Backpacking in the wilderness does not come without unexpected situations. When you are so far away from emergency services or hospitals, a serious situation can become dangerous quick. There is nothing that can beat good preparation.
Make sure to pack the below items to be prepared for any emergency situation:
First Aid Kit
You never know what can happen while you are outdoors. Injuries happen and you always want to be prepared in case of any injuries that can disrupt your ability to get back home whether debilitating or life threatening.
Make sure you have a high quality first aid kit that has all the materials you may need such as:
- Antiseptic wipes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Antihistamines/bug bite cream
- Band aids
- Fine-tip tweezers
Additionally, you need to know how to use your first aid kit. Makes sure to read up on first aid skills or take proper first aid training.
Sometimes you may go on a trip and not create one single fire, but in an emergency situation it could be essential. Fires allow you to cook food, dry your clothes, and keep warm. If you end up lost or stranded you need to be sure that you can build a fire for yourself.
While in bear country, bring bear spray. It is not every trip that you will come across a bear but in case of an emergency, you want to be sure that you have it handy. Many say that having bear spray provides you with better protection than a firearm when it comes to warding off a bear. Just make sure to consider the spray distance and wind while using it. Bears can charge very quickly, so you want your reflexes to be sharp when the time comes.
Always pack extra emergency food. You never know when you could get lost or if your trip could end up taking longer than you thought. I recommend packing high calorie food rations in your backpack. They are compact, lightweight and provide tons of energy in emergency situations.
Duct tape is underrated as an important piece of backpacking equipment. Duct tape can be used to repair ripped tents, broken tent poles, clothes, shoes – the list goes on. It can also be used to wrap injuries or be made into a makeshift arm sling in serious situations. You do not need to pack an entire roll but pack some duct tape before you hit the trail.