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Back to Nature: How to Prepare for a Weekend in the Wilderness

Exploring the great outdoors and a weekend camping adventure is an exciting thing to do, but you need to be prepared if you want everything to go off without a hitch.

Here’s how to have an amazing vacation.

Get The Right Gear

Hiking shoes jungle forest RF

Getting the right gear is vitally important. Going out into the wilderness might sound like fun, and it is, but it’s also inherently dangerous. At a minimum, you should hike with a large sturdy backpack, a weather-appropriate tent, hiking boots and cooking and eating equipment.

You will also want to bring water bottles that can filter non-potable water and that have been independently certified to filter out viruses and bacteria as well as heavy metals. Sunscreen is also important if you’re a burner.

Make sure you have the right clothing given the weather. Many hikers, for example, will wear wool base layers in the winter because it keeps them warm without creating damp clothing from the sweat. A base layer also gives you a way to layer clothing so that you can strip off layers if you don’t need them. It’s always good to have that option and not need it than to not have it and need it.

Other good trekking gear includes a two-way radio, emergency gear, and rations.

Bring Rations

Camp food trek hiking hike RF

Rations are pre-prepared food, like trail mix, jerky, or something similar. It’s a way for you to eat when other food options aren’t available or when something unfortunate happens to your camping cooking gear.

Rations should be “ready to eat,” meaning that there is no food preparation necessary. You shouldn’t even have to open a can. At most, it should be something you can open with your hands or fingers and consume.

Bring Emergency Gear

Emergency gear, like a first aid kit and Faraday flashlights, could save your life if you get lost in the woods. A two-way radio can help you communicate with the outside world and it will also let you listen in case there’s a storm moving in.

Emergency kits often also contain at least one thick wool blanket, paracord bracelets, and fire-starters.

3 Ways To Make A Fire

You should have at least three ways to make a fire, since fire is one of the basic necessities in the wild. No, you don’t have to learn how to rub two sticks together. But, you should bring flint and steel with a magnesium starter, waterproof matches, and at least one other way to make a fire, like a regular butane lighter (the easier, the better).

If it’s wet outside, or you know it will be wet when you’re hiking, bring something that’s highly flammable too, like dryer lint, or Vaseline-covered cotton balls, or wood shavings. If you’re hiking in a forest where there are pine needles, make sure you scrape them up off the ground before a heavy rain starts.

Pine needles do not absorb much water and they can be dried pretty quickly and used to start a fire.

You could also bring a hatchet and use the underside of the bark of a tree if you need to make a fire. If you’re hiking in an area which does not allow fires, you’ll have to keep that in mind too, and only use this as a last resort.

Get Transportation And Have Someone Standing By

This is something even experienced hikers sometimes forget: you should have someone standing by to pick you up when you’re done hiking. Have that person serve as a “lookout” – they should be “at the ready” at preset times, synced to your watch.

If you’re not back by a certain time, they should be on “high alert” and if you don’t return within a predetermined range of time, then they should go call for help. This person or persons are your backup team. They’re there for you so that if you get lost, you’re not out there all by yourself.

For example, you might have your backup person show up at 6PM if this is when you agree to leave the hiking area. If you’re staying overnight, maybe you agree on 9PM departure. You give your person a 2 hour time interval so that if you were supposed to be there at 9AM, he or she will wait until 11AM for you to arrive. This time interval is especially important if you lose cell reception or don’t bring your cell phone with you.

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John has been involved in the water purification and filtration industry for over 20 years and are well versed in drinking water issues locally and around the world, He is passionate in providing the world best portable water filter and purifier.

Photo Credits: First aid by DLG Images.

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