.
The first step of preparation is getting the right gear. Invest in the best gear you can afford (the cheap stuff won’t last in the wild), and always be bug-out bag ready, it is essential to be prepared. Make a checklist of all the bare necessities and load up your bug-out bag before the trip to make sure everything you need fits and is easily accessible.
Food and Water
A person needs at least one liter of water per day to survive, and more if it’s hot. The best and lightest option for water is a water filter and water bottle. Do not attempt to carry several liters of water at a time, as it will slow you down too much. Non-perishable food is preferable. If you can bring cooking utensils, then try to bring only metal ones that are durable. If you won’t be able to cook, then stick to dehydrated meals or non-perishable items.
Of course, a tent is one of the more comfortable choices you have for shelter, but it may not be possible depending on the type of outdoor adventure you’re going in. If you’re trying to pack as light as possible, then a tarp and a hammock are the best bet. The tarp can protect you from rain, and sleeping above ground in a hammock is better for staying warm.
Especially in harsh winter climates, staying warm is another pinnacle for your survival. Bring several fire starters in case you lose one or damage it. Waterproof lighters and matches are the only kind of matches and lighters that will be reliable in wet or snowy weather. Bring a few body warmer packets as well.
Improper hygiene leaves you susceptible to bacteria which can cause infection or sickness. Make sure you bring a toothbrush and toothpaste, along with hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and feminine products.
Don’t neglect the possibility of injury, as they can happen in the blink of an eye and leave you vulnerable to infection-causing bacteria. Make sure the kit comes with plenty of alcohol, iodine, gauze, bandaids, and medical tape.
Always bring some form of self-defense because you never know when you might be faced with a territorial animal. If you’re not skilled in how to properly use a gun, then consider pepper spray, as they are quick and easy to use.
Carry all the basic tools for navigation, communication, and miscellaneous. For navigation, bring a compass and laminated map of your area. Cell phones may not work in your area, so have a walkie-talkie for everyone in your group. For miscellaneous needs, such as cutting or marking your trail, carry a survival knife.
What to Do Before the Trip
Listed below are the steps outside of packing that you should take care of before you wander out into the outdoors.
Pack only the most important necessities. Avoid bringing anything that you’re not going to need every day.
Dress with the weather in mind. Where boots for a wet or snowy climate. Bring socks that will help you avoid blisters. Layer up in loose clothing because tight-fitted clothing isn’t the best for insulation.
Get in Shape
Try to engage in some physical exercise before your big trip. Pack up your bug-out bag of everything you’re bringing and do some walking in it to prepare your body for any hiking you’ll do. Cardio and muscle endurance are key in mountain backpacking, so make sure you get in some metcon workouts.
Tweak Your Diet
You’ll probably be eating far less on your trip and will have minimal snacks available. Get used to eating smaller portions to transition your body towards the diet you’ll have when you’re outdoors.
Set Your State of Mind
It takes a bit of physical and mental preparation to take on the outdoors, especially for long trips. You may have doubts about your ability to follow through if it’s a physically demanding trip. Focus on keeping your thoughts positive, as this will be a much-needed skill when you’re traveling uphill.
There’s no way you can be over-prepared for a trip outdoors. Evaluate the type of trip you’re going on, gather the required items, and then start working on getting your body and mind fit for the adventure. This will ensure that you can get the most out of your trip with minimal upsets.
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