Whether you're embarking on a thru-hike like Te Araroa Trail or just a little day trip, these are the essential systems to pack for safety.
Sun protection: Dehydration and burns can happen quickly and in any season.
Nutrition: Pack calorie-dense food with an extra snak, meal or day’s worth just in case.
Navigation: Analogue, digital, or a combo – having backups is always a good plan.
Fire starter: Always keep a few options handy.
Communication: Multipl forms based on remoteness and risk should be considered.
First aid: Build a kit based on common and worst case scenarios.
Insulation: Always pack layers for colder than you think you’ll need.
Hydration: Lots of ways to filter water and all are better than giardia. Tabs are a great small back up.
Illumination: Cellphone light doesn’t cut it.
Shelter: On multi-days this one seems obvious but don’t forget emergency shelters on day tramps. A foil bivvy or tarp work well.
Tool and repair: Spare parts and basic tools go a long way.