Everyone should have a day pack that they keep near at hand at all times. This is the kit you grab when you go into the woods, on a hike, etc. The size should be about 1000 cubic inches of space, plenty of room for the essentials. The pack can be a backpack - preferably a hydration pack or a waist pack. It should be well made to allow for years of use and comfortable enough to wear all day. Below are a few examples of what is available. The Camelbak Hawg, bottom left, is the most expensive but it does have the ability to have additional US military MOLLE and ALICE pouches attached.
If your pack does not have a built in hydration bladder, such as the Camelbaks, then you should have at least two quart bottles or canteens.
In your pack you should keep a few key items:
- small first aid kit
- small mess kit, or canteen/cup/stove (see Basic Pack on the left)
- water filter/purifier (see Basic Pack on the left)
- poncho and liner for wet weather and shelter (see Basic Pack on the left)
- a compass
- one pair of underwear
- two pairs of socks
- one T-shirt, synthetic
- one pound hatchet or machete (see Basic Pack on the left)
- some lightweight rope such as parachute cord
- 3 MRE or dehydrated/freeze dried meals
- a basic survival kit (signalling, fire starting, etc - see below)
- windbreaker or lightweight sweater or fleece
- multi-tool, locking folder knife & 6 inch fixed blade knife
- toilet paper
- small bar or bottle of soap
- face cloth and/or hand towel
- a "Sportsman's Space/Thermal Blanket" is optional (see Sleeping Gear on the left)
- lightweight, compressable pants and long sleeve shirt are optional
- some snack type foods are optional)
The Pocket Survival Kit available at Adventure Medical Kits, made by Doug Ritter, is one of the better pocket survival kits out there. Below are two pictures of the kit. See Doug Ritter's site for more information on this kit along with a lot of supplemental information.
You may want to keep a few other items in your pack if room permits. Each person will have certain things they like to have with them when they are heading into the forest - some will take a small shovel and folding saw while others will include a tarp. When you are in the wilderness or just traveling around town accidents and emergencies can come up, some version of this kit should be with you at all times possible.
The goal of this pack and the items contained in it are to be light enough that you keep them with you at all times while providing the basic essentials to stay alive should some unexpected situation come up and you have to spend a night or two in the forest.
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