Spending time in the great outdoors is invigorating, thrilling and makes you feel healthy. It can make a difference to your mood and mindset, and give you a better perspective on all elements of life. Whether you go on regular expeditions or occasional hikes, some gear is absolutely essential. As well as keeping you safe, kit specifically for the outdoors can make your time much more enjoyable too. Here are the essentials.
First Aid Set
Nobody embarks on an outdoor adventure with the aim of getting hurt. But the fact is that being out and about on foot, often in a place you’ve never been before, brings a chance of injury. And if you’re out in nature, you may be miles away from a car or a medical center, and you may not always have cell phone reception. This is why you need to be self-reliant in terms of basic medical issues and have a first aid set with you.
A good first aid kit should include wound coverings such as plasters, gauze, bandages and antiseptic pads. It should also include a selection of medicines and creams, including painkillers, antiseptic cream, antihistamine tablets and hydrocortisone cream. Water purification tablets and rehydration powders are also a good idea. Finally, you will need a selection of medical tools. This includes scissors, tweezers, sterile gloves and a thermometer. Remember to check that nothing in the first aid set has run out or expired before you set off.
Many people are tempted to leave some survival gear at home to keep their backpacks lighter when they go on hikes, camping trips or expeditions. Even though the idea of something serious happening seems far-fetched, you should always be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
What you include in your survival kit really depends on where you are going to be. A bivi bag – a compact survival bag that is waterproof – and a foil blanket is a good start. Add a multi-tool so you can cut, saw and make basic repairs to your kit. And ensure you have some long-lasting food to eat, plus a few packets of energy tablets. You should have a water bottle with you on your trip anyway, and the water purification tablets from your first aid kit will be essential in a survival situation.
Other survival gear to bring includes matches and a lighter to make fire, a solar light and a torch with spare batteries. A solar charger will also help you charge up your cell phone if you lose service. Some outdoor enthusiasts who go on treks and camping trips regularly find that getting a survival subscription box is a great way to stay well stocked with certain supplies.
You absolutely rely on putting one foot in front of the other when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. This makes having excellent footwear and high-quality hiking socks essential. Different types of outdoor shoes and boots suit different people, so it is important to try on multiple pairs before making a decision on what works for you. Spend some time breaking your boots in too, as they can be tough and leathery to start with, requiring several hours of wear before they won’t cause pain and discomfort.
Many people overlook the fact that good quality hiking socks can be as important as the boots themselves. Specially designed hiking socks have extra padding for parts of the foot that deal with the most impact from walking. Many are also made from special material that wicks away sweat, which helps prevent sores and blisters. Always carry a blister kit with you when you’re out and about too, as blisters can quickly make walking any distance a major problem.
You can see how the amount of kit you need with you for outdoor adventures quickly adds up. An important item to invest in is therefore a backpack to carry everything in. This is also something where quality is really important. Higher quality backpacks have been especially designed for the male or female physique, with well-designed waist fastenings and proper back support. Good backpacks are designed to carry the load evenly, with different compartments helping with this.
Outdoor kit stores will fit you with a backpack that works for you, just as they would for a pair of shoes, so take in any advice they give you. It is possible to get injured from poorly fitting backpacks, so getting a good pack is not something to avoid. When looking for a backpack, also think about how usable it will be when you are outdoors. Packs with front opening compartments can make a real difference, as you don’t have to load and unload all your kit multiple times from the top down. Also having various pockets and different clips on the front to carry more kit, such as a roll mat and a camping cup, also makes a backpack more functional.