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kelce t1_itj8zt3 wrote

People give me shit but this is why I come prepared even for day hikes.

I carry my satellite phone, knife, fire starter, one dehydrated meal packet (4 servings per packet), and first aid kit on every hike at minimum. You don't pack your bag for if things go as expected, you pack as if things are going to go wrong.

Edit: Since this post has gotten some traction I'd like to add a couple things I forgot to mention. I also take ways to get purified water. For me that's either a lifestraw or a sawyer 1 gallon water filter. The choice usually depends on the length of the hike and how available water sources are.

I also have an emergency blanket in my first aid kit!


Jammintoad t1_itjng9i wrote

Imo the more experienced hiker you are the more likely you actually bring shit with you in case you bite off more than you can chew


Spicey_Pickled_Okra t1_itl1lis wrote

The opposite is true, in my experience. Experts pack their needs, beginners pack their fears.


xyrer t1_itl2hzh wrote

Overconfidence is a killer. You don't need it until you need it.


Spicey_Pickled_Okra t1_itl42lj wrote

Agreed, but with experience comes knowledge of what you actually do need and what you dont. Most people I know, myself included, trim fat from their kit as they get more experienced. Not the other way around.


xyrer t1_itl4ndo wrote

Yeah. I don't mean you should pack everything possible, but the list posted here seems reasonable


Spicey_Pickled_Okra t1_itl5jb1 wrote

In my opinion it is too focused on food and fire. Shelter and water are more urgent needs. If it gets cold and wet at night, you can die in less than 24 hrs. If you dont have clean water, you can die in 72 hrs.


xyrer t1_itl5y5e wrote

Hm. Fair point.


Spicey_Pickled_Okra t1_itl6twi wrote

And thats what I mean. Youd be better off with a poncho and a sawyer mini water filter. And that knowledge comes from experience, not anxiety.


handsomehares t1_itlqb97 wrote

Especially because I can drink your piss to stay alive.

Not mine, I don’t care for the taste.


NeoHenderson t1_itl5k5g wrote

My dad is like that except he brings the same stuff but smaller and lighter versions. A lot of people don’t get it. They’ll get him bulky camping lights and stuff for Christmas but I know he’d really like the worlds smallest and lightest water purifier or some shit


Jammintoad t1_itm0pwy wrote

I do a lot of desert hiking. I mainly had in mind those that take a single water bottle for a long hike in 85-100 degree weather. I agree it's always a balance between taking what you absolutely must need and over packing. Risk management is a balance


Runs_With_Bears t1_itnajgs wrote

100% correct. You trim fat and upgrade gear as you gain experience. Jesus the shit I used to pack. Once you do a 14 mile hike carrying shit you realize you were never going to need you don’t bring it the next time.


AsyncUhhWait t1_itmy0ax wrote

Lmfao did you just make that up to feel superior about how you pack things?


AULock1 t1_itjxadz wrote

That’s the literal bare minimum I ever take into the wilderness with me. Survival blanket and water purification tabs are a must as well IMO


kelce t1_itjz8gr wrote

I forgot to mention my lifestraw or my 1 gallon sawyer water filtration system! I usually have on or the other depending on the type of hike.


maxpowe_ t1_itkewcr wrote

Stainless wide mouth water bottle


Runs_With_Bears t1_itlc451 wrote

That’s a shitload of excess weight that’s completely not necessary when a simple lightweight, plastic nalgene will work.


bennetyee t1_itm1vtx wrote

When you run out of water purification tablets you can boil water in a metal bottle, assuming that you can start a fire (Ferro rod, knife, wood) and there's a water supply. Cannot do this with a nalgene bottle.


Runs_With_Bears t1_itmm67s wrote

Considering a small bottle of iodine tablets lasts months I’d say you have a lot bigger things to worry about if you have to resort to boiling water out of a bottle because you ran out. I spend most of my time in the backwoods of CO and carrying a stainless steel water bottle is overkill. If I’m that lost in the woods that I run out of iodine then I’m just drinking the water regardless.


bennetyee t1_itmxk44 wrote



Runs_With_Bears t1_itn30lp wrote

When I was backpacking in Indian Peaks a few months ago I had my jet boil, my iodine tabs, my nalgene and my spoon. Had several days worth of dehydrated camp food. That was more than enough for all my eating and drinking needs. My nalgene and jet boil and bottle of iodine together weigh less than my stainless yeti. Definitely would have been overkill. Like trekking poles on the sidewalk overkill. Over time you will replace a lot of gear based on experience. I’d never feel the need to hike with a stainless bottle. Have one for car camping and it’s nice.


bennetyee t1_itn712v wrote

i'm confused. what did you heat up w/ your jet boil? your spoon? or were you heating up water in your nalgene?


Runs_With_Bears t1_itn9uyo wrote

Water goes from stream to nalgene. Iodine goes in the bottle. Water then goes into jet boil where it is boiled then put into camp food pack. Was just listing all the things I actually needed to eat and drink.

Years of hiking and backpacking and camping you learn what you will need, what you might want to have with you and what you probably don’t need. Again, experience can replace a lot of gear, either by realizing what sort of gear you actually need or eliminating that piece entirely. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and still make them but every time you go back out you do things differently, better. And I can honestly say I would never bring a stainless steel water bottle on a hike. To me that’s like bringing your camera, your laptop and CD player when you could just bring your phone. Why carry all that when I could bring a nalgene and a jet boil for the same weight and it’s easier to use that way?

It’s the people who have a false sense of knowledge who think they know what they’re doing out there and think they’re making the right choices on gear, route, etc that end up needing a dangerous rescue. It’s a false sense of experience and you can see that come out when someone says stuff like they’d bring a heavy stainless steel water bottle and use it to cook. Experienced people will scratch their heads at that. Knowledge comes from experience. Either your own or from talking to others with experience.


maxpowe_ t1_itmqsu3 wrote

The same size nalgene is only a little less than half the weight. The steel has more advantages for the 120g extra.


parsifal t1_itkywfg wrote

I noticed you said water purification tabs. Any reason we (me personally) shouldn’t trust the lifestraw we have?


YourStateOfficer t1_itl4htd wrote

Yeah, life straws are awesome. They filter out most things you care about, but it won't kill viruses, and no desalination. It's just not as versatile as good purification tabs. I'm not hiker, just someone that did 3 years of water purification projects in school. Personally I'd recommend carrying both, they don't take much space and I don't think anybody will ever say "damn I have too much clean water".


TSEAS t1_itl12wp wrote

It is usually just a weight and space savings thing. Tabs weigh practically nothing and you can keep them in your medkit without taking up much space. Life straws are a bit heavier and bulkier. The key is to make sure you have emergency backup for getting potable water.

My emergency kit has the normal stuff like bandages, pills, and ointments, but I also always keep a small gear repair kit, mini BIC, WP matches, and water treatment tabs in there at all times too. I plan to never use them unless shit really hits the fan.


parsifal t1_itl68w7 wrote

Of course! Makes perfect sense. The tablets must take up no room at all.

Have you ever seen those USB arc lighters? That’s what I have.


TSEAS t1_itlan79 wrote

I have, but I just stick to the mini BIC and WP matches for emergency fire since they are lighter, very reliable, and don't use batteries. I try to avoid batteries when possible, and the only emergency thing I have that is battery operated is my PLB (ACR ResQlink) which never needs to be plugged in.


bigdogpepperoni t1_itl0ddj wrote

Because lifestraws are the McDonald’s of water filters. Sawyer squeeze, Katadyn, MSR, these are reputable brands that make excellent water filters.


Ok-Butterscotch-6829 t1_itl52xv wrote

So the 99.9% filtration of bacteria LifeStraw claims is a lie? (Not saying you’re wrong I’m genuinely curious)


bigdogpepperoni t1_itla7t2 wrote

Lifestraws will work a few times and then get clogged up, especially when drinking from a not pristine water source. The flow rate is also horrible which makes it basically useless in any kind of survival/emergency situation. You’ll get a few sips of water, but you won’t be able to filter larger amounts needed for cooking or hiking between water sources.

It works, but only as much as it needs to, and doesn’t stand out in any way other than being the worst option with the best marketing.

I’ve been using the sawyer squeeze for years, it’s super versatile (can be a gravity filter, in-line filter, or thrown on top of a water bottle), it’s easy to clean (back flush) so that you maintain a good flow rate, it’s reliable, and best of all it’s not crazy expensive. I’ve probably put 300+ miles on it with 1000’s of gallons filtered through it.

Katadyn and MSR make similarly versatile filters, I’m just a sawyer squeeze guy.


Ok-Butterscotch-6829 t1_itlcdcp wrote

Thanks for the comment. So in summary it sounds like the LifeStraw works but isn’t as efficient as you’d like in an actual survival situation?


bigdogpepperoni t1_itlekxm wrote

Again, it’s the absolute bare minimum, if you were actually thirsty you’d be disappointed.


parsifal t1_itl5yh3 wrote

Yeah, I mean, we got one as a gift and I’m thankful to have it in our car and with us on hikes just in case. We’re never going to be very far from civilization, but safe drinking water becomes important so quickly that I feel pretty reassured having it. If it’s no good, I guess we’ll reevaluate.


Ok-Butterscotch-6829 t1_itlc4jk wrote

It’s just a random redditors comment I wouldn’t take it too seriously. Although I’ll probably do a bit of research to see its effectiveness. But I’m pretty sure you can’t legally make a claim that it stops 99.9% of bacteria without it being true. If it was false then their operation would probably get shut down right?


parsifal t1_itlcsj2 wrote

Yeah their whole reputation is that it makes water safe, and I’m guessing they have to jump extra hurdles to be able to say that legally.


DukeLongholes t1_itlehcn wrote

Tabs are really small and cheap. I have some in every backpack (backcountry or otherwise) I own just in case


AULock1 t1_itl2k9a wrote

Life straw is great, I just don’t have one personally. Nothing against the thing.


birdieponderinglife t1_itk4k2e wrote

After binging several seasons of I shouldn't be alive it became quite clear to me that 90% of the people on that show could have been rescued within 24 hours if they had a satellite phone, or even just a flare gun. Hell, something bright colored or shiny even.


meatball77 t1_itkj7oy wrote

My brother probably would have been in one of those situations if he hadn't had his rescue beacon (with insurance). He fell and sprained his ankle a couple days out in the Grand Canyon. Had to be hellocoptered out of there. He's a very experienced hikers, but even experienced hikers can fall and break an ankle.


tripsafe t1_itl4avh wrote

Don't like to imagine what his bill was


meatball77 t1_itm16mi wrote

He had insurance so he didn't have to pay for the rescue. Apparently the service he used covered the rescue and contacts your emergency contact. He is a very experienced hiker which is why he knew to have the service.


tripsafe t1_itn2v5w wrote

Oh that's awesome. It obviously sucks that that happened to him, but it must have been kinda nice to see that it worked and paid off.


meatball77 t1_itn3m3w wrote

He ended up with just a sprain. There's no way he could have gotten himself out of the canyon but there was no long term injury which was nice.


Wolfram_And_Hart t1_itkvk1g wrote

When picking my families go bags I made sure we all bought some variant of orange or orange/red specifically for this reason. I was like “this isn’t about fashion it’s about survival.”


TheSorcerersCat t1_itl4l88 wrote

One of my first summers in the field really nailed home the message.

Picture this scenario, me and my partner wearing red. Heli-pilot drops us in a cirque that's about 1 mile across. No trees. No bush higher than 1 ft tall.

When heli pilot returns he circles for 10 minutes to find us. Gives up and lands. Waits for us to use the Garmin to text him our coordinates.

Luckily we were a 4-5 hour hike from main camp and had a fully charged Garmin and sat-phone. We would have been ok even if the clouds rolled in and we had to hike out.

But yep. Never heading out without a heli flag again.


parsifal t1_itkzkmv wrote

One of the reasons I’m super happy new iPhones will have satellite calling capability by the end of this year.


kharmakazzi t1_itl8c1r wrote

I remember reading earlier this year about new device on the market that can turn any cell or tablet into a satellite phone (Android or iOS) Super cool and had me geeked out.

Found the link:

"Iridium GO! is a small, lightweight, and rugged satellite communicator that overcomes the limits of cellular networks...

...provides satellite connectivity, giving users the ability to make phone calls, send and receive texts, get weather updates, share and send photos and more, directly from their mobile phones or tablets.

...Additional key features include email access via custom email apps, GPS tracking and emergency alerts (SOS). It also works with a line of accessories (available separately), including an external antenna, a wall mount bracket, and an outdoor power cable for a more fixed-installation type use case."

I haven't checked out any reviews yet but I'de imagine actually getting a satellite signal is still a challenge of itself (sometimes) Trees, hills, mountains ect. I like that the additional features included a SOS alert.


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churdtzu t1_itkpowm wrote

I'm not familiar with the show. What would someone do with the shiny thing in that situation? Wave at a passing plane or something?


parsifal t1_itkzous wrote

I’m not the commenter but I think with shiny things you can reflect sunlight at planes.


neuropean t1_itl11kk wrote

Not just planes, can be used to signal any distance with open line of sight. If they see people off in the distance, it could be used for that as well.


birdieponderinglife t1_itl7ond wrote

Yep, to wave and get the attention of a rescue crew. Sometimes there is too much tree cover and that’s when something like a flare gun would be needed.


saltgirl61 t1_itlkftv wrote

I love that show! We saw the value of wearing high vis clothing in the wilderness. But I found out that even brightly colored clothing can be hard to spot. My daughter and husband wanted to hike further up a desert ridge, so I sat on a rock and waited. No tree cover, I knew what direction they went, my daughter was wearing a hot pink shirt, and I still had trouble finding them!


birdieponderinglife t1_itlwdgp wrote

Ya that’s why a flare gun seems so important to me. Redundancy is important— flash light, shiny blanket, high vis clothes and a flare gun and a satellite phone


AutomaticRisk3464 t1_itkoqh3 wrote

I worked at a national park as a 911 operator (public safety communications officer)..

The mindblowing fucking search and rescue i got while i worked there was this.

A sister wanted someone to check on her brother, he was supposed to go on the trail sleep in the woods at 1 camp, hike more sleep at 2 camp, then turn around and sleep at 1 camp, and be back out. He went there on a friday and was supposed to be out monday..she called us thursday saying she hasnt heard from him, so thats like 3 or 4 days she waited.

I let my rangers know and we assembled a team and i called in some back country hikers who were employees. The dude fell off a cliff and slid down and stopped on a small ledge, he had a survival book with him that saved his life.

He was drinking dew and had a pack of peanuts that he made last a week. He set a timer on his watch so he would yell every hour for help and he just laid there waiting. He was also using a mirror to try and shine at overhead planes when they passed.


Wolfram_And_Hart t1_itkvpfg wrote

I truly hope that guy understands how lucky he was.


Daddyssillypuppy t1_itl1e2g wrote

The whole point of telling someone when you'll be back is so they'll go to the authorities if you don't check in. I can't believe his sister waited so long.


Catsdrinkingbeer t1_itk9c25 wrote

Or you can swing the other way like my ex boyfriend did when we went on our first hike together, literally one of the easiest and most populated 14er in the entire state of Colorado. He brought 2 pounds of trail mix and 7 water bottles. And then we had to keep stopping because his backpack was so heavy. I'm all about being prepared, but there are limits.


cathpah t1_itks2dl wrote

The two pounds of trail mix is for after the hike. All two pounds of it.


Runs_With_Bears t1_itld872 wrote

I’ve done 14 of the 14ers here in CO. All I ever bring is a 3L CamelBak, some snacks and maybe an extra shell jacket and even all that doesn’t get all used. Some people replace experience with gear and find themselves in sticky situations.


resonatebliss t1_itnsxzl wrote

Or some people replace common sense with idiocracy. My partner & I helped 3 dumb college-aged kids hiking Haleakala crater last year. They hiked an 11mi trail with 2 12oz plastic water bottles, no snacks, dead cell phones, and the girl was walking barefoot because she had enormous blisters from wearing chaco sandals. My partner bandaged her up while I filled their water from our camelbacks. Gave them our snacks because we were only doing a quick jaunt down the crater & back.

Ironically, my CO friend posted something on social that night making fun of over prepared people say that “your hiking pack and trekking poles are overkill, my 4yr old just did the same trail in her tutu.” But we helped people with that overkill, damn it!!!


Runs_With_Bears t1_itntnfg wrote

Lol it’s a delicate balance but there’s a line you cross where you’re at least basically prepared until you cross the line where you’re over prepared. These guys didn’t get to the first line.

I remember hiking out to the tea house at 7 glaciers in Banff. It starts out a simple paved walkway, then turns into a wide dirt path before turning into a pretty difficult trail. Having done some research I knew what to expect. Walking back we passed by people in flip flops or wearing slacks holding a 12oz water bottle. They hadn’t turned around when it got harder and they still had miles to go. Felt like telling them to turn around but some people will be stupid regardless.


Euphoric-Carry1725 t1_itkgbk3 wrote

I had a python hunter woman stop us as we were hiking on the Florida trail in the everglades and ask if we were thru hiking. I said no, just a section hike. She asked me why I was wearing a backpack. Bruh. I was carrying water, snacks, and a first aid kit for three people. Looking back I can't help but wonder her intentions for asking, I assumed at the time she was trying to shame me for being prepared.


BobsBurgersStanAcct t1_itld4fv wrote

Yeah she was big dickin you. Which is funny bc honestly I bet a python hunter Florida woman probably does have pretty big dick energy


xiguy1 t1_itjuq4u wrote

Good thinking. What are you using for a sat phone? I’m thinking about getting one.


miniwave t1_itkpfiv wrote

For the less-serious hiker the iPhone 14 has a satellite SOS feature. Can’t call but can send an SMS.


YouWantAPieceOfMe t1_itkyr0j wrote

Important note that it’s not active yet. Should be next month IIRC.


Jlsajdfowjqfpoiwfi t1_itl4x5g wrote

The little SOS icon pops up on my phone when I’m in the mountains already. It’s not activated yet?


YouWantAPieceOfMe t1_itlb2ia wrote

On their website it still says "Available in November":

The SOS icon means it can't reach your cell network, but it can reach A network to make emergency calls. Well, to be clear in my quick search it's not clear that it means it can reach a network, more simply that your network isn't available - but you can still try to make an emergency call.


Jlsajdfowjqfpoiwfi t1_itlb8x0 wrote

Ah I see. Thanks for the info. That’s actually really misleading by Apple lol

I definitely thought I had the feature already


parsifal t1_itkzxwm wrote

(Launching by the end of this year and requires a software update. An awesome feature I’m thankful for.)


kelce t1_itjwqam wrote

I have the garmin inreach mini2!


iama_bad_person t1_itkfibv wrote

I was about to ask where your PLB was but that's even better. People I hike with think I'm paranoid but I never hike without it.


Pantssassin t1_itl5t7t wrote

I also second the in reach mini 2. Worked well on my 4 day trip in NH this year. I was able to pretty reliably send updates to my family although I wouldn't use it if you wanted to use the automatic tracking intervals because I don't think it has the battery for that on longer trips. I would just send updates when taking a break or if I were to need to change my route I set up a way to let them know and could send more frequent updates.


joys_face t1_itl1766 wrote

> my satellite phone

This is my hang up. I'd love to have one but just don't have that money. I carry 1k calories in nuts and trail mix, a life straw, some water, a knife, 2 emergency blankets, a whistle, and a first aid kit. But none of that would be enough if I actually got lost.


TheSorcerersCat t1_itl58yr wrote

The Garmin inreach is about $500CAD.

In my opinion it's worth saving for if you're going out of service area.


joys_face t1_itl8ibo wrote

Plus the ongoing fees. It certainly makes me nervous not to have one!


TheSorcerersCat t1_itlaw4g wrote

I've never used a personal locator beacon but that would be my next best choice. They don't usually require a subscription.


Pantssassin t1_itl7smb wrote

Unless you are going deep into the Backcountry for a few that is pretty decent. As long as you are telling people your plan you should only need to stabilize and hold tight where you are for a few nights at most. I only really use my satellite phone as a locator beacon and only on longer trips in more remote/ foreign places.


joys_face t1_itl8el6 wrote

I only do day hikes, but almost never have cell phone service on them!


Pantssassin t1_itl9brk wrote

Same here, that's why it's important to share your plans in pretty good detail ahead of time. If anything happens it will only take maybe a day or 2 to be found on a day hike trail. One thing that works well with your phone is downloading maps as a backup. Depending on your phone/ the conditions you can still locate yourself via GPS without service and use an app like (free) or download on all trails( not free I think) to help with getting turned around. The only thing you wouldn't be able to do at that point is send out an sos but search and rescue would be sent by the person you told your plans to, just with a bit of a delay.


Ocel0tte t1_itlqfrs wrote

I use AllTrails and COTrex, you're right AllTrails is not free for maps. It's 29.99/yr. Always check for a local app, I don't even have an account made on COTrex and they still let me download topographic or satellite maps as a guest. Also without reminding me, I was just looking to see if they have paid features and realized I've never logged in and I poke around on it almost daily lol. Before I leave I just open it, find the area I want, find a trail, and do whatever I need. 10/10 on local trail apps at least for CO, I bet other places have something similar.

I send them to my fiance more than I need them myself. Even if he doesn't know exactly where I'm at on the trail, I figure at least if I go missing he'll have a map to show the authorities.


Loggerdon t1_itkfbs0 wrote

Where do you get a sat phone?


SovietWomble t1_itl27a1 wrote

Like the motorbiking saying:

"You dress for the crash, not for the ride"


RedditNameChooser t1_itkvc8u wrote

I need to get into hiking. Sounds fun as hell


kelce t1_itlwm55 wrote

It really is and there's so many levels you can do. From flat land to up the mountainside. From day hikes to backpacking trips!


det1rac t1_itkx5hc wrote

How much is her satellite phone just to have on standby?


kelce t1_itlvx2e wrote

I pay $10/mo. I think you can turn the service off and on but I go on enough hikes where I leave it on all the time.


det1rac t1_itmae1w wrote

What service are you using cause I was going on a trip to Cuba and I wanted to get a satellite phone but it was 300 to $600 deposit and then there was a bare minimum amount to keep the service on and it was a lot more than what you're paying


kelce t1_itmx7sf wrote

I use the service through garmin. I haven't used it outside the states though.


Spicey_Pickled_Okra t1_itl1ilf wrote

Shelter and water are your two most urgent needs. Carrying food is not the worst idea, but in terms of usefulness in a survival situation, it is a secondary need. People who get stranded typically dont die from malnutrition. They die from dehydration or hypothermia.

My emergency kit that I carry in case I get stranded is a water filter, rain gear, and two mylar emergency blankets.


kelce t1_itlwelu wrote

I forgot to mention my lifestraw or sawyer filter. I take one or the other with me at all times. My first aid kit has an emergency blanket in it.


Red217 t1_itl5l3s wrote


My dad always says "better to have it and not need it than need and not have it!"


ghhbf t1_itmva9o wrote

Good deal. I do the same. Safety first.


Ok-Butterscotch-6829 t1_itl30h4 wrote

I’d recommend adding pepper spray and even a firearm as well. Yah never know.