Last but not least…… (Ten Essentials #10)
The last thing on my personal list of Ten Essentials is a small ditty bag that I think of as my “McGuyver Bag”. In addition to other Essentials like fire starter, a lighter, and a head lamp, I carry a small assortment of things that I might need to repair my gear and keep myself safe.
Number one in the bag is duct tape. I wrap a long strip of it around a small pencil so that it is always accessible. The pencil has come in handy many times when I have needed to leave messages for other hikers in my party, and unlike a pen, will always work. If the tip breaks off? Well, that is just another use for my knife, right? J As for the duct tape, I use it to repair gear, cover hot spots on my feet and close up tears in my rain gear. It really is true….you can do a million things with duct tape!!
The other thing that always lives in my backpack is dental floss. I take it out of the plastic box that it comes in and throw it in the ditty bag, where it takes up no room and weighs next to nothing. Why dental floss? Because it is really, really strong and can be used to repair just about anything. Add some duct tape and you might just be able to save the world!! J
No emergency kit is complete without a space blanket. We have talked about these before, but you truly cannot beat them for warmth and, in a pinch, extra shelter. My tent site once flooded in on a cold November night, drenching everything I owned, (including my down sleeping bag). I spent the night shivering wrapped in my black trash bags and space blanket. Would I have actually died without them? I have no idea, but they truly made a difference in my experience that night!
Finally, I always carry iodine tablets for an extra source of water purification. I usually don’t believe in carrying more than one item for a particular purpose, but when it comes to starting a fire and making water safe to drink, I always carry backup. Iodine tablets and fire starter are just too small and light to not carry.
You might want to extra medication that you are taking to your emergency bag, as well as small things that you personally find necessary. The most important thing is that you carry these along with the other 10 Essentials each and every time you go out on a hiking trail. Like they say, “an ounce of prevention” and all that. Carrying these items and taking the extra precautions listed here go a long ways towards showing yourself and the rest of the hiking community that you belong out there and that you are doing everything in your power to be a responsible outdoors woman.
What did I leave out? What else do you carry in your emergency bag?
Send me a message and let me know!
Anna aka mud butt