Over the years my many wilderness adventures have taught me that when venturing into the outdoors, the only comforts you have are the ones you bring with you or the ones you can create while there.
Consequently, carrying a day pack containing a few simple items can make the difference between having a pleasurable experience and having a miserable one. But, what items should you carry with you?
1. Carry a lightweight jacket
Include a lightweight, waterproof, windproof, breathable jacket with a hood because exposure to cold and rain is not only uncomfortable, but can also be fatal.
2. Carry a fleece sweater and cap
Include a fleece sweater and a fleece cap because, in many areas, the temperature can drop as much as twenty to forty degrees after sundown.
3. Carry extra food
Carry extra, non-perishable, foods which are rich in protein (such as tuna or beef jerky) as well as foods which are rich in carbohydrates (such as dried fruits), because food serves as fuel for your body which in turn provides you with energy when you’re wet or cold or both.
4. Carry a flashlight and extra batteries
Carry a small flashlight and extra batteries, because traveling on even well groomed trails after dark can be hazardous when the visibility is low.
5. Carry extra water
Carry extra water, Kool Aid or Gatorade with you because dehydration can incapacitate you just as quickly as hyperthermia or hypothermia can.
6. Carry toilet paper
Carry a roll of toilet paper contained in a zip lock plastic bag because this simple household item can make a huge difference in your comfort level when adventuring in the outdoors.
7. Carry sunscreen
Carry sunscreen if you plan on adventuring in an area that’s exposed to bright sunlight because severe sunburn can be extremely painful.
8. Carry a first aid kit
Carry a good quality first aid kit that’s well stocked with items such as antibiotic ointment, Band-Aids and gauze bandages, as well as treatments for Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, insect bites and bee stings.