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22.01.2014 admin
Aside from having fun, the goal of the backpacker on any trip should be focused on staying safe — that is staying dry, warm, avoiding injury, or becoming lost.
Keep in mind that I am presenting my opinions, have been backpacking for nearly 50 years, and almost always hike solo. If you accept my opinion that the lightweight backpacker is less likely to get injured because they have better agility and balance, then you need to look at your body and conditioning before hiking.
Once you are no longer overweight, you are not ready to go hiking until your muscles are in shape. Signal Fire or Flare: A signal fire or flare is better for attracting aircraft, but usually not practical or legal in many areas. Heck, in the 19th century John Muir hiked most of California’s mountains, hiked in Alaska, and walked from Indiana to Florida with no technology. Many backpackers bring tinder, fire steel, back up lighters, emergency matches, large knives, axes, and similar equipment. Many hikers buy pre-packaged kits with all kinds of stuff they may not know how to use, or will never need. This site is for my own pleasure and a place to share with my small circle of friends and family. Most of the content here is backpacking or camping related, but I often pontificate on things that drive me crazy. Since I live in Florida, I thought this might be a handy article to make a copy, so I know how to find this information quickly! With regular large scale disasters already causing problems in North America, it’s a good time to talk a bit about disaster preparation and how a 5 gallon bucket can help provide some good physical insurance against a catastrophic situation. A well designed emergency kit will contain the best bits of modern technology and healthcare packaged neatly in a carryable 5 gallon bucket. The simplest way to invest in your five gallon insurance plan is to get your hands on a professionally built kit. First of all, it gives you a certain intimacy with your kit – you know exactly what’s in there because you were the one who researched it and put it in there! Secondly, putting together your own kit means you can custom tailor it to what’s important to you, your family and your community. For example, in our family we have a lot of allergies – some that can kill one of us very quickly. It may be instructive to compare this list with the much higher calorie emergency kit from Mayday disaster preparation company.
You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, or enjoys a simple weekend hike, you need to get this Waterproof First Aid Kit for minor first aid emergencies. Octagon Technology – technology without tears for LincolnshireKeep calm and avoid software headache – how businesses buy new software determines their long-term success KamilaCyber crime, viruses and Trojans – a subject that changes quicker than weather. For the nitty-gritty details, you can view my original packing list as an example of taking too much, and a revised packing list for Europe.
Most people travel with a year or two’s supply of medication and a first aid kit for every possible ailment that could arise. It is challenging to pack for RTW trips because you are usually venturing off to places you have never been to and don’t really know much about. I cannot speak for every small town and village, but unless you are going somewhere very remote, you should know that Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and other major beauty companies are in every country.

Today I do a mix of backpacking and travelling with luggage, but the one thing that remains constant, even on weekend trips, is that I always use packing cubes.
Unless you are a dare-devilish thrill seeker, always analyze your immediate environment to ensure a low probability of injury. There is no good reason to analyze and reduce backpack weight if you are physically overweight. Although not perfect, the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart below is applicable to most people, unless you are elderly or very muscular. If you have not conditioned yourself for a hike with a backpack, you will tire easily, lose focus, become more susceptible to falls and sprains.
But they do fail in the field and batteries go dead, so bring your map and compass as backup. Normally the rescuers need to know you are lost, and they need to be close by to hear your whistle. None of them will do you any good if you don’t know how to use them and have no experience with them. If you are skilled, not over weight, and pack light the only first aid you will normally need is treatment of minor scrapes and cuts. If you’ve put something in there that you don’t fully understand how to use, you can learn that skill long before the flood or earthquake event that could make last-minute skill acquisition impossible.
That’s why an EpiPen is a critically important part of our emergency supply but might not be relevant at all for other families.
You’ll be able to include many household materials you already have, and you can get a better deal on the items you do need to buy by cutting out the middleman. At the end of this post is a list of every single item you see here so you can make this exact emergency kit for yourself.
On the back is a list of important phone numbers such as relatives, insurance companies, local law enforcement, fire department, etc. These basic supplies should look familiar – it’s similar to a toiletries bag you might take on vacation. Moist towelettes and antiseptic towelettes and latex gloves kept on top so you can clean your hands before digging through supplies. John the Baptist, Ermine, church was designed by the architect Sam Scorer – the roof is a hyperbolic paraboloid.
Everyone has heard the advice to pack once and toss half of it out, but no one actually does it.
Before sailing from Panama to Colombia, I was able to buy Bayers brand pills for motion sickness for 10 cents a pill, and in Peru I bought my brand of birth control pills for $4 a package. I often see packing lists where people are planning to take a year’s worth of shampoo, tampons and other items because they are afraid they won’t be able to get them on the road. Many do not believe you should travel with jeans because they are heavy and take a long time to dry, which is unpractical in countries that do not have dryers. It will save so much time and frustration as you rifle through your bag looking for something.
Losing cell coverage is the ideal scenario — it means you are getting away from civilization and deeper into the wilderness. Prepared kits will usually contain both food and water (or water purification) and general emergency supplies such as flashlights and first aid.

You should always tailor your emergency kit around what’s likely in your area and your family’s needs. This helps you remember when the bucket was put together so you can keep track of all your expiration dates. Depending on your anticipated needs, you may want one or several food-geared buckets in addition to your emergency supply kit.
It can be very difficult to know what you will need in a year and most people pack for every possible situation. Chart copied from the website of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR): BMI Calculator page.
In addition the rescuer must be looking for you and know pretty much exactly where you are.
Foam pads, bandannas, and other non-medical items in your back can often do double duty in emergencies. Here’s one popular emergency kit that condenses survival supplies for a family of 4 inside a single 5 gallon bucket. A good emergency kit can easily last 5 years or more, but not everything inside will be good for that long and may need to be replaced periodically. The lightweight backpacker will be in the best position to avoid physical injury because light gear allows him or her to be better balanced and agile on the trail. On most of my trips my total weight of gear, food, water, and food is under 20 lbs, and around 35 lbs on a few extended trips. Where it might help is if I am alone and get too injured to travel and the rescuers know where I should be. Many folks say that these heavy pre-packaged first aid kits give the hiker peace of mind — I would argue they give the hiker a false sense of security.
However, by month 6 in Colombia, it started to cool down and I was tired of looking like a grubby backpacker in zip-off pants.
However, if the gear and equipment is too light by not taking the appropriate items to remain warm and dry the backpacker may put themselves in jeopardy. If you are 20 or more lbs overweight you are starting out with too much total weight, and increase your chances of injury.
On the weekends do hikes that are the same distance you will average per day on your backpacking trip. Although I leave a detailed itinerary with my wife, I often break the safety rules by taking side trips that are not on my itinerary. Although I can build a fire in just about any condition, I have never needed to make a fire to stay warm or dry.
Along with hiking skills, the hiker needs to know what gear and equipment is critical for a successful trip. Why would a hiker fret over gear selection, when they are already at higher risk for injury by being overweight.
Some folks say this is dangerous, but I find giving myself the leeway of exploring interesting places is liberating.

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