Map, Compass & GPS

Map, Compass & GPS
Wild flowers along Fall Creek on the way to the Green Lakes - Oregon

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What I Carry In The Backcountry

During nearly 45 years of wandering around the world’s backcountry I have developed a collection of equipment that has frequently saved my bacon! Equipment that, on more than one occasion, changed a potentially life threatening situation into an inconvenient night out.

By Peter Kummerfeldt

High tech gadgets are no substitute for proper training and preparedness! The only time your equipment is important is when you are about to die! (Pantenburg photo)

Some would call my collection of gear a “survival kit.” The mountain men of the Rocky Mountain West would call it a “possibles kit. I call the collection “my emergency gear” and always have it with me – what good is your emergency kit if you don’t have it along?

Over the years the contents of my kit have changed. As new equipment came along that was better and lighter than the gear I used it replaced the old.

Despite the changes in the individual pieces of equipment, the categories of equipment I carry have not changed – there are those must have items; there are pieces of equipment that would be sorely missed if they were not available and then there are those pieces of equipment that you would like to have with you but if you didn’t, the world would not come to an end.

While it’s hard to justify carrying equipment that doesn’t get used often there is some equipment that has to be carried for that once in a life situation when your life hangs in the balance – these core items include shelter, fire making and signaling equipment.

In my pockets: Some things just belong in your pockets – a folding knife for example. A bandanna handkerchief, a piece of equipment that has a thousand uses, would be another valuable item, Chapped lips are a constant aggravation – carry one of the lip balms with a SPF factor of at least 15 with you and use it often. I would always have a metal match with me with which to start a fire. Carry those things in your pockets that you need quickly and use often.

Then, because of circumstance, you were separated from all of your equipment bags you would at least have a few basic items with you that you could use to save yourself.

To read the rest of the article go here.

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