Posted on December 10 2019
The first thing you learn when you start prepping as a hiker is that you never know when things are going to hit the fan, leaving you wishing you were prepared. Most people who start prepping can get caught up in this idea, though, and stop doing the things they love in the event that a disaster strikes and they’re away from their homestead.
Here's five prepping tools you absolutely must have as a hiker.
1. A Solid Knife
You may think that you should carry a firearm on your person when hiking in the event that you might need it. The truth is, though, a gun is only useful as long as it has bullets. It would be a huge waste of space to pack an arsenal’s worth of ammunition, so we can all agree that it’s best to avoid relying on firearms. You’ll be much better served to rely on a solid knife, one that you know and are comfortable using.
A solid knife will also provide you with a host of benefits. A knife can be fashioned into a spear and used for hunting game in the event that you run out of food. A knife with great ergonomics is also invaluable if you were to end up in a situation where you need to defend yourself. You can also use a knife to fashion a shelter, if the need presented itself.
2. Navigation Tools
The availability of technology has made GPS devices much more affordable than they were even five years ago. It may seem tempting, then, to purchase a decent GPS and rely on it during your hiking trips. While a GPS can pinpoint your exact location without error, they do have limitations. Bad weather or dead spots may prevent you from getting the signal needed to pinpoint your location. There’s also the problem of battery life, because when the battery dies that GPS is no more useful than looking at the direction of moss on a tree.
Purchase a quality compass and maps of the area where you will be hiking. These tools do not have the limitations that GPS devices can have in bad weather. They also don’t rely on batteries, and can be used for years properly cared for.
3. Water Treatment Supplies
If doomsday hits, you may not be able to make it back home as soon as you had expected. You may end up stuck in the wilderness for a time, as a result of being unable to travel or use public transportation. Being stuck on the trail can result in you running out of the water you had packed, leaving you tasked with getting clean water in order to survive.
You can tackle water treatment in a variety of ways, and which one you pick will depend totally on your choice. There are a variety of filters on the market that can be used to filter impurities out of water. You could also choose to use tablets that can be dropped into a bottle or pot filled with water that needs to be purified. There are also drops that can be added to water, like the aforementioned tablets, that can be used to purify water.
4. Edible Plant Index
This tool would be used in the same situation where you’d be using water treatment supplies. If you’re going on a hike, you’re probably only going to be packing enough food to last the amount of time you expect to be out on the trail. Part of being prepared, though, is being ready to handle a situation where you don’t have that food. While hunting is one method to acquire food, it’s more difficult to hunt game than it is to find edible plants.
Don’t think, though, that you can just buy a plant index and have all you need to go out and eat wild plants. Foraging requires a lot of research and knowledge, it’s a skill that takes time to learn. Photos of plants can look similar in a plant index, and a mistake in identification could cost you your life. With practice, however, you’ll be able to identify plants that could provide you with food that would keep you alive until help arrives.
5. A First Aid Kit
It can be easy to forgo a first aid kit when you’re only planning to be out on the trail for the afternoon. We’ve really been trying to hammer home, though, that you can never be sure when a doomsday situation is going to hit. Of all the times that it could happen, it’s equally likely that it would happen at the exact time you’re out on a hike without supplies.
We all know that being out in the wilderness increases our risk of getting an injury, like a snake bite or even just a slip and fall. Keeping a well-stocked first aid kit can help you deal with these injuries while you wait for medical help to arrive.
When deciding what you’re going to include in your first aid kit, remember that the items you bring are only as useful as your ability to use them. You should bring items that can be used to treat basic injuries and illnesses, like sprains, cuts, and infected wounds. These skills will be enough to keep you and your hiking partners safe while you wait for more intensive medical help to arrive.
Being a prepper doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy hobbies like hiking. In fact, spending time in the wilderness is a great way to practice some of the skills you need for disaster preparedness. With these tools in your pack, you’ll be able to enjoy hiking without having to be worried about what might happen if doomsday strikes.