I have had backpacking trips where I experienced rain, snow, lightening, rockslides, altitude sickness and twenty-mile days – all in a summer weekend. Having the following ten basics, you can make the wilderness trips less dangerous.
Knowledge, having it may save you more than a gadget. Will a campus aid you without having the knowledge of using it? Can you make fire without fire making skills? Have the knowledge of what to do when you see a bear. Read a little, practice a little.
Map and compass; they are together just the way you will need to use them.
Matches and lighter. Bring both of them. Whether waterproof matches and fire starter of some sort. It is much safer to have two ways of starting a fire.
First aid kit. Either buy a pre-packaged one or build your own. Make sure that it has notes on the essential first aid procedures and it contains pain relievers, bandages and disinfectants.
Foot care. You need to care for your feet while hiking miles away from the road. You need moleskin in your first aid kit. It may be a pin to treat blisters.
Water filtration. Filters work however they congest and break so easily. You must therefore have a small bottle of iodine tablets or other water purification as back up.
Rainwear. Endeavour to stay dry as on of the biggest killers in the woods is Hypothermia which starts when you get wet.
Shelter. Make sure that you know how to use the shelter and it may be in form of a tent, tarp or bivy sack.
Sleeping bag. You can either bring a synthetic bag or use down bags which are warmest because of their weight. But you need to be sure that you know how to keep the down bag warm.
Specific items. Endeavour to take deep thought about specific conditions for the time and places for the trip. For backpacking trips in Arizona in the month of June, carry sun blocks where as trips in Michigan in the month of May, carry insect repellent.
If you take regular backpacking trips, make your own list. You need to plan so as to reduce worries and have a better trip.