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A short little guide to the 11 essentials

Image of the May 2022 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
May 2022 Issue

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.