Wilderness Gear
Photo by Tammy Trayer
Having the proper gear in the wilderness can mean the difference between life and death.

Just thinking and talking about gear and being prepared is not going to get you through a crisis in the wilderness. However, being diligent about what you are wearing and carrying, and always letting people know where you intend to go can make the difference between making it or not. Keep calm and use your head. Think outside the box, but have the skills and knowledge to take care of yourself.

Must-Have Gear

This is the gear you should carry in a simple day pack:

  • Three forms of fire starting tools (lighter, ferrocerium rod, flint and steel, fire piston, magnesium stick, magnifying glass)
  • Dry tinder, char (charred cotton cloth or charred materials from the wild such as cattail fluff) and a fuel that produces a fire even in wet and soggy conditions, such as the Mini Inferno from selfrelianceoutfitters.com.
  • Three knives
  • Multi-tool
  • Compass
  • Bandana
  • Non-reusable space blanket
  • Paracord bracelet, paracord and bank line (a tarred nylon rope)
  • Chapstick, Burleigh Balm or some form of lubricant, which is great for medicinal purposes as well as lubricating the O-ring on a fire piston, etc.
  • Optional Pack

A dry bag is waterproof, floats and will keep your gear secure. This is a necessity to have when traveling in a boat or in any situation where items can get wet.

These simple items separately and together can be used for so much. From making shelters to creating spears for gathering food and protection, they’re useful. Knowledge is power. We feel that anyone who enjoys the outdoors or travels lonely roads in the middle of nowhere should carry them.

If you’re ever planning a solo trip, consider a tracker, either a SPOT or a Delorme inReach. These units enable you to communicate via satellite. The SPOT is a one-way communication device that would allow people to know they were not injured. The DeLorme inReach from Garmin offers two-way communication and would allow parties to text back and forth. These units are a bit pricey, but peace and comfort can come with a price tag.

This article is from the Spring 2018 issue of The New Pioneer magazine. Grab your copy at OutdoorGroupStore.com.

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