10 Must-Bring Items for Any Hike or Outdoor Adventure

Packing the right gear whenever stepping into the backcountry could mean the difference between life and death


Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/17/2016 --With Fall just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors. Packing the right gear whenever stepping into the backcountry, even on day hikes, is a necessity and could mean the difference between life and death. Here is a list of 10 must-bring items for any hike or outdoor adventure.

Before getting to the 10 items, any passionate hiker, avid outdoorsman, or even a book hauling student knows that a good backpack is one of the most important pieces of equipment. Right now, this Rucksack Tactical Waterproof Backpack is being offered as a daily deal on yugster.com for just $18.97. These functional tactical backpacks are perfect for helping tackle any hauling needs.

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The Mountaineers, a Seattle-based organization for climbers and outdoor adventurers, assembled the Ten Essentials list in the 1930s to help people be prepared for emergency situations in the outdoors.

1. Navigation
A topographic map is a must for any trip that involves anything more than a short, impossible-to-miss footpath or frequently visited nature trail.

A compass, combined with map-reading knowledge, is a vital tool if you become disoriented in the backcountry. Have high-tech GPS receivers made compasses obsolete? No. A compass weighs next to nothing and does not rely on batteries. So even if you rely heavily on a GPS for navigation, a traditional compass is an indispensable backup. A compass equipped with a sighting mirror can also be used to flash sunlight to a helicopter or rescuer during an emergency.

2. Sun Protection
Sunglasses are indispensable, and you'll need extra-dark glacier glasses if you're planning prolonged travel on snow or ice. Choose sunglasses that block 100% of ultraviolet light (UVA and UVB)—a key function of quality lenses. UVB rays, the rays that can burn your skin, have been linked to the development of cataracts.

When choosing sunscreen, health experts advise choosing fist, a formula that offers a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, though SPF 30 is recommended for extended outdoor activity and second, one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.

3. Insulation
Conditions can abruptly turn wet, windy and cold in the backcountry, so it's smart to carry an additional layer of clothing in case something unexpected prolongs exposure to the elements.

Common options include a layer of underwear (tops and bottoms), an insulating hat or balaclava, extra socks and a synthetic jacket or vest.

4. Illumination
Headlamps are the light source of choice in the backcountry because they allow hands-free operation, they're small and lightweight, and they have long battery life.

Many headlamps offer a strobe mode. It's a great option to have for emergency situations.

Flashlights and packable lanterns also have value. Some flashlights cast very powerful beams and are useful for signaling during emergencies.

5. First-aid Supplies
Pre-made first-aid kits take the guesswork out of building one from scratch. Though hikers should personalize these kits to suit individual needs. A good kit should include treatments for blisters, adhesive bandages of various sizes, several gauze pads, adhesive tape, disinfecting ointment, over-the-counter pain medication, pen and paper.

6. Fire
Waterproof matches or ones stored in a waterproof container should accompany any adventure into the backcountry. Take plenty and ensure they are kept dry.

A fire starting element can help jump-start a fire. The ideal firestarter ignites quickly and sustains heat for more than a few seconds.

7. Tools
Knives or multitools are handy for gear repair, food preparation, first aid, making kindling or other emergency needs.

8. Nutrition
Always pack at least an extra day's worth of food. It can be as simple as a freeze-dried meal, but it's even better to include no-cook items with long storage times: extra energy bars, nuts, dried fruits or jerky.

9. Hydration
Always carry at least 1 water bottle and a collapsible water reservoir. Hikers should also carry some means for treating water, whether it is a filter/purifier or chemical treatment.

10. Emergency Shelter
A shelter is a must if one should get lost or injured or stranded in the backcountry. Options include an ultralight tarp, a bivy sack, an emergency space blanket, even a large plastic trash bag.

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