Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hiking Packs

Spring time, what an awesome time of year, the weather is finally warming up a bit. Yes for some of us here int he Midwest it hasn't hardly come close to feeling like spring yet, but that should change this week according to the weatherman. There have been a couple decent days so far, not nearly as many as I would like.

Which brings me to this post, if you and yours are like my family we go out on what our 4 y/o calls "nature walks". We just load up and head out to the woods for a nice long walk on nice days, I am not talking miles and miles here. (how far can you really walk with a four year old in tow). We walk maybe a mile or two when we have the whole family along. There is one thing that I NEVER leave home without and it isn't my credit card, it is my day pack.

I have several different packs for different things, the one we will focus on today is my hiking or out for a walk pack. There are things in this pack that are a bit different from say a overnight pack or a few days pack. Bear in mind that you should tailor your pack to fit your needs, this is by no means a be all end all list of what you should have, that is up to you. This is to give you a great starting point of things to consider. I am about to list a few things that would be a very good idea to have in your pack in no particular order.

1. First Aide Kit: This should be a a staple in every pack for sure! There is no a reason to go out and buy a per-assembled kit. A zip lock bag with a few band-aides, a small roll of gauze, some tape and antibiotic ointment is about all you really need in it. If an injury requires more than this, you are in far worse trouble than you can take care of in most cases.

2. Emergency Blanket: These weigh next to nothing and cost very little, but can be a life saver if the weather were to take a turn for the worse if you are in an area where you are prone to freak spring snow storms. They can also be used to stay dry if it begins to rain, plus many other uses.

3. Folding Saw: Small folding saw, these can normally be picked up at camping, discount or big box stores for less than $10.00 If something were to happen, for instance you walked farther than you thought or maybe you just got tired and decided to spend the night. These are great sawing small limbs to help make a shelter even a simply lean-to.

4.Water Bottle:  Stainless steel water bottle, or a water bottle for sure. I say a stainless bottle because if the need were to arise you are able to boil water to disinfect it.

5. Firestarter: This can be in the form of a lighter, ferro rod, or a magnesium block and striker. I do have 2 different firestarters in my pack for those times when one will not work for some reason or another.

6. Knives: Remember the rule of two: Two is one and one is none. There are so many things that a good knife is useful for, it should be common sense.

7. Cordage: This can be in the form of different things, a roll of tared bank line, about 30 feet of 550 para-cord or even a survival bracelet. 

All of these things can help you in most any situation. You should tailor these to your individual needs. Not only are these things helpful but also grant you peace of mind that you are prepared if the need comes.

If you feel that there is something that I should include, or even if you disagree with this list please feel free to leave a comment.


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