Whether you go on a biking tour, a multi-day hike, backcountry snowboarding with friends or camping in the desert: mother nature offers amazing adventures and experiencing them is one of the best parts of life. But at the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that, no matter how well-trained and prepared you are, there will always be an element of risk, and things can go wrong in the blink of an eye. That’s why there are some essentials you should always bring along on your trips.
First Aid Kit
An absolute must for any outdoor trip: the First Aid Kit (including blister plasters). They come in all shapes and sizes, and content may vary with the scope of your adventure. But carrying a set of bandages, antiseptic solution, some aspirins and tweezers always makes sense. Even a small scratch can become a serious impediment to your fun, once it becomes infected. So: better be safe than sorry and make sure your first aid kit is complete and packed for each and every adventure. A proposed First Aid checklist from the Red Cross can be found here.
Yes, we want to disconnect from busy everyday-life and enjoy nature without any distractions, so bringing your cellphone might sound counter-intuitive. But even if you just go for a short evening walk or a run in the woods, all it takes to put you in a vulnerable position is slipping and spraining your ankle. In such a situation, your cellphone can be a real life-saver to call for help. Otherwise, hypothermia might kick in quickly, and together with thirst, dropping energy levels and pain your situation might deteriorate significantly in a matter of hours.
There are a host of cellphone Apps for all kinds of emergency situations, which facilitate communication with emergency services, send GPS signals, or contact a pre-registered person if you fail to report back or check in with the app by a certain time. Before you start your trip, make sure the app is operational in your relevant country and any necessary registration procedures are completed.
If you’re going off-grid, you might consider investing in a personal location beacon or a satellite messenger. These devices let you send emergency signals via satellite in places where your mobile phone won’t have coverage. While a beacons’ main purpose is to send a distress signal to emergency services, satellite messengers have additional features, such as non-emergency messaging, navigation, or weather reports, depending on the model.
It may sound obvious but cannot be emphasized enough: carry enough drinking water on any trip. Your body stops working properly extremely quickly if you lose more water than you take in. Dehydration leads to fatigue, dizziness and confusion rather soon – and these symptoms can have grave consequences, especially in inhospitable environments. Calculate your water intake, take into consideration the climate, your physical activity, and contingencies. Then add some. Now you’re good. Our durable SOURCE water bladders keep the drinking water fresh for days and even weeks, thanks to our Grunge Guard technology, which inhibits bacteria growth. A compatible water filter lets you drink from any water source and thus provides additional freedom and flexibility on your adventures.
A matchbox can make a huge difference if you’re forced to spend prolonged time outdoors unexpectedly. Even if you learnt as a boy-scout how to light a fire in three different ways, all of which did not include matches, these are not the kinds of experiences you want to run when you’re finding yourself in an emergency situation somewhere in the outdoors. Make sure you pack your matchbox in a water-proof container in case bad weather hits.
For adrenaline-junkies and outdoor-enthusiasts, there’s sometimes a fine balance between fun and safety. However, proper preparation and essential emergency equipment can go a long way. Because every trip can be the one that goes wrong – and when the balloon goes up, you’re better safe than sorry.