Thursday, December 01, 2022

Customising your survival kits for your needs

Camping in the wilderness

No matter your experience level, going out on long journeys means taking a survival kit with you. While you can buy a lot of these pre-packaged, the best idea is usually to customise your own. This way, you’ll be covered for exactly what you need and where you’re going, without having to worry about being weighed down by useless equipment. As for what goes in your kit, that can be a complicated question.

Don’t Underestimate Tech

As tempting as it might be to go for the classic rugged explorer type of trip, devoid of technology, this is never a good idea. While you don't want to overload completely with technology, there are certain elements that you can't afford to ignore if you want to make your travels as safe and stress-free as possible.

The most crucial of these which all distant travellers should invest in is a reliable, sturdy power bank, and a backup phone with GPS navigation. Depending on where you intend to travel and for how long, you can also consider elements like a satellite phone, copies of your documents on storage devices, and power adapters.

The Survival Necessities

More analogue parts of a survival kit will depend highly on local weather and wildlife, but there are again elements that everyone needs. According to professional rescuers, there are six major components that every good survival kit requires. Communications and navigation can be covered by tech, but not the others. First aid should be among your first concern, alongside food and water, and the ability to start a fire. Finally, you need to have an appropriate way to find or build a shelter.

Consider how this would work in the warmer parts of India. If travelling here, water would be a bigger concern, but you'd be able to carry fewer supplies to aid with shelter. In colder climates, there might be less risk from mosquitoes, so you wouldn't need as much repellant.

Every area will have unique benefits and dangers, so it's best to spend time asking experienced travellers what you can expect before you leave. There's no point spending money on things you don't need, and carrying too much gear can leave you unstable and more prone to injury.

Practice with your Gear

Camping on the banks of River Ganges

Our final suggestion for perfecting your survival kit is to become intimately familiar with how each part of it operates. Being able to carry a manual with you to turn to isn't enough, a wise traveller knows every system off the top of their head.

You need to be able to set up your tent in fading light and high wind. You need to be able to apply first aid with limited mobility, and while exhausted. You should fully understand how the mapping and emergency systems on your phones work, and how to use them to the best effect.

With the right gear and preparation, you won’t just be safer, you’ll also be more comfortable. Without so much fear of what could happen, you can focus more on the adventure and having an unforgettable experience. Just be sure you don’t let overconfidence get the better of you, as caution when out and alone is always a good approach.

Photo Courtesy:
The pictures have been borrowed under the Creative Commons license. Each photograph has been linked to its host page.

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