If you’ve got half a brain, you’ll know that these five things aren’t all you need. Please go through the motions of everything you plan to do on your trip and pack according to what you need. Go out and be a badass! (But don’t die)
This is probably not the most important thing to bring, but it’s almost certainly the most overlooked. Moleskin is like a really sticky and thick Bandaid. As its name suggests, it’s thick and rough like a mole’s skin. Stick it on any part of your skin to relieve pain from rubbing or chafing. I can’t even tell you how many times it has saved my life (not literally of course). 🙂
This can’t be stressed enough. Every outdoor adventure checklist should ABSOLUTELY include a lighter. Even if you never expect to build a fire, countless lives have been saved by them. On the flip side, many lives that could have been saved with such a simple device have been lost. If you are lost in the…well anywhere, you don’t want to be stuck with nothing more than a bow, stick and rock. Without proper training, it’s nearly impossible to start a fire that way and when someone who’s lost can’t start a fire after all the effort that takes, the demoralizing effect itself could be fatal.
Do I even need to explain this one? Rope is the tool of a hundred and one THOUSAND uses. Everything from repelling to tying up bundles of sticks for burning to creating a makeshift tourniquet, rope is necessary to do nearly everything – you will be lost without it. Even if it’s just simple twine to put up a tent or hang your laundry, bringing a good rope will make a world of difference.
A GOOD Knife
Glamorized by the book/movie 127 hours, a good knife might be the most important thing to bring with you anywhere(what else will you cut your rope with?). Most people won’t need to cut off their own arm, but nearly everyone who goes into the wilderness will have to put up a tent, make food, stab a tree, etc..and if you do get lost, you may need a knife to make a trap or spear for hunting, or a net for fishing, or any number of things just to stay alive. No matter the situation, a knife is necessary. I would suggest one of these: DopeAss Buck Knife. They come with a lifetime warranty, are very sharp and last a long time.
A Sleeping Pad
Now for the anticlimactic ending: No you don’t have to be a woman to use one. Many guys I know are too macho for them, but they’re the same guys who don’t sleep at night. As many know, the ground is much more dense than the air. Even if the ground is warmer, there’s much more potential for it to suck the heat out of your body. I once went on a backpacking trip where my girlfriend and I were the only people to bring a pad – it was a pretty miserable trip. More info about that here: 3 Simple Outdoor Adventure Rules That May Keep You Alive (Number 3).
In conclusion, never go out without these items and always leave a note.