10 Backcountry Essentials: Don't Wish You Had These Come Crunch Time

10 Backcountry Essentials: Don’t Wish You Had These Come Crunch Time

By May 12, 2017May 15th, 2017Featured, Hiking & Camping Gear, Top 25

top 10 essentials for the backcountry

Good Luck Is Great But Hard To Depend On

– The 10 Backcountry Essentials can save your day and maybe even your life. Whether you’re planning a quick jaunt up a neighborhood trail on foot or bike or planning a multi-day trek deep into a wilderness, these 10 items are your essentials.

No one plans on “being stuck out there an extra day or two, get slammed by a freak snowstorm in July, slip on a mossy log or tweak your ankle, or take an unexpected swim during an icy river crossing, having the right stuff – and the smarts to know how to use it – will help you get out of any bind.”*

The 10 Essentials are the perfect Murphy’s Law application. If you have them you may never use them but if you don’t have them –  in all likelihood one day you will be wishing you did have these 10 essentials in your pack.

Ski Haus has all these essentials covered in several different options. Pick and choose what makes the most sense for yourself and carry them with you on every backcountry adventure you take.

Shelter. This can be either a tent, an emergency blanket, or a tarp. Ski Haus carries tents from Nemo and Big Agnes and we have emergency blankets and tarps from Adventure Medical

Fire. Fire can be either a camp stove or the materials to make a campfire. Backpacking stoves are tiny and efficient and are easy to carry in a pack. Ski Haus offers stoves from MSR, Optimus, Jet Boil, and Solo Stove. If you want to carry the bare minimum to make a campfire pack stormproof matches from UCO or flint and tinder from Light My Fire.

Extra Clothing. Even just one extra insulating layer with a hardshell jacket can make all the difference in the world. Maye a knit hat and even some gloves and a fresh pair of socks can make all the difference. Crazy, weather is becoming normal and is no longer an anomaly. Some of our favorite brands for summer hiking and camping are Patagonia, ArcTeryx, Marmot, and Icebreaker.

– Hydration. Drinking water and staying hydrated is key. If you run out of water because of an unexpected delay you are about to experience Webster’s definition of misery. Take plenty of water for your trip but also carry the tools to either filter, purify, and collect more water.

Ski Haus carries filters from Katadyn, Sawyer, MSR, and Lifestraw. We also stock purifiers from Grayl and Steripen. Plus, we have purification tablets from Potable Aqua. Carry any of these options with you and some kind of bottle or container to collect water.

Food. Take plenty of food. Personally, I always take too much food rather than risk not having enough. You’re burning tons of calories in the backcountry. You have to make sure to replace those calories with good food.

Ski Haus stocks a great selection of dehydrated meal options from Good to Go, Alpine Aire, Mountain House, Backpacker’s Pantry, and Mountain Standard. We also offer plenty of energy food and hydration drink options including Nuun, Skratch, Tailwind, Kate’s, Honey Stinger, Cliff Bar and Sweetwood Cattle CO beef jerky.

Navigation. Call me old school but I like to carry a map and a compass. I know there are plenty of apps and GPS devices on the market but the “what if” I drop it? Or “what if” the batteries die? Plan ahead and be prepared. Ski Haus has Silva compasses and maps from National Geographic, Latitude 40, Sky Terrain, Beartooth Publishing, National Forest Service Maps, USGS maps, River Maps, and tons more. Buy a map to see where you’re going. Don’t buy a map to see where you were…

Knives or Multi-tools. Unless you’re hiking with MacGyver bring a knife or multi- tool. Or if you are hiking with MacGyver bring a knife or mult-tool and save him the hassle of making one… These are good for removing a splinter, pounding a homemade stake with the handle, prying, scraping, open a can, dig, screwdriver, notching, and more. Set up an emergency shelter, cut stakes, make kindling, or slice your homemade backcountry pizza! Ski Haus sells Leatherman, Helle Knives, Light My Fire, Spyderco, Victorinox, Hultafors, Opinel, and Barebones.

Illumination. When day turns to night and light to dark having a headlamp, or a lantern, or even a single match might make the difference between finding your trail or not… Ski Haus stocks headlamps and lanterns from Black Diamond and Petzl. We also offer camp lights from Luci, Nebo, Barbones, UCO, and Eno. A little light can make a big difference.

First Aid. From a simple splinter, to a significant cut, to something much worse – having the ability to offer relief and reduce pain is a wonderful thing. Typically, I’m not worried about my self but what about the person I’m hiking or camping with. Will I be able to offer comfort and aid? With a 1st Aid Kit the answer will be yes.

Sun Protection and Sunglasses. If you haven’t heard by now that prolonged exposure to the sun is not a good thing, well, here’s another chance for you. When you’re at altitude the sun is even stronger and sometimes even meaner than if you are at sea level. Sun burn to both your skin and eyes is damage that is easily avoided. Stay comfortable. Protect yourself. Plan ahead.

* The 10 Essentials of Outdoor Gear. What you need to Stay Alive by Falcon Books.


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