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  1. #1

    Default Top 10 safety items you should carry in your backpack

    Safety is so important in the backcountry and it's always a big dilemma for me deciding what to carry and, what to leave behind.

    Take a look at this backcountry safety gear list blog post and let me know how you feel about this list.

    Have I missed anything? Too much? Too little?

    thanks!

  2. #2

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    A way to keep warm, dry, hydrated, and get found.

  3. #3
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    A container to collect / carry / drink from. Possibly something to purify also.

  4. #4

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    Your thread makes it sound like you're talking to Backpackers but really you're more focused on Dayhikers, a completely different animal. Backpackers carry alot of stuff and most of it could be considered survival items---tent/tarp, bag, pad, food, water, stove, headlamp etc etc etc.

    Dayhikers go from nothing but flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt to guys with a full daypack containing the items you mention.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliciaG View Post
    Safety is so important in the backcountry and it's always a big dilemma for me deciding what to carry and, what to leave behind.

    Take a look at this backcountry safety gear list blog post and let me know how you feel about this list.

    Have I missed anything? Too much? Too little?

    thanks!
    1. radio - provides a false sense of security; replace with leave your trip itinerary with someone.

    5. Down jacket - replace with sufficient insulation layers to survive the expected overnight lows; in case you are benighted

    7. Map or GPS - replace with map and compass and the skill/experience to use them properly

    10. Fire Starter - add the skill/experience to create and sustain afire in the expected conditions

    ADD hard shell (rain protection) required to keep insulating layers dry while moving.

    Items I consider required - extra set of wool socks, wool hat, wool liner gloves

  6. #6
    Registered User Donde's Avatar
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    Why do people still suggest old school fire starters? A bic lighter is cheap effective and reliable, just pop it in a ziplock or someother waterproof storage (say the plastic case that came with your PocketRocket perhaps, and your good to go. Tom accurately points out having the ability to start and maintain a fire in challenging conditions is esential for any of this to be useful.

  7. #7

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    I like the premise.

    However, the photos are of big and bigger items. Are you kidding? Are you nuts?

    If I had the skill set to make a slick Blog format website, I would have illustrations of gear I recommend at my website, specifically, a lumbar pack or sling pack or a fashion day pack with useful lightweight and low volume gear for an overnight bivy w/shelter or w/out shelter, ready-to-eat food, and add the simple out-and-back "keychain" GPS units.

    For example, the lightweight sleeping quilts available, now, are beautiful enough to use at home as well.

    The CCF foam can circle around the contents of an otherwise shapeless lightweight daypack. The bivy is low-volume. The excellent value lightweight and low volume "extra clothing" packs well.

    I do hope the dayhikers or overnighters or weekend hikers that use their SPOT you obviously think substitutes for every problem get a big fine! Maybe jail!

    I advocated so hard to get PLB's for "the lower 48" and not only Alaska, or pilots, so I feel "emotionally invested" in the matter of abuse.

    I know people won't purchase maps at national parks; it is really something if they look at the big relief map model.

    More affordable "keychain" backtrack GPS units, please.

    If they can responsibly "make fire" with a backpacker stove, good. Otherwise, handwarmer packets strategically placed in pockets.

    If fire, a reflective surface "rescue" sheet to reflect the heat of the fire back to you.

    Yes, "beginners" don't know how to do stuff.

    But, they need to start "somewhere".

    Dayhikers, tourists and travelers, will not purchase a big honking backpack and a big honking first aid kit to "dayhike" away from the parking lot at the national park or a day hike, or out-and-back hike from another public signage trailhead.
    Last edited by Connie; 02-19-2015 at 17:15.

  8. #8

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    Sounds like a good list to get people to buy things...

    Equipment can not replace knowledge.

  9. #9
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    A quick review of this poster's history will speak for itself.

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    A compass would be nice. So would water purification.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by at_travis View Post
    Equipment can not replace knowledge.
    At one time this was true. It no longer is the case with our technology.

  12. #12

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    I helped to an extent in a major rescue, involving the first arrest in a national park.

    I assure you, those young people had the best of the best equipment.

    Knowledge is everything, except perhaps wisdom.

  13. #13

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    The radio should be programmed with NOAA weather stations. Monitor them regularly and you will know when storms are about to hit. If you plan to use VHF/UHF radios, you need to pass the Technician test and be licensed by the FCC. This is a good idea even for urban life (in case of disaster) and not very hard. If you do this you can use repeaters along the mountains to communicate. Otherwise with just a cell phone you are SOL because of poor signal and battery limitations.

    Don't rely on a GPS or a silly watch. Gadgets. Geez. If you care about your life carry a real map and study it every day.

    A down jacket but no mention of decent rain gear? We used to joke about 100 lb down sleeping bags once they got wet.

  14. #14

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    For awhile, REI had a nice topo maps for that region and a few highlights of big mountains, then added a topo map computer. Now, you don't see that promoted.

    I like it when I see an outdoors store have maps, national park maps, road maps, topo maps, river access maps.

    Having maps in the store heightens awareness of maps.

    Those cute little keychain GPS units with few waypoints back to the parking lot are so nice for the dayhiker.

    I wish there were many more, like keychain temperature guage-compass available in practically every outdoor store.

    I also wish the price would come down so there would be no excuse to try it out, first down to $19.95 then diwn to $5.99

    I think even tourists would purchase those. The gift shop clerk could go over the instructions with their customer.

    So much better than nothing.

    Here's one: $90
    http://news.discovery.com/tech/gear-...ychain-gps.htm

    Here's one: $79.95
    http://m.hammacher.com/Product/Defau...8&refsku=75968

    Here's Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Pocke.../dp/B00MYZ2QOW
    Last edited by Connie; 02-20-2015 at 17:50.

  15. #15

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    That is good, but I think mine is better. And I have a full "shameless plug" disclosure. Even if it's at the very bottom Just saying, I don't think anyone with experience should be telling those without experience to carry a gps or a map. IMHO, everyone should still have a map.

    http://demeters-dish.blogspot.com/20...ssentials.html
    Demeter's Blog

    Demeter's Video Channel

    "What is a weed? A plant who's virtues have not yet been discovered" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Connie View Post
    I helped to an extent in a major rescue, involving the first arrest in a national park. I assure you, those young people had the best of the best equipment. Knowledge is everything, except perhaps wisdom.
    Well said Connie. I used to help volunteer with SAR here in Colorado and we were frequently retrieving a wide array of fools with the nicest, most expensive of equipment, equipment most of us on the squad could never afford.

    Knowledge is knowing that an avocado is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    Of course, the best sort of knowledge (and perhaps wisdom) comes only with experience and that takes a willingness to learn and therefore make some mistakes en route. What we see up here are those who skip the steps and go straight to the big, life-threatening errors. Heck, a month or so ago we had a guy trying to cross Trail Ridge Road (12,000+ feet) on foot with little more than summer street clothes and a plastic bag of groceries (here). Luckily, most of us aren't that dumb (or suicidal).

    The ten "essentials" I value are:
    1) Wisdom (though I'm not quite there myself)
    2) Knowledge of thyself (strengths, weaknesses, limits)
    3) Knowledge of the goal and all that it takes
    4) Knowledge of Ma Nature (terrain, weather, potential weather, etc)
    5) Fitness (structural, aerobic, metabolic)
    6) Ego (confidence in your ABILITIES, not your capacities**)
    7) Lack of ego (i.e., a willingness to "fail" by retreating when needed, etc)
    8) Water access and food supplies (regardless of metabolic fitness)
    9) Knowledge of equipment (and Nature's equipment)
    10) Equipment (clothing, fire starter, shelter, map, compass, H2O filter, etc)

    **Ability is measurable; capacity is a condition

    I personally don't look at thru-hiking or hiking as risky propositions, though there's obviously some risk involved (just as there is in life, which always ends up the same regardless). What we see up here is an inverse relationship: that the risk decreases as the wisdom and knowledge and fitness increase. Historically we've seen that equipment is not a panacea like its manufacturers want you to believe.

  17. #17
    Registered User Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    Well said Connie. I used to help volunteer with SAR here in Colorado and we were frequently retrieving a wide array of fools with the nicest, most expensive of equipment, equipment most of us on the squad could never afford.

    Knowledge is knowing that an avocado is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    Of course, the best sort of knowledge (and perhaps wisdom) comes only with experience and that takes a willingness to learn and therefore make some mistakes en route. What we see up here are those who skip the steps and go straight to the big, life-threatening errors. Heck, a month or so ago we had a guy trying to cross Trail Ridge Road (12,000+ feet) on foot with little more than summer street clothes and a plastic bag of groceries (here). Luckily, most of us aren't that dumb (or suicidal).

    The ten "essentials" I value are:
    1) Wisdom (though I'm not quite there myself)
    2) Knowledge of thyself (strengths, weaknesses, limits)
    3) Knowledge of the goal and all that it takes
    4) Knowledge of Ma Nature (terrain, weather, potential weather, etc)
    5) Fitness (structural, aerobic, metabolic)
    6) Ego (confidence in your ABILITIES, not your capacities**)
    7) Lack of ego (i.e., a willingness to "fail" by retreating when needed, etc)
    8) Water access and food supplies (regardless of metabolic fitness)
    9) Knowledge of equipment (and Nature's equipment)
    10) Equipment (clothing, fire starter, shelter, map, compass, H2O filter, etc)

    **Ability is measurable; capacity is a condition

    I personally don't look at thru-hiking or hiking as risky propositions, though there's obviously some risk involved (just as there is in life, which always ends up the same regardless). What we see up here is an inverse relationship: that the risk decreases as the wisdom and knowledge and fitness increase. Historically we've seen that equipment is not a panacea like its manufacturers want you to believe.
    Now that is the best 10 essentials I have seen! Perfect!!!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by AliciaG View Post
    Safety is so important in the backcountry and it's always a big dilemma for me deciding what to carry and, what to leave behind.

    Take a look at this backcountry safety gear list blog post and let me know how you feel about this list.

    Have I missed anything? Too much? Too little?

    thanks!
    OK, this is just a shameless plug to get amazon referral kickbacks... Next..

  19. #19
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliciaG View Post
    Safety is so important in the backcountry and it's always a big dilemma for me deciding what to carry and, what to leave behind.

    Take a look at this backcountry safety gear list blog post and let me know how you feel about this list.

    Have I missed anything? Too much? Too little?

    thanks!
    #11: Mossberg 500.
    Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

  20. #20
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    Why would they get a fine or jail for using a spot?

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