Packing your rucksack? What are the essentials?

When it comes to an adventure, the preparation stage is crucial. In our last post we discussed what devices and apps we recommend, here we will discuss some small essential items that can be really beneficial if it came to dealing with a bad situation.

  1. Whistle. Don’t rely on the whistle that is incorporated into your rucksacks buckle, get yourself an actual whistle. The orange safety/warning whistles are the best to get. If you’re ever in need doing 6 long blasts in the space of a minute then stay quiet for a minute. You’re wanting to hear 3 blasts back. Do this back and forth until you’re located. Remember, you may be the one who has to respond to the whistle.
  2. Emergency Blanket. So many uses and it is so light, no excuse to pack a couple. They can be used in many ways, starting off with First Aid; it can be used to wrap up an injured person to keep them warm. Secondly it can be used as an emergency shelter to get out of the elements, set it up as a lean-to shelter you’ll get protection from the wind and the thermal properties will help keep you warm. Finally, it can be used as part of a location action plan, it’ll reflect the sun as part of a tinsel tree or use it with a head torch to reflect the light into the sky.
  3. Survival Bag. Similar to an emergency blanket it has a good few uses. First of all as a survival bag which can be put round an individual and their bag to protect them from the environment. It can also be cut and opened up and made into an emergency lean-to shelter.
  4. Cylumes. Both small and large are useful to pack in your rucksack. They can be utilised in a location action plan to reflect off of emergency blankets at night time. They are also useful for putting on or near your shelters especially natural shelters to help when you go away from your shelter to make sure you don’t get disorientated. Cylumes are also a great fire ignition; some ways are cutting open a cylume pouring some of it onto a cotton ball then lighting it or as a fire is struggling to catch pouring a small amount of cylume onto it.
  5. Head torch – This should be in every rucksack when going out as you never know what could happen and when you might find yourself out when the night comes in. You can also use a headtorch as part of a location action plan. Place it on a small tripod and reflect it off of an emergency blanket and it will reflect a beam into the sky. A top top is when you’re storing your headtorch turn one or more of the batteries around so it won’t turn on in your bag and potentially die. Also, always carry spare batteries.
  6. Small pocket knife/multi tool – Remember the best knife you can have is the one you have on you. Although you may be carrying a knife, it is always good to have a small pocket knife/multi tool in your rucksack especially as with multi tools it has various sections that you may find useful when out and about.
  7. Battery pack – Mobile devices are useful tools and we do strongly recommend not relying on them however carrying a battery pack can enhance how useful they can be and for how long.
  8. Paracord – Paracord is very useful as in one metre of paracord you have a total of 8 metres (depending on the paracord some have different amount of innings) of useful paracord as you can pull out the innings of the paracord to give you more material.
  9. Small First Aid Kit – Depending on the activity it is always useful to carry a first aid kit, even if it is a small one. Being able to apply basic first aid to injuries could really help avoid ending up in a survival situation.
  10. Lighter/Matches – there is no cheating in survival, don’t leave it to rubbing two sticks together to make a fire. Always carry a way of lighting a fire and even a back up method.