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man backpacking in the wilderness

Critical to survival | Wilderness Survival Kit Checklist

Whether you want to unwind by going off-grid or just get away from civilization for awhile, you should take a survival kit and there are certain things that should be included in it to ensure safety, comfort, and a better chance of survival. 

Why You Need A Wilderness Survival Kit

Survival kits are not just for folks who love to explore the wild. It’s also a bit of an insurance policy.

You need to ask yourself, what would I do in a survival situation?

Do you have all it takes to survive? For a survival kit to be effective in a life or death situation, it must include certain things. Aside from essentials like shelter and food, there are other items that could sustain you for months if you use them sufficiently.

What you’ll need in your Survival Kit

So, let’s take a look at some things you should consider including in your wilderness survival kit: 

  1. Water And Water Filtration
mountain stream

In a survival scenario, a stream may be a welcome sight, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily clean water…

Water is a big deal in terms of survival in the wild. In fact, it’s absolutely critical. You have to assume that in a survival situation, it could be difficult to find clean water in the wilderness. Should you find water and be unable to boil it, you will wish you had a water filter. 



In addition, you should consider buying water disinfectants. When you find water in the wild, there is always the possibility of parasites and bacteria currently living in it. It’s a good idea to have iodine tablets to ensure the water you will be drinking will be safe. 





  1. A Rifle

Having a rifle with you in the wild promotes a better sense of security, and the effectiveness of a rifle shouldn’t be downplayed.

Almost any survival rifle can put down a medium-sized game, and is not large enough to ruin a small game. In addition, you can bag about 50-100, or even 500 rounds of ammo for your rifle in your survival kit without occupying much space, as a larger caliber would.

Having a rifle with you in the wild increases your security, but getting a larger once comes at the expense of space in your survival kit. 



  1. Survival Meals

While in the wild, you are not always assured of encountering wild game, should you need food. In this case, having a supply of freeze-dried survival meals always comes in handy to help sustain you.

Freeze-dried meals are available in most stores; however, clean water must rehydrate and make them edible. 




  1. Shelter And Sleep
man sitting near campfire and tent

The need for shelter in extreme weather conditions makes a tent a must-have survival item.

You should have a tent to sleep in if you’re going to sleeping outdoors and it should be able to fit into your backpack. Understand that an emergency shelter tent may not last long enough in extreme weather conditions, but it will mostly protect you from the rain.

Be sure to do some research and choose the right tent for your adventure.



These type tents are small-sized, lightweight, and easily foldable, so they can be carried along with you.

Also, there is the Life Tent, which is an emergency tent that you can easily set up with rope to secure a quick, safe spot to seek shelter from the rain and sun. 




  1. Headlamp
man looking toward the sky with headlamp

A headlamp is a simple, yet extremely important component of any wilderness survival kit, allowing you to keep your hands free for other tasks when light is low.

If you don’t have a headlamp while in the wild, you have overlooked a simple, yet critical component of a survival kit. The headlamp is a must-have item for those who camp or explore in the wild.

The importance of having a headlamp to illuminate dark and cloudy nights cannot be overstated. A headlamp with an elastic strap, or one that clips to your hat, will allow you to have your hands free to do other tasks that require your attention in a survival situation, such as cooking at night or early morning, or working on a vehicle when light is low.

A headlamp with 550 lumens light is able to light up about 135 meters. 




  1. Communication Device

During times of survival, if at all possible, it’s a wise decision to keep in contact with other people.

In a survival scenario, a shortwave radio with solar power can be essential in making urgent calls. These radios are an excellent purchase to include in your survival kit and can often be used as a led light, charger, and radio. 




  1. First Aid Kit
first aid kit for survival kit

A First Aid Kit may be a no-brainer for a survival kit, but it needs to have the right items in it.

While in the wilderness, you absolutely need to be sure you take a first aid kit with you and be knowledgeable about its contents and prepared to use them, if needed.

First aid is a crucial survival kit item that should be available at all times. You should be sure your first aid kit is stocked with essential items, including pressure dressing, to reduce bleeding, should there be an injury that needs attention. 



  1. Clothing And Footwear
hiking boots

When venturing out into the wilderness, be sure you have the appropriate clothing items in case you find yourself in a survival situation.

As a survivalist, you should ensure you have the right outdoor clothing. Having a comfortable pair of shoes should help you walk faster and easier. Additionally, sunglasses and a hat will help protect your eyes a from the sun.

Also, waterproof boots will help you more easily navigate through rivers and streams while in the wilderness.

Long sleeves also come in handy in protecting yourself from insects as well as sun. Also, moisture wicking socks will help keep your feet dry. You should also put on gloves to avoid blisters and insects, as well as provide protection from extreme hot and cold weather as well as hot objects. 

And, while some may not consider a watch part of your “clothing,” having a durable one like the military G-Shocks watches is a big-time bonus in a survival situation. They’re built to last, and can withstand the elements. Some even have solar power.





  1. Survival Knife

In the wild, chances are, you may be required to do some “cutting” chores, so a quality and reliable knife is a must-have item for your survival kit.

You should get yourself a high-quality knife or a multipurpose tool that includes a knife in it. Your survival knife should be capable of skinning wild game, as well as cutting through and sharpening sticks. An excellent survival knife must be sharp and strong to easily cut through these tough materials. 




  1. Map And Compass

In times of survival, you shouldn’t entirely rely on GPS, because the device you are using may not function properly. So, you should also carry a local map and compass along with you in case you get lost.

Maps and compasses are lightweight items, so they won’t take up much space in your survival kit.

Having a map and compass with you in the wild is a means to an end. Be sure you are familiar with map reading and compass navigation before you set out exploring! 




Final thoughts

This might seem like a lot of items to be carrying in a survival kit. Of course, it’s not a pleasant thought that you could face a life or death situation while exploring, hiking or camping, But, in terms of your survival in the wild, nothing should be taken for granted.

You should always pack a survival kit with you for your trip. You should also know how to use every item in the kit and be physically and mentally able to use them if needed.

While there are certainly many other items than the ones listed that would be useful in a survival sitution, the ones mentioned above should not be overlooked.

Be safe out there!

hunting backpack and rifle

Hunting and technology: What’s in your backpack? | Innovative products hunters should consider

Technology has changed almost everything about how we do things and carry on our daily lives. It makes tasks at home as well as tasks at the workplace more efficient.

And, as primal as it can be, hunting is no exception.

If you are a hunter, you understand how it is crucial to prepare yourself for your hunting trip. After all, making sure you have the equipment and supplies you need is part of a successful hunting trip.

man sitting at campfire with coffee and gun

There are several “hi-tech” hunting items that can make your next hunting trip safer, more enjoyable and more efficient.

Before technology became so advanced, hunters needed only to gather their bows, arrows, guns, knives, etc to take on their hunting trips.

However, as technology continues to progress, there are many reliable hi-tech hunting supplies that a dedicated hunter can use to make the process easier. So, let’s jump straight to the list of items to consider in the world of modern day hunting!

Mountain Bikes (hunt quietly)

Sometimes hunters must go to great lengths (literally) to have the best shot at harvesting the game they are after. So, when a long journey deep into the hunting woods or public land, where gas powered vehicles are either not allowed or are too noisy, mountain bikes can be the answer.

Technology has made even the mountain bike take strides (or pedal strokes) forward.

rambo electric hunting bike

Electric hunting bikes have taken the advantages that mountain bikes can provide hunters to a whole new level.



Now, while you can’t fit it in your backpack, hunters can utilize an electric hunting bike, which, due to its electric motor is easier and faster to use than traditional mountain bikes, to more quietly go to places where vehicles are not allowed.

Electric mountain bikes are environmentally friendly hi-tech hunting gear and can add an extra dimension to the hunting experience.

So, if you are looking for a more efficient way to get you and your hunting gear to your final destination, an electric hunting bike could be worth considering.

There are different types of hunting bikes to choose from for various budgets and needs.




Light | Use your head (lamp)

While predator hunting can be done at night using various thermal and night vision products, the hours before and after a daylight hunt can require the use of a flashlight.

And, while flashlights are helpful for getting to and from your deer stand or hunting blind, they can be difficult to manage when carrying a gun, bow or other hunting gear.

This is where headlamps are a great addition.

man looking toward the sky with headlamp

When it’s dark, using a headlamp during your entry and exit to your hunting location can prevent unwanted noises, and keep you on your feet.

A headlamp that you can attach to your head or hunting hat can help prevent injuries that result from falling while walking in the dark through the woods or over rough terrain.

Some hunters will choose not to use artificial light because they are concerned that it will alert game animals to their presence. However, headlamps can also help add to your stealthy advances by lighting the way to prevent unwanted noises caused by falling or from hunting equipment getting tangled or hindered by vines and branches.



Plus, headlamps will free up your hands so that you can carry your weapon and other hunting gear more effectively.

And, when you are able to successfully harvest a deer or other game animal, headlamps can make the recovery and pack out of the animal faster.

For these reasons, headlamps are a fairly simple, but highly useful piece of hunting technology that every hunter should consider.



Long Range Scope

The ability to hunt game animals from long range has been amplified by the use of long-range scopes.

However, before deciding to purchase a long-range scope, be sure you have done your homework to ensure that the scope you are considering is not only a good choice for your rifle, but that your rifle itself is capable of harvesting game at the distances you will be hunting.

Rifle type and caliber, as well as terrain, distance and type of game are all important considerations here

long range rifle and scope

The use of a long-range rifle scope allows you to “get closer” to your prey without getting too close.



Solar Wrap (a sun tan may help those other gadgets)

Technology can certainly add new elements to hunting, but can also add inconveniences as well. One of the most significant of those inconveniences is that all that hi-tech hunting gear can run out of power.

So, whether it’s GPS devices, headlamps, smartphones, or other hi-tech gadgets, a hunter needs a way to keep re-charging items that will not hold power for long periods of time. After all, no one wants to cut their hunting trip short.

Solar wraps can be the solution.

bushnell solar wrap

A solar wrap stores energy from the sun, which can be used to recharge portable electronic devices via a USB connection.

A solar wrap is a device that comes in handy when you have other technological devices that require constant recharging. It uses a portable solar panel to absorb the suns rays and can charge any device, as long as it’s chargeable using a USB connection.

You can keep a Solar Wrap in your hunting bag or backpack so your can give your phone and other hunting gadgets a boost when needed.






Satellite Phone (When the cell phone is down and out)

Let’s face it, part of the fun of hunting is calling your friends and family when you have successfully harvested a deer or other game.

However, with all our technological advances, their are still many areas in the hunting woods or on public land where you can’t get a signal to use that invention called the smart phone.



So, if you’re going to be in one of these areas, especially on a long trip, a satellite phone is a great piece of hunting tech to have in your backpack.

A satellite phone is a great thing to have when hunting, so that you can call EMS, friends or family to help in the event of an emergency. A satellite phone will always get through, regardless of whether there is a cell phone network connection or not.

Also, if you are lost or seriously injured, emergency personnel can track you, using your satellite phone’s location. 



Pocket Chain Saw (hunting “technology” that really cuts it)

If you are backpack hunting and will be setting up a camp site, the ability to cut firewood or shape trees and wood is a must.

While you might use a pocket knife or a machete, there is a tool many are not aware of that can make these tasks more efficient.

wood cut with pocket chainsaw

If you are hunting on an overnight trip, the ability to cut wood for a campfire is critical.

A pocket chain saw comes in handy for all your cutting and chopping needs. While it is not electronic per se, this hunting tech is like a handsaw, which uses human power.

Despite its simplicity, a pocket chainsaw can help significantly when you need to cut down limbs or trees to use for firewood.

Many brick and mortar retailers, as well as online shops, sell pocket chainsaws. Some come with spare parts, while others will require you to buy the parts separately. The pocket chainsaw is an invaluable piece of hunting “tech,” whether you are building a shelter or simply building a fire.



Conclusion

While many think of the use of trail cameras as “hunting tech,” the above hi-tech hunting gear list may have opened you eyes to how much you may have been missing when it comes to hunting in the 21st century.

Always be sure to check reviews before purchasing any of these tech items for hunting.

Be safe and shoot straight!

man with backpack on hike looking at horizon

Hiking Tips For Beginners | What You Need To Know

Hiking is a great way for people to get some exercise while leaving behind the stresses of life. Whether it’s work or school or relationship problems, hitting a scenic hiking trail can help you forget everything.

However, unlike walking on a paved path, hiking is often more demanding and unpredictable. Hence it’s important that you know what to bring along (a walkie talkie, navigation tools, plenty of food and water…etc.) and the dos and don’ts while you’re traversing the trail.

So without further ado, here are 13 essential hiking tips for beginners:

girl with backpack hiking in woods

Hiking in elevation and with obstacles is much more strenuous than simply walking on a flat surface. Don’t push yourself too hard if you are a beginner.

1. Don’t Challenge Yourself Too Much

Make no mistake, just because you can walk 10 miles straight on a paved surface, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to do the same on a hiking trail. The latter is usually more challenging with elevations, descents, twists and even obstacles on the way. As a result it may take more time and energy.

In order to estimate how much time you’ll be spending on the trail, find the total distance and divide it by a speed of 2 miles per hour. Then, you’ll have to figure in an additional hour for every 1,000 feet you gain in altitude.

2. Get To Know The Hiking Trail

Experienced hikers always examine the trail before they set-out, and so should you. Once you’ve got a trail selected, get hold of a map and search online for any reviews and hazard reports concerning it. This will allow you to figure out things like whether the trail loops back or whether you’ll be required to backtrack through it.

You should also try to mark out the safest path on the map and perhaps pick out a scenic location or two that’ll make for great lunch spots.



3. Pack The Right Gear

There are so many potential dangers you may come across while hiking. It could be a sudden, extreme turn in the weather. You could even lose your way. Having the right tools can help you effectively counter these dangers.

It’s more helpful to think in terms of systems instead of individual items when you’re packing. For instance, a navigation system that includes all the essential tools for finding your bearings.

man hiking in mountains with gear

Whether you are a hiking beginner or experience hiker, be sure you take the proper gear for every situation.

Here are the mandatory hiking gear systems you need to take with you on any trail:

  • Navigation – this includes a GPS, a physical map and a compass. Don’t just rely on smartphone apps!
  • Food and Hydration – bring enough food and water to last for an unexpected overnight stay.
  • Shelter – make sure you bring along a small tent in case you have to camp out for a while before you backtrack. Be sure you have appropriate gear to stay warm in it.
  • First-aid – this includes things like bandages, gauze, band-aids…etc.
  • Light – bring along an LED lamp or a flashlight so you can still find your way around if you’re walking through the night.
  • Insulation – It’s going to get colder the higher you climb, so it’s important to try and retain your body heat.
  • Communication – a reliable two-way radio for hiking is a must-have. It can help you reach emergency rescue services in a pinch and be alerted to oncoming weather changes.
  • Campfire toolsif you plan on camping out, you’ll need a campfire to keep warm and even cook your food. This means that waterproof matches, and a fire starter or a lighter can come in handy.
  • Sun protection – sunburn is a serious risk if you’re hiking in the summer. So make sure you bring along a bottle of sunscreen and maybe a pair of sunglasses too.


4. Travel Light

Long, high-altitude treks can sap your energy fast. Hence, it’s best not to stuff your backpack with too many heavy items. Whenever possible, always pack travel-sized items.

beginner hiker looking out over mountains

Try to have everything you need for your hike, while also packing as lightly as possible.

5. Pay Attention To The Weather Forecast

Always stay up to date with the weather, even just a few hours before you set out on your hike. This will let you know what kind of clothes to pack and what extra items you may need to bring along. If the weather is going to be particularly terrible, you should strongly consider changing your plans.

6. Inform Someone Before You Go

It’s very important to share your hiking itinerary with a close friend or family member.

Make sure you establish a ‘worry time’, which is the maximum hours of radio silence that a person should tolerate before he/she alerts the proper authorities.

This way, you can still expect help to arrive if you find yourself in danger with no way to reach anyone.

7. Start Your Hike At The Right Time

If you like hiking alone, then the best thing to do is to start as early as possible. The later you start, the more likely the trail is going to end up crowded.

On the other hand, if you like hiking with other people, check what time is most popular for the trail, and plan to arrive at this time.

Just remember, you might have trouble finding a parking spot if you arrive too late!

person hiking in foggy mountains

If you like to hike alone, it’s best to start your trek early, before the hiking trail becomes more crowded.

8. Dress Properly

You want to dress for comfort, warmth and optimal movement, not to impress other hikers you meet on the way.

That means, first of all, swapping out the sneakers for a good pair of hiking shoes. And don’t forget socks!

While cotton is okay for everyday use, it’s certainly not cut out for hiking. Unlike wool or synthetic fibers, cotton tends to absorb a lot of body heat so you definitely want to avoid wearing cotton socks.

The same goes for clothes too: skip wearing anything cotton. If you’re hiking in cold weather, you’ll want to dress in layers. Base layers are very important, but make sure that they’re not so tight that they cut off blood circulation!

In high altitudes, a windbreaker or a fleece hoodie is most appropriate. You should bring along a warm beanie as well, because we tend to lose most of our body heat through our heads.



9. Watch Where You’re Going

Sprained ankles are the most common injuries with hikers. It’s very easy to get distracted by breath-taking scenery on the way, possibly causing you to step in the wrong spot and twist your ankle. Therefore, always watch your feet, especially if there are tons of trip hazards like rocks or roots.

10. Take Your Time

A lot of first-timers start their hike at a really explosive pace and have all of their energy drained halfway through the trail. If you hike this way, you’ll lose tons of body heat very quickly which can make things really uncomfortable.

Always remember: hiking isn’t a race. Take your time, take in the scenery and most importantly: conserve your energy.

hiker looking over rock ledge

Be sure to pace yourself. You want to have enough energy to finish your hike and see what you came for.

11. Don’t Litter

Hiking trails are for everyone to enjoy, so make sure you don’t dump things like candy wrappers or other waste on the way. Some trails will have garbage bins, but you should still bring your own trash bag for the trip.

12. Learn Proper Hiking Etiquette

Hiking etiquette can prevent you from making a total fool out of yourself or annoying other hikers. Here are a few important things that you should know:

  • · Always make way for those who are going uphill
  • Greet other hikers with a simple “hello.” You may want to have a quick chat with back trackers to find out what lies ahead.
  • Avoid talking too loudly to your friends or on the cellphones.
  • If you’re going to be listening to music, put on a pair of headphones.
  • Avoid taking unofficial short cuts; stick to designated paths
  • Make way for bikers.


13. Don’t Panic If You Get Lost

Getting lost on a hike is a fairly common thing, especially if you’re on your own.

If you feel like you’re lost, the first thing you need to do is to stop and consult your map. If you figure out where you are, start backtracking until you come across a familiar spot.

Backtracking almost always works, but on the off chance it doesn’t, try yelling out ‘HELP’. If no one answers, it’s time to take out your phone and call emergency services. If you’re out of cellphone range, then your long-range walkie-talkie should help you reach someone.

Conclusion

When the hiking season comes around, it can be quite tempting to throw a few things into your backpack and hit a trail. However, hiking is more than just walking and needs proper preparation. The above tips should help you make the most of your experience and keep you safe on your trek.

Happy hiking!

ester lavandyan
Ester Lavandyan

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