If you are planning on spending a lot of time outdoors this year, then these pieces of gear can make your experiences much easier. While carrying basic survival tools is always a good idea, a lot of us don’t have the ability to drag coolers of food and tons of gear with us as we backpack into the wild…which is exactly what this article is about!
Finding lightweight, effective gear to take with you that can make your life easier away from home will serve to make your camping/hiking experience more enjoyable,and less stressful.
A Small Cook-Stove Or Cooking Apparatus
Having a small cooking stove with you, whether it is just a small, circular piece of metal or something that you can construct to hold a pot over the fire, is going to be one way to eliminate problems while out on the trail. While it is possible to cook without it, you will probably need to prop your cooking utensils up on rocks or stones, which is not always very convenient or conducive to low-stress dinner preparation.
A Hatchet and/or A Saw
While every outdoorsman will generally carry a knife or two when they trek outdoors, having a saw and/or a hatchet can also be advantageous. A knife is not made to cut through large tree branches, nor is it made for splitting wood into kindling.
A hatchet is probably going to be of more use in the long run than a saw, but carrying both, if you have the room, can really save you some time and energy when the time comes to do some wood cutting.
If you are planning on obtaining your own food while you are out in the wild, then bringing some simple fishing tackle is always a good idea. Some high quality fishing hooks, fishing line, sinkers, and even a bobber or two are going to be way more effective than a crudely fashioned needle hook with twine cordage for line.
All of this can easily fit into a small tin or container, and can be pulled out whenever needed to obtain much needed protein if you are near a water-source that contains edible fish.
Night Vision Optics
While you can always use a flashlight to see at night, many flashlight beams will only allow you to see so much. If you need a good view of the countryside, despite the covering of darkness, then having a good night vision optic tool in your backpack can eliminate the need to wait until daylight to see landmarks. For a lightweight, easy to carry option that can fit right in your backpack, I would recommend a Night Owl night vision monocular.
A Full-Feature Tent
Carrying a full tent will make your life much easier than it will be if you just construct a dwelling out of a sheet of plastic or a tarp. A full featured tent that zips closed will keep snakes and bugs from disturbing you as you sleep. It will also shelter you better from the elements than a tarp dwelling would. Try to find a tent that will fit into your backpack, or at least a model that you can lash to the side of your pack.
A Water Filter
It is always possible to construct a water filter if you need to, and you can also boil already clean spring water to ensure that it is properly sterilized before drinking. Carrying a good, charcoal-based water filter, however, can improve the taste of your boiled water and make it much more pleasant to drink. A water filter can remove small particles that boiling won’t, such as…
- Other Small bugs
This will make the task of finding drinkable water much less tiresome and stressful.
While these tools might not be necessary with every outing, having them in your backpack can save you from a lot of discomfort and inconvenience while you spend time outdoors.
Lastly, remember that safety should be your number one concern, so try not to travel alone in the woods if you can help it. It is always better to either go with someone else, or in a group of four. This way, if something were to happen, someone could stay with the injured person while the others went for help.
Benjamin Baker is a research hound who has been addicted to writing ever since he began his career while living in Denver, Colorado. He has a wife and three kids, and spends a lot of time outdoors in his free time. Benjamin actually came up with this article while using resources like http://www.nightvisionreport.com/ to research different options for an expanded wilderness tool kit.