How to Make Sure to Pack Wilderness-Survival Gear

How to Make Sure to Pack Wilderness-Survival Gear
Wilderness-survival gear is going to be of use to you in an emergency only if you know how to use it. But even more important than that, you can't use it if you don't have it along. The key to making sure you've packed your wilderness-survival gear before every single trip is repetition, repetition, repetition. The more you make it a habit, the more likely that you won't have to think about packing that emergency gear before every trip--you'll do it naturally.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Keep your wilderness-survival gear in one place, in a package that's easy to fit into your pack. For example, you might keep it all in a gallon-size Ziploc bag or a clearly labeled waterproof stuff sack.
Step 2
Leave your packaged wilderness-survival gear in your pack at all times. This way you never have to worry about remembering it--it's always there.
Step 3
Consider creating more than one wilderness-survival gear package if you have more than one pack. This way you will be able to have a survival-gear package in each pack at all times. You can also customize each gear package--for example, leaving appropriate wilderness-survival items for a day hike in your small day pack, while you may need a more-extensive wilderness-survival package in your large multiday backpacking backpack.
Step 4
Make double-checking your wilderness-survival gear a constant part of your packing routine. If you're a list maker, make sure that wilderness-survival gear is high on your list of things to pack or double-check. If you always pack the night before a trip, make sure your wilderness-survival gear is packed along with everything else--don't leave it until the last minute before departure. Making this a habit will make it much easier to do consistently.
Step 5
Do a last-minute double-check of all essential items before actually embarking on your trip. This is your last chance to catch any forgotten items, including wilderness-survival gear.
Step 6
Replenish or replace any wilderness-survival items you use immediately upon returning to civilization. This is the best way to ensure that what you usually keep in your wilderness-survival package will always be there.

Tips & Warnings

Always packing your wilderness-survival gear in the same place in your pack makes it especially easy to double-check that it's there. Since the goal with wilderness survival gear is to have it easily accessible in the case of an emergency but safely out of the way the rest of the time, a pack with a full side-zip access panel or a front access panel is perfect. This way you can store your survival gear in the bottom of the pack where it's out of the way, but you can still access it immediately through the front or side zip.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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