Equipment You’ll Want to Have on the Trail

There’s nothing quite like getting out into the woods and reconnecting with Mother Nature.  So much of our lives are now spent indoors that we often forget how much we need to be outside, in the fresh air.

Getting into the woods allows us to clear our minds and get back to our instinctual roots.  Not only is it good for us, but we need it.  At, Mark Sisson goes into a number of reasons why it’s good for us to get out.  Here are a couple of his articles.

Shake Your Gym Addiction, The Outside World is Waiting for You

The Health Benefit of Nature

He even talks about How To Work Outside.

But one thing to keep in mind is that nature has it’s dangers as well.  And there are few things that you can take with you to protect yourself while in the woods.

Bear Spray

While it is unusual to run into bears in the wild, it can be a terrifying experience.  A friend of mine was recently walking along a fairly busy path and came face to face with a male brown bear.  Luckily he was downwind, and the bear never even noticed he was there.  But he estimates he was only about 3o feet from this 500 pound behemoth.

Bear spray is a great way to protect yourself during an attack.  But be aware of a couple things:

1.  When you need bear spray, you need it FAST.  DO NOT store bear spray in your backpack.  By the time you get it out, it will be too late.

2.  Bear spray becomes less effective in rain and windy conditions.  Use common sense and be very aware during these types of conditions.

3.  Attacks rarely occur from the front.  They often come from the side, or worse, from the rear.  Always have your spray in an easy to access place.

Life Straw

Taking plenty of water with you on a hike is common sense.  But anything can happen when you are deep in the wilderness.  The human body can survive for well over a week with no food, but without water,  you can die in 36 hours under the wrong conditions.

Life straw is a device that allows you to drink out of practically any water source without having to worry about parasites.  It works just like a straw, you simply place one end in the water source, and draw water through the microscopic filters.  You can get clean water from a mud puddle with this gear.

Survival Knife

A survival knife is a great tool to have with you when out in the woods.  Knives can be used for any number of things, and can be a life-saver in certain conditions.  Always make sure that your knife is properly maintained.  Carrying a small knife sharpener is a good idea as well.  Heavy usage can cause a blade to become quickly dulled.

There are literally hundreds of survival knives on the market.  For a great list, check out the  Here you’ll find reviews on knives ranging from $25 to $500.  Some even come with a magnesium strike so that you can light a fire when necessary.