This list is intended to give you the equipment you should always have on hand for any of your hikes or any other nature outings. These 10 objects take up little space, do not weigh heavily and are almost always used. They can potentially save you the day in the event of a glitch (by the way do you know what to do if you get lost?)
In most cases, you will need more gear, and depending on duration and environment, the list will grow on a case-by-case basis, but these, in my opinion, are among the essentials that form the basis of all outputs. So we all make mistakes, we all have oversights, but those are the ones you have to have.
Mobile phone charged + battery
No need to demonstrate it, it is perhaps the only object in the list that no one will forget. I would tend to recommend the old, basic, rugged “dumbphones”, like the old Nokia 3310 or the Samsung Solid B2700 (waterproof and rugged), which have a very long battery life, and which allow you to have a switched on phone with you. permanently. They even often receive better than smartphones it seems. If you have an extra battery, great! Smartphones are also suitable but you will have to keep them dry and disable the data to be sure that the batteries hold.
Lighter, matches, fire starter…
An ordinary, good quality (BIC) lighter. Storm lighters have the advantage of working in all weathers, but hey, we’re not going to quibble. We also have the fire steel option, effective and rudimentary in all weathers, but it’s only useful if you know how to use it.
A water bag (camelback)
Rather better than a rigid water bottle. It has the advantage of having a larger capacity (often 2L instead of 1L), of having a hose and a nozzle that can be taken out of the bag so as not to have to open it all the time and a flexible shape that makes it take up less space. On the other hand, be careful to close the cap and the nozzle properly, to avoid flooding or unnecessary loss of water. Most of the water you find outside is treatable but not drinkable as it is, so you can add a chemical treatment like micropures to it to avoid problems. Another advantage: the pellets contain silver ions which retain water for 6 months, preventing your water bottle from going green, or your water bladder pipes from molding.
Yes a poncho. A poncho is a rectangle of waterproof canvas with a hole and a hood in the middle. And it has eyelets (holes to pass the string and make shelters) in the corners. That’s what you need… This poncho will protect you from heavy rain, serve as a makeshift shelter, protect you from the dampness of the ground, etc… It’s a super versatile item.
Your garment must be able to remain insulating even when wet, and for that nothing beats fleece or
synthetic-filled down jackets. Always take one without exception even when it’s hot outside. We know when we’re leaving but not always when we’re coming back.
A knife with a fixed blade is often more practical than a penknife or a folding knife. It’s generally stronger, more manageable and easier to use for all the actions you want it to do.
No need to buy a fancy knife. The simpler it is, the better. A mora will suffice perfectly, and is undoubtedly the best compromise weight / price / ergonomics / robustness. Versions made by Mora of Sweden for the “Bahco” brand that we find are affordable and of very good quality. In any case, you should take a knife of reasonable size, without counter-edged or other protrusions on the back of the blade.
A “heavy” survival blanket
Grab a decent survival blanket! The best are from the brand “Grabber”, they weigh around 300g, have eyelets on each corner and are big enough to wrap around nicely. Like the poncho, these can be used for many different things (unlike the simple blanket
The paracord is a light, strong and elastic nylon rope. The same kind as the one used to mount your tarp if you have one. Take a few meters of paracord or other nylon string (small halyard, climbing cord, etc.) which will be used to stretch your poncho or your survival blanket if you need to take shelter, for example.
A map and a compass
Take a baseplate compass (even a basic model does 99% of the job) and the map that goes with it. Take some time to study the terrain you are going to.
A little food
Energy bars, dried fruits, hazelnuts…