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Summer is almost here, and many of us are ready to finally get out and enjoy the outdoors. For some of us, though, that enjoyment goes far beyond a quick dip in the pool or the occasional barbeque.


If you’re ready for some rugged, backcountry adventures this summer, you’ll want to take some extra steps to make sure that you are fully prepared and ready for any situation.


Trail Mix and Meal Bars

It’s a good idea to have food on hand that doesn’t require heating. Trail mix and meal bars allow for a quick, healthy, and energy-rich option that can be eaten quickly almost anywhere. When choosing a meal bar, make sure that it has a good range of macronutrients to keep your energy high and sustainable. Trail mix should consist of a mixture of nuts, dark chocolate or candies, and dried fruits to give you the calories and carbs you’ll need to keep going.

A Compass

A compass? But, there is an app for that! Sure, our phones have given us easy access to maps and even a compass in the palm of your hand. But what if you can’t get a signal, or if your battery runs out? A good, old fashioned compass will still do the trick. It takes up almost no room in your pack and may be the navigational insurance you need to help you find your way home.

Woodman’s Pal

The Woodman’s Pal multipurpose tool is the perfect companion for time in the backcountry. This land clearing hand tool comes in handy whether you’re using the sickle hook to cut and pull vines and sprouts out of your way, or the long edge to cut branches or saplings for a fire, this is the best survival tool you could have with you for camping and hiking.

Water Filtration

None of us would head out for time in the wild without water. But it’s hard to plan for exactly how much clean water you’ll need, and there is no excuse to not be prepared when venturing out into the wilderness. A filtration system is small enough to tuck easily into your pack. And with a gallon of water weighing in at roughly 8 pounds, it’s a lighter option than carrying all of the water you might need.

Emergency Blanket and Shelter

You might be intending to head out for only a few hours, but nature and circumstances may have other plans for you. Emergency blankets pack down well and can keep you warm if the weather suddenly changes. You should also consider a bivvy or bivouac shelter. A bivvy can pack down small enough to hold in the palm of your hand and can make an unexpected night in the woods much more comfortable.

Cooking Pot and Metal Water Bottle

Like a Woodman’s Pal, a cooking pot is a multipurpose survival tool. You can, of course, heat your food in it. But you can also use it to heat water for extra warmth if the weather should turn, or to hold your filtered water. Equally handy, a metal water bottle can be put over a fire to boil water or heat it – something a plastic water bottle can’t do.


When you’re preparing for the worst, a flashlight is a no-brainer. It is, of course, a handy device if you should get stuck out after sunset. But even before that, a flashlight can help you navigate a particularly dark section of backcountry (with less risk of twisting an ankle) or light the way if a summer rainstorm should sweep in and blot out the sun. 


Time spent outdoors while the weather is pleasant is one of the most rewarding things you can do with your summer downtime. Taking along a few small supplied will give you the peace of mind that you’ll be prepared no matter where your adventure takes you.