Just how convinced are Americans that outdoor recreation can make them happier and improve their way of life? To say that they are enchanted with the activity is an understatement. An industry report estimated that as of 2012, 140 million Americans have spent around $646 billion for outdoor recreation.
Outdoor recreation encompasses a wide range of activities that are performed in the great outdoors for leisure purposes. These include activities on land such as backpacking, camping, hiking, caving, rock climbing and mountaineering, among many others. On water, outdoor adventures include kayaking, skiing, sailing, canoeing, skiing and surfing. Outdoor sports are also increasingly becoming popular as a way to socialize, get fit or simply relax and enjoy.
While outdoor activities promise hours or days of fun and excitement, adventurers take seriously the fact that there are important steps to ensure not only the success of the activity, but also and more importantly, the safety of participating individuals or groups. Outdoor activity situations will require the persons involved to react and respond suitably in order to be safe and essentially, survive. One way to do this is to be properly equipped with items that basically promote survival, such as food, water, fire and shelter.
What are the basic items that are outdoor enthusiasts are expected to take with them? Here are the six essentials no adventurer should be on the journey without.
1) Clean drinking water
Or for longer journeys, purifying tablets or water filters. Modern science has allowed for the production of tablets that you can simply drop on water to ensure it is not contaminated. While it is a must to camp in places where there is water source nearby, you can’t always be so sure about cleanliness. Flowing streams and rivers may or may not be contaminated; it is wise to refuse to take the risk. Use water purification materials and filters to be sure.
2) Flashlight and batteries
The importance of a reliable flashlight and spare batteries cannot be overstated. When it gets pitch dark in a moonless night, you still will want to be able to check your surroundings and instantly find whatever item you’re looking for in and outside your tent.
3) First aid kit
You can try to be careful at all times when spending time outdoors but there’s no telling you might cut yourself accidentally or feel quite unwell. You can’t expect to be running to a pharmacy for medicines and remedies because there won’t be any in the woods! Take with you pain relievers, antiseptics, alcohol, bandages and prescribed medication all throughout the trip.
For practical and defense purposes, a knife should be in your checklist. This is a highly most versatile item and a reliable weapon too, which means it is of valuable use to you.
5) Personal hygiene
You can’t be without a bar of soap or hand wash to maintain cleanliness. You need to be clean so you don’t invite illnesses especially for activities that require you to spend days in the outdoors.
6) Compass or map
If you have a gut feeling that you’ve been wandering directionless, you’ll need to determine where you are and check for trails or roads with a map and a compass. If you’re up for a climb, you may want to evaluate your terrain through a topographic map. Be sure you know how and when to use them. These come in apps but a physical map and an actual compass may be better options as they are independent of your phone’s battery or signal.
One more thing: Do not underestimate the power of an extra clothing or footwear; you never know when you’ll need it. To avoid being burdened by a bulky bag, add layers to your clothing so you can keep yourself warm during winter and have a few more when you need them.
If you think having all these requires you to spend a lot, think again. No adventurer will tell you money is an issue because there are awesome outdoor gear deals you can take advantage of if you know where to look.
Go out there and experience the benefits of a great outdoor adventure today!