Photo by CC user JJ Harrison via wikimedia commons
As anybody who has ever been hiking or wild camping will know, Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress. One minutes she’s all smiles and the next it’s rain clouds, thunder, and crashing lightening. So, it’s important to be prepared for every eventuality when spending time in the Great Outdoors. Having the right equipment will not only keep you warm in an emergency situation, it could just save your life.
We’re used to thinking about everyday objects like torches and matches in a rather underwhelming way. They’re always hanging about the house, so we rarely stop to consider what things would be like if they weren’t around. In the wild, the most seemingly insignificant items can change your fortunes, so it’s worth making some room for them in your backpack the next time that you head of on an adventure.
This guide to the best gadgets for surviving in the Great Outdoors will help you put together a truly wild supply kit.
1. LED Lenser Torch
LED Lenser torches are everything that an intrepid adventurer could ever need and more. They’re sturdy but lightweight, with a tough aluminium body. They offer variable light settings, so that a single source of illumination can be transformed into many different kinds of light. These cleverly designed devices are actually used by a number of regional police forces, so their quality is undeniable.
2. Axe Multi-Tool
Now that you’ve taken care of your light source, you’ll need a nifty tool to help you cut, screw, hammer, or lever your way out of a tight spot. There are many different multi-tools on the market, but your choice should be robust, with an easy grip handle. That way, if you get stuck in the rain, you won’t lose your lifesaving tool.
3. Water Purifying Straw
Over the last five years, water purifying technologies have come a long way. You can now pick up a state of the art water filtration device for less than $25. Ultimately, this is a gadget for emergencies, but it’s worth having one in your pack even if you’re confident of your outdoors abilities. Getting stranded without clean water is a very serious situation.
4. Paracord Rope Bracelets
If you love living on the edge and pitting your wits against Mother Nature, you’ll need some handy tools tucked away to make sure that you stay safe. Paracord rope bracelets are exceptionally useful, because they look just like any old bracelet. However, if needed in an emergency, they can be unravelled and used as a survival rope.
5. Hand Crank Phone Charger
Almost all emergency situations that develop outdoors can be brought to a swift end with a little bit of mobile phone juice. So, make sure that your lifeline never runs dry with a hand crank charger. These devices are easy to use and small enough to slot into a hiking or walking backpack. And, in a sticky situation, they’ll give you enough power to call for aid.
6. Waterproof Fire Starting Tinder
No matter what your plans, if you’re spending time in the wild, it’s best to slip at least one box of matches into your pocket. If you want to be really safe, you can pick up some waterproof tinder too. It burns smokeless and can be ignited remarkably fast, no matter what the weather conditions. If you’re in urgent need of warmth or protection, this is the way to get it.
7. Wearable Sleeping Bag
Depending on your nature (pun definitely intended), these wonderful wearable sleeping bags don’t even have to be restricted to the Great Outdoors. You’ll look a little strange hanging about the house in a full size quilted suit, but you’ll be cosier than you ever thought possible. On a serious note, having a wearable sleeping bag while stranded in the wild is a great way to stay warm until help arrives.
8. Unbreakable Shoelaces
If you like to combine survival with style, pick up some rather impressive unbreakable shoelaces. There are lots of different brands, but the product is essentially the same. They look like shoelaces, they feel like shoelaces, but they can be used to scale (or climb down) a cliff face or ridge. They’ll survive both fire and scissors and still stay strong.
9. Waterproof Backpack
When you’re tired, hungry, and can’t wait to get back home, even a heavy downpour can feel like an emergency. It’s lucky then that with a high quality waterproof backpack, you’ll at least get home with all your possessions intact. These study packs are made out of water resistant material that can withstand floods, downpours, and even waterfalls.
10. Multi-Purpose Eating Tool
For keen campers, a multi-purpose eating tool is essential. If you’ve never seen one before, you’ll be pleased to know that they look just like Swiss army knives. They’re very compact, they fold up small, and contain a knife, fork, and a spoon. When you’re settling in for the night with a tin of baked beans, you’ll be glad of one of these.