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Backpacker Magazine – May 2013

First Night Out: The Ten Essentials

Outdoor experts have refined the list of key safety and survival tools into these 10 categories. Don't leave home without them.

by: Sarah L. Stewart and Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

PAGE 1 2
(iStock)
(iStock)

ONE
Navigation
Stay on track with a topographical map and compass. A GPS is a great additional tool, but always pack extra batteries, and carry the map and compass as backup.

TWO
Extra food
Stash a few spare trail bars or other shelf-stable snacks in your pack in case you’re stuck out longer than you planned.

THREE
Sun protection
Get shades with UVA/UVB protection, a hat, and broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.

FOUR
Firestarter
Carry waterproof matches and/or an extra lighter, plus emergency tinder (dryer lint or petroleum jelly-dipped cotton balls work well).


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READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
Scott
Mar 14, 2014

I'd add an elastic bandage to #5.

Star
Lynda
Mar 07, 2014

Dear Sarah and Elisabeth -
You forgot the whistle, signal mirror, and a multi-tool. The little 5x9 ditty bag that goes in your pack for any and all hikes from a 2 mile stroll to 30 mile backpacking contains these plus your fire starter kit and a Petzl e-Lite.

Star
Elle
Mar 07, 2014

Forgot the whistle and signal mirror. GPS is back up for map and compass, not other way around.

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