When heading out into the woods for a hike or camping trip, you know you need to bring the basics—a first aid kit, something to start a fire, sunscreen, water and food. But there are a few other things you should pack that will come in handy if you’re out a bit longer than anticipated or something unexpected happens. Here are five items everyone should include in their outdoor gear kit.
It’s always smart to bring along a small flashlight or headlamp when you head out into the woods in case a hike takes longer than expected, and darkness falls before you’re back to safety. If you hike with a phone, you can also use the device’s built-in flashlight as a light source.
Look for a lightweight headlamp that is comfortable. This headlamp from Kailedi is waterproof, has five modes and the battery life is up to 100,000 hours, so you’ll never be left in the dark. Check out these 15 amazing camping gadgets found on Amazon.
The U.S. Forest Service recommends not going into the woods without some kind of signaling device. They say a whistle is a good choice as it not only can be used as a signaling device if you become lost or separated from your group, but it can also be used to scare off animals. And, it’s small.
Wound Closure Device
In addition to having a first aid kit as part of your outdoor gear, make sure it includes a wound closure device, such as ZipStitch. If you get a deep wound or cut, ZipStitch allows you to close minor lacerations in just seconds with no pain or punctures to the skin and lasts for up to seven days.
A waterproof bag will come in handy when you need to keep wet clothing separate from dry clothing or electronics. This waterproof dry bag has a zippered front pocket for easy access and includes a waterproof phone case. “It held my pack filled with two bottles of water, snacks, two cell phones, jacket, small towel, sandals, and some little items like tissues, tube of sunblock and a small portable charger/cord,” said one buyer. “Took it rafting and it held on like a champ! There was water splashing all over and it literally sat in a puddle of water in the raft almost the entire time. Everything was completely dry. No water at all inside!” New to camping? These 15 brilliant hints will come in handy.
Bivy Sack or Bivy Tent
When a trip into the woods takes longer than expected, lightweight gear such as a bivy sack or tent will come in handy, especially if you get stuck in the woods overnight.
“Bivy sack is short for ‘bivouac sack.’ It was invented to serve climbers who wanted lightweight emergency weather protection for sleeping bags during multiple-day ascents, particularly on big walls,” according to REI. Think of it as a lightweight sleeping bag.
“For an extra pound or so, a tent-like bivy shelter adds two features not available with traditional bivies—an expanded area of shielded headspace and a full enclosure to block out bad weather and insects. These extras have helped bivy shelters grow in popularity, particularly with ultralight hikers,” notes the REI website. This bivy weighs only 4.1 ounces and comes in a waterproof sack, so it’s easy to add to your outdoor gear kit.
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