Everybody should make some time in their lives to get out and experience the great outdoors. I think we all understand the general benefits of sunlight and fresh air, but a genuine outdoor adventure is something else.
Getting out into the woods or the mountains or going on a camping trip, whether it’s by yourself or with a group, experiencing nature to its fullest extent is something that can do a lot of good for you both physically and mentally.
It’s good for building up your immune system, getting a good dose of Vitamin D, it can help your body to acclimate to the changing seasons more easily and there are a couple of unexpected benefits too such as reduced stress and improved focus.
Getting away from electricity for a little while can also help you to really iron out certain issues that are bugging you without constantly being able to distract yourself. It’s easy to just watch TV or aimlessly browse the internet now instead of mentally dealing with important problems.
Spending a significant amount of time out in the wilderness can help with that. Having said all that, it’s wise to prepare yourself for your adventure. Avoiding danger is relatively straightforward, but if you are new to hiking or camping it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.
You can make a lot of headway in terms of getting yourself ready ahead of time by gathering the essentials you need to take with you. Let’s look at three very important things you should have for your great outdoor adventure:
1. First Aid Kit
Nobody goes out with the intention of getting seriously injured, but it’s still important to prepare yourself for the eventuality. You never know what could go wrong, even if you’re being extremely careful.
You could trip and break a limb or cause yourself a serious laceration, depending on where your adventure takes you, you could get bitten by a poisonous snake or insect, and in some extreme cases, perhaps even get attacked by a larger animal.
Of course in some of those cases you might need a bit more than a first aid kit, but even if you need substantial medical attention, having a first aid kit on you can help keep your injuries under control until that comes along.
And even putting aside the worst-case scenarios here, you’re likely to end up with scrapes, bruises, minor insect bites and minor brushes with nettles or poison ivy. A good first aid kit should make it easy for you to deal with all of these.
Making sure that you have items to tackle as many injuries as possible takes a bit of time, and you’ll end up having to carry around a slightly heavier pack to accommodate it all, but it will be worth it for sure.
2. Water Filter
Adventuring is thirsty work. The best time to go on an outdoor adventure is obviously in the summer, and that means that you’re going to need to stay hydrated. There’s no two ways about that.
And if you’re going to be out there for a period of several days, you need a lot of water and you can’t really just carry around enough plastic bottles of store-bought water. You’d need at least a dozen of them.
So the better choice is to use a portable water filter. These will use a specifically designed cartridge to catch bacteria, debris and protozoa from water, meaning that you can just collect it from a stream or a river.
There are many great portable water filters on the market, some work well on specific contaminants, some have a better filtration rate and some have more certifications, so factor all of that in when making a decision.
3. Waterproof Gear
And on the subject of water! Well, actually this isn’t a remotely similar point to the one that we just discussed. You need waterproof gear because no matter where you are, or what has been forecast for the time you’re out in the wild, you can never trust the weather.
It could literally rain at any point, and it could last for hours and hours. Even in the heart of summer, sometimes you just get unlucky and get caught in a storm and it’s something that you should prepare for.
If it rains and you are not in sight of shelter, and you don’t have any waterproof gear, getting soaked can have some major consequences. Aside from being uncomfortable, wet clothing has significantly reduced insulative abilities and so you could get pretty sick in the middle of nowhere.
This could be disastrous, and so the best way to prevent it is to invest in waterproof gear. A jacket is obvious, but you can also get waterproof pants, socks, covers for your pack and I would get the right kind of hiking boots to deal with wet terrain too.
Most of this stuff is generally nice and light so it shouldn’t be too cumbersome to carry it around with you when you’re hiking.
I hope that all of the dangers we’ve talked about here haven’t put you off going on an outdoor adventure, because despite it all, it’s still an incredible experience. And one that you can be well prepared for ahead of time, just by getting your hands on some essentials.