Every outdoorsman knows the importance of being prepared for anything, but when it comes to backpacking, you can’t pack every piece of gear you own. Save your tears, we know exactly what you’re thinking. How are you supposed to decide between your Sniper Bladeworks DMF Folder and Bastion Gear Braza EDC Folder?! Well, we wouldn’t be able to decide either. That’s why we’ve put together the five most important items to put on your backpacking checklist.
1. Water Filter Straw
You know what they say, hydrate or die-drate. But even the guy who can bench 400 pounds will tell you that carrying around an extra 10 pounds in water weight can get old, fast. The best way to stay hydrated is to carry a water filter straw. These straws can produce up to 25 gallons of great-tasting water, remove 99.99% of radiological and other contaminants in natural water sources, and take up way less room in your bag than those bottles.
2. Fire Starter
Fire is the bread and butter of survival. Everyone knows that fire equals heat, but only true survivalists know that it can make a difference in almost every life-or-death situation. Lost in the woods? Make a smoke signal using fire. A pack of bears invading your campsite? Warn them off with fire. Forgot your life straw (come on man) and need clean water? Boil pond water over a fire. The next time you think about leaving a fire-starter behind, give us a call, we’re revoking your survivalist card.
3. Navigational Instruments
We’re all for exploring new trails and making paths of your own, but the great outdoors is no place for someone who doesn’t know North from South. If you call yourself an outdoorsman and you can only navigate by using the GPS on your phone, you’re doomed. For you true outdoorsmen out there, get familiar with a map and a compass. Knowing how to navigate even in the harshest of conditions is a vital skill that could save your life. Plus, the wife probably wouldn’t be too happy if you got lost in the woods, so be sure to always have a compass, flagging tape dispenser, or tracking kit inside of your backpack.
4. Nutritional Substances
Even if you’re a seasoned forager or professional small-game hunter, you should always have back-up food in your backpack. We’re not talking a gourmet 3-course meal. A simple snack or a small packaged meal will do just fine. You can have that steak some other time. If you’re really scrounging for food and can’t seem to find any edible berries or foliage, you can always try some of these edible insects.
Many injuries that occur from backpacking are caused by a lack of visibility. Once the sun goes down, all you’re left with is the light from the moon. If you’re planning on trekking during nightfall or doing any sort of camping out, you’re going to need a headlamp to keep you from tripping on roots or, ya know, falling off the edge of a cliff.
After you’ve checked off these items, you’re free to fill your backpack with whatever else you think you’ll need on your trip. Not sure what else you should be packing? Reach out to the BattlBox community on our Facebook page or sign up for a BattlBox subscription. We’ll send the best gear for all of your outdoor adventures right to your doorstep!