Hiking Survival Gear: Hiking is great fun, that’s why thousands of back packers and hikers pull on their hiking boots every year, fill up their hydration packs, air their sleeping bags, hoist up their back packs and head off into the great outdoors. Man against the elements, it’s how we survived until we got all urbanized and moved away from the countryside and into the cities, driving our cars and buying fast food . . . no wonder so many of us can’t wait to hike straight back to nature at every given opportunity.
. . . He Who Hikes & Survives Okay, Lives To Hike Another Day
“We cannot command Nature except by obeying her.” – Francis Bacon
Hiking Survival Gear & Essentials
Ultralight Back Packers and survival experts might be able to look after themselves for a week with nothing more than an empty beer tin, a knife and a ball of twine . . . but the rest of us need a little more in the way of survival gear so that we can reduce the risk of coming unstuck somewhere along the hiking trail. Survival is the name of the game when we’re hiking . . . just the hiker, his back pack full of survival gear, his wits and a lot of good luck (and hiking pals).
Hiking Survival Gear is really just about everything you carry in your back pack, (apart from the gummy bears, you could probably survive without gummy bears for a couple of days if you really set your mind to it). Hiking experts are very clear about the 10 essential items which any hiker should carry in their backpacks at all times, and if you have these “10 essentials” then you’ve got your basic survival kit.
10 Hiking Survival Gear For Your Backpacking Trip
#1 – Navigation – getting lost in the back country is a completely different thing to “losing yourself” in the back country. Navigation essentials are a map (of where you’re going – duh), a compass (the one which shows you where North is, not the type you use for drawing circles in math class) and possibly a GPS system of some sort. The best hiking navigational equipment in the world, however, is no good if you don’t know how to use it.
#2 – Protection from the Sun – it’s something which all hikers need to be aware of, young and old whether you’ve got skin more weather beaten than a hippo or you’re a fair skinned rose, you need to protect your skin from the harmful sun. Long sleeves, sun block, sun glasses, sun hat it’s not rocket science.
#3 – Extra Clothing – one thing which you can rely on when hiking is that you can never rely on the weather! Don’t forget to take a few extra layers for if the temperature drops by just a few degrees, it can make all the difference to your comfort on your hiking survival.
#4 – Lights Plus Spare Batteries – there’s nothing worse than getting caught out in darkness before you’re ready to settle down in your sleeping bag for the night, so your survival depends on you having a reliable light source. Whether it’s a flashlight, a lantern, a head lamp, a glow stick or a combination of them all . . . don’t forget them on your hiking trip, your safety and survival might depend upon it.
#5 – Fire Lighting Equipment – emergency situations can often be helped by lighting a fire . . . for warmth, for cooking, to enable the emergency services to find you . . . so pack some fire lighting equipment in your backpack to help ensure your survival. Storm proof matches, (in a waterproof container), firelighters or hikers pocket torches can all be included in your hiking survival gear.
#6 – Survival Tools and Repair Kits – you never know when you might have to take care of running repairs on your hiking trip, so make sure that you’ve got the right stuff to fix your tent, stove, etc on your hiking trip. The magic ingredient for survival in this section appears to be duct tape . . . and a multi function knife of course!
#7 – Food – don’t be stingy with your food ration allocation for your hiking trip. You might only intend to be out hiking for a couple of hours, but what if something happens and you need to survive for very much longer until the rescue services have arrived . . . you might even have to remain on the hiking trail overnight, so make sure that you’ve got plenty of food in reserve just in case.
#8 – Water – extra water is also important, just in case your hiking trip turns out to be much longer than you anticipated. Hydration is so important, especially if you’re hiking in hot weather. Some type of water treatment system is also a good addition to your hiking survival kit, because then if you do run out of safe, clean drinking water you will have the ability to gather more.
#9 – Emergency Hiking Shelter – even if you’re only heading out for a couple of hours, you really never know what the hike might throw at you. An emergency hiking shelter doesn’t have to be a two man tent with flyscreen, it can be something as simple as an emergency blanket (waterproof, windproof and brightly colored) which can protect you from the elements if necessary, working like a tarp.
#10 – First Aid Supplies – you never know when an accident might strike, which is why they are called accidents I guess, so you need to have at least a basic first aid kit with you on your hike, and don’t only carry a first aid kit in your back pack, but also learn how to use it.