Hiking, camping, trekking, backpacking… All of these outdoor activities are physically demanding, yet highly rewarding on a personal level for enthusiasts of outdoor exploration. However, they all have in common the fact that they often take full-day sessions to get to a destination, reach a summit, finish a mountain track, and so on. This means that people who participate in these expeditions need a basic set of equipment to truly get the most out of the experience. Below, we break down some of these items every nature explorer should carry with them at all times before setting out into the wild.
A daypack is essentially the same as a backpack, except the former has been optimized to fit as many things as possible. It is loose and flexible, so it usually doesn’t have a support system like the straight back of a backpack beyond padding for comfort of the explorer. These packs are ideal to carry enough food, clothes, cover, and other essential items you need in case your expedition takes longer than expected. While not as comfortable as a backpack, they are certainly more practical and convenient for modern explorers.
A good pair of binoculars can be more helpful than you think. Even the most experienced explorers can get lost sometimes, and an instrument that can help you look way beyond your usual line of sight can be the difference between staying lost and finding your way again. Hopefully you won’t need them for emergencies, in which case they are still useful as a sightseeing tool to inspect new destinations, animals, and more. There are bird-watching expeditions in which binoculars are literally mandatory!
Veteran explorers can usually find their way pretty well just using natural markers, but no explorer is too arrogant to underestimate the importance of carrying a compass with them at all times. Compasses have been essential navigation instruments for ages, and they remain a helping hand in times of need today. Where technology just can’t reach your phone to fire up your GPS, a trusty compass can tell you the way back to your last checkpoint, or even point you in the right direction to return back to camp.
Nobody knows what can happen out in the wilderness, and carrying a knife is a way to stay prepared for any potential scenario. Knives work as weapons for self defense in case a wild animal tries to attack, but mainly they work as a tool to cut food and other things in nature like sticks, bark, leaves, and more. Think of all the things you could do with a knife in case of emergency, and packing one just turns into a no-brainer.
Finally, a water bottle full of clean water should be on your daypack at all times. Common sense is the least common of the senses, which is why explorers sometimes trust their capacity to adapt and survive rather than logic when it comes to staying fed and hydrated. In every expedition you go, make sure to locate sources of clean water where you can refill your bottle, and if none are available, you can get a water bottle that can filter and make any water safe for drinking.