Here at ApexEx, we get to meet and guide all kinds of cool people from all over the world. First timers to experts, we have the opportunity to share our beautiful slice of Colorado with a multitude of different people who are at a multitude of different skill levels. Which made me start thinking…what about when people decide to venture off into nature on their own? I talked to a friend of mine who is a wilderness enthusiast, smart guy and definitely not a pro-outdoorsman. I asked him for some tips for the average guy or gal and what he thought were the important things for a successful outdoor experience.While possibly overkill, I think he has the right idea and I wanted to share it with you.So, from my friend John:
I’m that guy-the guy who has way too much gear. “He must be new at this”, is what you’re probably thinking. Well actually, no -I’m not new at this. I bring all this stuff because I never could shake that Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.”
I froze my butt off for 4 nights in a row once. Didn’t check the weather, didn’t bring enough clothes, and packed my summer sleeping bag. “It’s mid-May! How cold can it get? “I asked myself. Answer? 25, 28, 34, 31. My gear was good to 50 degrees, maybe 45. I kept kicking myself through all those sleepless nights – how could I not have been prepared for this?
I vowed “Never again!” and now have my LIST-and believe me when I tell you that I take all of this with me every time I start a new adventure. I don’t care if it is only a day trip, I don’t care if I think I’ll be back by noon – I bring them anyway.
Classic Ten Essentials
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- Extra clothing – hat for warmth and hat for shade or combo hat
- First-aid supplies –
- DON’T FORGET the toilet paper (again I learned the hard way!)
- Fire starter
- Extra food
Updated Ten Essential “Systems”
- Navigation (map and compass)
- Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
- Insulation (extra clothing)
- Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
- First-aid supplies
- Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
- Repair kit and tools
- Nutrition (extra food)
- Hydration (extra water bring 3-4x as much as you think you’ll need. Ever had to cancel a weekend trip b/c the water source had dried up? I have.)
- Emergency shelter – poncho/tarp/bivy bag / space blankets. You can freeze to death at 50 degrees Fahrenheit if it’s wet and windy.)
Maybe I’ve watched way too many “I shouldn’t be alive / the day I almost died”, but I’d rather be the guy that takes a ribbing for bringing too much stuff than be the idiot that wasn’t prepared.