When the trail disappears and worry begins to set in, a proper map and compass provide an old-fashioned but reliable solution. Know how to use a map and compass together before you head out into the woods. You also can buy an expensive GPS, but you can purchase a respectable map and compass for under $50.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is an invaluable addition to any pack. Burns, sprained ankles, scrapes, cuts, insect bites and stings are just some of the things than can afflict you while camping. Basic first aid sets include bandages, sterile pads, burn cream, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, aspirin and ibuprofen. Add a first aid guide to the kit, and study it well beforehand.
A sturdy, well-made water bottle costs between $10 and $20 dollars. Find a bottle that attaches to the outside of a pack or is easy to access. Having your bottle always within reach encourages regular drinking, and proper hydration is essential to energy and performance.
You probably plan to have a campfire. And if you get into trouble in the woods, building a fire could be critical to your survival. Carry at least two different ways to light a fire, such as windproof matches and a lighter; that way, you have a backup. Some leading brands of lighters provide up to 3,000 lights--more than enough to see you through several days in the woods.
Every camper prepares a food plan ahead of time. The smart plan includes a balanced combination of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Add a few extra rations so you have enough food in the event of an emergency. Freeze-dried pouch meals take up little space.
You might use your pocketknife for nothing more than whittling, but you might need it to cut bandages, saw small trees in half or open obstinate food containers. A multipurpose pocketknife gives you an effective tool to solve a litany of unforeseen contingencies.
Dress according to the season, but pack a little extra insulation in case of foul or cold weather. Look for hiking and camping clothing you can fold into a tight bundle and fit comfortably inside a pack. Choose jackets and pants that are waterproof; nothing is more uncomfortable than slogging through a sudden rainstorm in heavy cotton clothing.