Top 10 Things to Take When Roughing It
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
June 9, 2011
Filed Under Outdoors
Contributed by Cara Hartley, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Taking the road less traveled has its own rewards for those who crave adventure.
The sights and sounds of pure, untainted nature, the exhilaration that comes with going mano y mano with mother nature and coming out alive, the scores of envy-inducing Facebook pictures taken atop pristine mountains or amidst lush rainforests.
There are a few things you should remember to take with you when roughing it, however, if you want to make it back to civilization in one piece.
A human can live for 40 days without food, but only a few days without water, and if you’re not into drinking your own urine you should probably bring an adequate water supply. Portable water filters have become smaller, sleeker and more user-friendly over the years, as well as more affordable.
With the right skills, a knife can save your life. You can cut fire wood, start a fire, clean a fish or an animal for sustenance needs, or ward off an attacker with the right kind of survival knife. A knife is an essential tool for anyone planning on roughing it.
8. Waterproof matches
The difference between dying a horrible death due to hypothermia and having a lovely time spent in the wilderness regardless of weather conditions lies in a package of waterproof matches.
An important motto to take into the wilderness is P.P.P.P.P.P: Prior Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. Being prepared for anything mother nature chooses to throw at you means having the right clothes. Thin layers are the solution to the potential problems that come with too much sun, rain, hail, ice, wind, or snow.
Nothing ruins a good trip faster than getting lost. A positive attitude helps: if you’re not sure where you are you can always consider the fact that you’re not lost, you’re just finding your way. But even if you are able to remain ridiculously positive whilst stumbling around in the cold and the dark by your lonesome, you can avoid the necessity of cheerful philosophizing by bringing along a map.
The twin brother to the map is the compass. Remember, a compass is perfectly useless if you don’t know how to read it. Ask your friendly local outdoor retailer how to use a compass, and they will show you all kinds of neat tricks that will keep you from losing yourself.
Knowing how to find wild edibles is an impressive skill, but if you’re not a total pro at deciphering non-poisonous mushrooms from their mega-deadly cousins, then it is of the essence that you bring enough food on your trip. Trail mix, pre-packaged soups, and dehydrated “astronaut food” are all great, light-weight choices.
3. First-aid kit
A wilderness first aid kit is a totally necessary item to take on any back-country excursion. A quality first-aid kit will be compact, and contain a slightly different set of materia medica than the average house-hold variety.
2. Flashlight & extra batteries
Digging a flashlight or lantern out of your garage and stuffing it into your backpack before embarking on a journey of epic proportions only to find out that the batteries are dead and consequently wasting your waterproof matches trying to find firewood because you set up camp too late is priceless. On the other hand, a package of extra batteries costs about $5.
1. Camp stove
Camp stoves are essential in protected or fire-prone areas like mountains. Sometimes you can’t build a fire, and there are those who claim that campfires are leaving a bigger carbon footprint than you would think. A camp stove is a handy dandy instrument that will leave you feeling smug and MacGyverish as you enjoy a delicious thoroughly cooked meal (something that can be a struggle when cooking over an open fire). They are relatively inexpensive and pretty simple to get the hang of. Just make sure to read the instructional pamphlet prior to use so you don’t blow yourself up.