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20 Things You Should Have In Your Day Pack-- making it a basic Grab-n-Go bag


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A short jaunt in the woods or desert or mountains can quickly turn tragic, especially if we are not prepared. There are key items we all should carry in our day pack. As an added bonus, if we have them, we also have a basic Grab-N-Go bag! i include links.

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20 Things You Should Have In Your Day Pack-- making it a basic Grab-n-Go bag

  1. 1. 20 Things Every Hiker Should Have In Their Day Pack (which also makes it a basic Grab-n-Go bag!)
  2. 2. Whether it’s just a short jaunt in the woods or a longer day-hike, these are things everyone should carry in their day pack. Over-confidence is the bane of many a day-trippers journey. The pack should be tailored to your locale. With these items, your day pack can also serve as a basic Grab-n-Go bag in an emergency. If you leave it in your vehicle, you have it wherever you go.
  3. 3. Pack choice is personal. I have learned when you go cheap, you get cheap. After researching and using others, I settled on an Osprey Stratos 24. The nice part is it pushes away from your back and has mesh to help avoid that back sweat soaking. Note I don’t have stuff hanging all over the outside which can get caught up on things. It comes with a rain cover.
  4. 4. This is what is in it. I’ll cover each, piece by piece
  5. 5. The equivalent of 4 full 500ml water bottles. More if in hot weather. Mine is in the green canteen and I put a water bottle in one of the side, outside mesh pockets. WATER
  6. 6. Purification. Lifestraw or a bottle of purification tablets. Click on images below for links. Water
  7. 7. Fire is your friend in a survival situation. I know we’d all like to use that bow and stick, but for emergencies, a lighter is much easier. The plasma lighter on the left is also a flashlight and rechargeable. Stormproof matches in a waterproof container. Click on images below. Lighters and Matches
  8. 8. Since I list a rechargeable lighter on the previous page, power becomes an issue. I’ve become a fan of solar, which allows a renewable power source from nature. The small solar power bank on the left is light. You can hang it on the outside of your pack to charge. It will charge your phone and your plasma lighter/flashlight. The more powerful one on the right is heavier. It’s attacked by velcro to my Jeep dashboard. PS: Don’t forget the cables for phone and lighter! Power
  9. 9. I carry several power bars. Other, more varied edibles, depending on the walk. This is personal, but have something to eat. You could put emergency rations in but they tend to be heavy. Food
  10. 10. I have the emergency sleeping bag below in my day pack and in all our cars. It’s inexpensive, light and small. 550/parachute cord. The latter is useful in many, many ways. Click on images. Shelter and Rope
  11. 11. I always have the one on the left on my belt along with the single battery flashlight. It gets used every day. The flashlight is linked next. Multi-Tool
  12. 12. Besides the light on plasma lighter, I carry a headlamp. In case you misjudged your hike or there is a delay, a headlamp can help you get back to the trail head after dark. The one on the left is rechargeable and in my bike bag. The headlamp in the middle is battery powered and in my day pack. I also carry the small single battery flashlight in my Leatherman case. Click on images. Light
  13. 13. There are plenty of prepared ones you can buy. Below on the left is the one I have in my day pack. I tend to personalize and add things, but at least have a basic one. Mine is actually a 9, supplemented, so consider the one on the right which is more complete. Click on image for link. First Aid Kit
  14. 14. I recommend adding a quick-clot bandage to your day pack with a splint, and an Israeli combat bandage. I can verify the Quik-Clot works. I carry a Quik Clot bandage in my day pack, on my bike and in our cars. The one on the right contains more (tourniquet, chest seal, medical scissors) perhaps for your GnG bag and car. QuikClot Bandages/Trauma
  15. 15. Appropriate for time of year and environment. I always carry an extra pair of dry socks in a ziplock bag. Pants and long sleeve shirts of a material that dries quickly. A wool cap for colder environs— most heat escapes through the head. A boonie hat for warmer— keep the sun off, protects your head. Clothing
  16. 16. Not just for weather but to protect your hands. In the field and on deployments, I always wore gloves. The ones on the left are very light and touchscreen. They provide some protection but little warmth. The ones on the right are touchscreen and provide more warmth. Clothing
  17. 17. A survival knife with sharpener. This knife also has a whistle. A Signal mirror. I have both in my day pack. . Click on images. Knife, Whistle, Signal Mirror
  18. 18. You can’t count on the GPS on your phone. Have a physical map of the area you will be hiking in. If you haven’t bought one, download the contour map for your area for free, then print it out, or order the map sheets. I have a separate slideshare (linked at end) about free downloadable maps, how to read them and other pertinent information. I remember running to the top of Monadnock in my younger days. Map and Compass
  19. 19. Location Apps There are several topo map Apps you can get. I’ve used a number over the years but the best one I’ve found is Gaia. The basic app is free and then there are two levels of membership. The premium, which is discounted 20% via my affiliate link, is $32 for a year but for the number and types of maps you get, it is definitely worth it. One useful thing to using any map app is to download the map tiles you want to use beforehand (when you’re out in the wilds with no signal) and you learn how to use the app. They also send interesting email updates on various outdoor activities that are very informative from outdoor experts.
  20. 20. I carry an over-sized waterproof rain jacket in my day pack. It packs very tightly in a stuff sack. Also, make sure you have a waterproof cover for your pack (one should come with it). Sun screen and bug juice can keep an enjoyable hike from turning into a miserable trek. Rain Jacket, Sun Screen and Bug Juice
  21. 21. I usually have my wallet on a day hike, but I also carry $20 in cash a Ziplock bag. I also put cleaning wipes in there just in case. Money, ID, Medical Info, and Cleaning Wipes
  22. 22. I carry a SpotX 2 Way Satellite messenging system. I’ve gone many places where there is no cell phone coverage. There are places all over the country, including in the Smoky Mountains, with no cell coverage. I view this as a potentially life-saving investment. It is very light and I recharge it every Sunday as part of my routine. Make sure you carry a recharging cable so you can hook it to the small solar if need be. Also peace of mind as my family can get hold of me any time and I can update them on my progress.
  23. 23. The contents of my day pack from top left Knife with whistle/sharpener; canteen; rain jacket; (Ziplok extra batteries for headlamp, water purifying tablets, waterproof match cases, small roll duct tape, magnesium fire starter, 550 cord); dog leash; solar battery pack, cables, (Ziplok money, medical tape, biowipes, sun screen); Ziplok (gloves and watch cap); Ziplok (extra socks); bug juice; SpotX with case; plasma ligher/flashlight; headlamp; survival bag; fire starter; survival straw; Quikclot bandage; Ultralight Waterproof Medical Kit 9, stuff with extra stuff; splint.
  24. 24. The compass and mirror are tied off in the front left pocket of the day pack. I carry several power bars in the outside right mesh pocket I carry a water bottle in the outside left mesh pocket in addition to the canteen inside. Israeli bandage in First Aid kit. My cell phone is in my thigh pocket of my pants that Velcro’s shut. My leatherman and flashlight on my belt. I clip my Jeep key off to the ring on my pants (always clip you car key somewhere; do not leave loose in your pocket). Hiking boots is personal. I’ve found REI to be very useful in choosing gear. I’ve been a member since before they had physical stores. The people working there can recommend what you should have. I cover useful APPs in another slideshow, but I have several good locator ones. Also map apps. I’ve recently begun using the GAIA map App and find it to be the most complete. If you are going out of cell phone range have you map tiles preloaded.
  25. 25. Water Water purification/filter Lighter/Matches Solar power/battery/cables Food Emergency sleeping bag Rope Headlamp First Aid Kit/QuikClot Watch cap/boonie hat Gloves Knife Whistle/Signal mirror Map/compass Rain jacket Sunscreen Bug Juice Biowipes Checklist
  26. 26. I hope you find this useful. Certain environments will, of course, require you to adjust what you carry. I’m a big fan of checklists, because it sucks to be a couple of miles from the trail head and realize you forgot something. Also, as an added benefit, you now have a basic Grab-n-Go Bag!
  27. 27. More Free Information I constantly update free, downloadable slideshows like this on my web site for preparation and survival and other topics. I also have YouTube Survival videos. HERE Also, I conduct Area Study workshops for those interested in properly preparing for their specific circumstances.
  28. 28. The guide on the left is the complete preparation and survival guide. The one on the right is a pocket-size manual with just the survival portion. Useful in your Grab- n-Go bag, car and kitchen drawer. SURVIVAL GUIDES
  29. 29. New York Times bestselling author, is a graduate of West Point and former Green Beret. He’s had over 80 books published, including the #1 bestselling series Green Berets, Time Patrol, Area 51, and Atlantis. He’s sold over 5 million books. He was born in the Bronx and has traveled the world. He’s lived on an island off the east coast, an island off the west coast, in the Rocky Mountains, the Smoky Mountains and other places, including time in East Asia studying martial arts. He was an instructor and course developer/writer for years at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School which trains Green Berets and also runs the SERE school: Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape.