These are the tried and true essentials for backcountry travel
- Map — So you can get where you're going or communicate your location to rescuers.
- Compass — Critical for navigation and providing rescuers with your location.
- Flashlight/headlamp — Going for help can mean a long hike in the dark. Don't forget spare bulbs and batteries.
- Extra food — For warmth and strength.
- Extra clothing — For covering an injured hiker to prevent shock, as well as for keeping warm.
- Sunglasses — Eyes are especially vulnerable to the bright sunlight encountered in the mountains. These can help avoid eye damage.
- First-aid supplies/Gear repair kit — A ready-made, storebought kit may prove inadequate. It is best to construct your own, based on expert advice.
- Pocket knife or Multi-tool — Can be incredibly versatile in time of need.
- Fire starter — Being able to start a fire can be the difference between life and death. A fire starter, such as a lighter, matches, or some other device, as well as some form of tinder as a means to keep the flame going.
- Whistle — To signal your location to rescuers should you need them.
These are the essentials and should be a part of your gear anytime you venture out. As you become more familiar with the outdoors and your own needs feel free to add additional gear. Some recommendations are: A space blanket, this can double as a shelter if necessary. 550 cord, between 25 to 50 feet.