Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What-I-Carry-Wednesday: A Day Hike Kit

I sure do like to hike. And when I do, my Boy Scouts instincts kick in, and I feel most comfortable being prepared. Essentially, I want to be able to spend a night or two outdoors if I'm lost or injured.

Most of the places I end up hiking around are quite populated, and the most important survival kit item is probably a good 'ol whistle. Still, got to be prepared.

Resources I found useful when compiling these items, include: my weekend backpacking list, Field and Stream's Altoid Tins Survival Kit, United States Rescue & Special Operations Group's gear list, This wiki, and Doug Ritter's survival kits.

All right, onto the gear:

  • A cheap LED - this is a backup, as I always carry a Photo X-light with me.
  • A compass. Again, a backup to the one I carry every day.
  • A roll of dental floss. Yes, dental floss.
  • A package of Portable Auqua water purification tables. Including the very handy neutralizer tablets which make the water taste, well, like water.
  • A safety pin
  • A FireSteel for matchless fire creation
  • A Scripto Micro Lighter
  • Hand sanitizer (useful for cleaning up, as well as a fire stater)
  • A heap of Toilet Paper. Probably the most useful item in the kit.
  • A Lightload Towel
  • About 3 square feet of heavy duty tin foil
  • An Adventure Medical Kits Heatsheet - more durable and usable than a classic mylar blanket
  • Blister treatment
  • Benadryl
  • Ben's Bug Spray Towelette
  • Some bandaids
  • A large black garbage bag
  • An oven bag. This one was new to me: it's a durable, yet lightweight, way to carry water if you don't have a canteen handy.
  • Somewhere around 20-30 feet of paracord
  • A travel "purse"

(My wallet is next to the packed bag to show scale)

Like I said, I assume I've got my usual stuff, which includes a knife, whistle, and other critical items.

The above is a pretty basic kit, but I think I've got my bases covered:

  • Fire: lighter, firesteel, rope (for a bow and drill).
  • Shelter: garbage bag, heatsheet, rope, dental floss.
  • Signaling: whistle, towel, notepad, cell phone, Photon X-light and fire.
  • Food/water: tin foil, oven bag, fire, heatsheet (useful for "rock boiling water and chow in a hole in the ground").
  • First Aid: band aids, blister treatment, Benadryl, Lightload Towel, Hand sanitizer, paracord, dental floss.
  • Towel: yes.

As a bonus, I've been keeping the kit in one of our cars. It means that I'm already half-way packed for a hike (grab some food, water, maybe a sweater, and a pack to throw this all into) and I'm also more prepared if I get stuck on the side of the road.

What's in your day hike kit?

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