Outdoor Essentials

“There's no harm in hoping for the best as long as you're prepared for the worst.”  ― Stephen King

Whether you are new to playing in the great outdoors or a seasoned veteran, knowing what to carry with you is one of, if not the most important thing piece to starting your adventure. It can also be really hard to narrow down what you should bring with you. Spending five minutes on Amazon will send you spiraling down a rabbit hole. The hole will be filled with endless options, most of which are not necessary. I want to help make your life easier! Below, you will find a list of the MUST HAVE’S for any wilderness exploration you plan on doing! This entire list also happens to be Amazon-friendly, for those who prefer to shop online!


Without a doubt, the most important thing in your pack. If for some reason you can only have one thing on this list with you, this is it. In a survival situation, having a knife with you can be the difference between life and death (No, you typically will not be knife-fighting Grizzlies). A knife, in this condition, is to be considered a tool 95% of the time. Very rarely is it used as a weapon, though it does give the extra security as one if ever needed! From cutting vines to creating shelters, a good knife is indispensable. I personally like M-Tech knives. They are not only cheaper than a lot of competitors, but they hold up. I’ve been using the same one for the last 3 years, and the blade has yet needed sharpening. If you’re searching for a good option, check out the MTech USA MT-086


I probably don’t need to stress the importance of a good backpack, as it would be pretty complicated to carry everything you need in your pockets. With that said, there are two options here, a standard day-pack and one made for long-term backpacking. As someone who uses backpacks day-to-day, I like my day-pack to serve multiple purposes. I love the North Face Recon, because not only does it fit everything I need for a nice day hike, but I can also use it around the city to carry my laptop and other supplies. I’m a huge fan of not spending a lot of money, so if I can dual-use something, I will! As for longer excursions, the TETON Sports Scout 3400 is a great way to go without having spend an arm and a leg. Plenty of room for everything in this article with additional space for a single person tent and sleeping bag!

Shoes or Boots:

Although I LOVE hiking barefoot, I don’t recommend it for those not used to the hardships it can put on your feet! With that said, I am a huge fan of Merrell and Vibrams. The ​Vibram V Trail Runners (Made for both Men and Women) are the next closest thing to being barefoot, while still having full protection of a shoe! For those of you who enjoy more traditional shoes, Merrell’s MOAB Ventilators have proven to be an excellent option. I have owned both of these shoes, and they have lasted more adventures than others I’ve tried!


Not much description needs to be given here. It’s a light! Great if you get caught out when the sun is down, but you never know when you’re going to come across a wild cave (That you should absolutely not go in unless you know what you’re doing. Because, I’d never do such  a thing… >_>). Due to all the items in your backpack, adding extra weight is typically not something you want to do. I prefer to pack as many lumens as I can into the lightest possible flashlight. Currently, I use the ThruNite Archer as one of my regulars.

Water Container:

Ok, so I got to this part of the blog and now I’m questioning a knife being the most important. You absolutely should NEVER go out into the wilds without both water and something to carry it in. There is NOTHING worse than getting hit with dehydration, far from civilization. This is just something you MUST have. It’s also probably the heaviest thing I carry with me when hiking. I don’t recommend anything below 32oz unless you are 100% certain it’s going to be a short hike. You’ll want something that can also take a beating like the one from Smokey Mountain Growlers. It’s even insulated to keep your water cold all day!

First Aid:

Oh look, a section on First Aid, how absolutely random that I have a blog written about Natural First Aid Kits already created! With that out of the way, this is also important. You don’t need anything big or fancy. just make sure you have some ways to seal wounds, stop infections, and alleviate pain.

Additional Items:

There are many other items that are good to have beyond the basics, such as gloves, lighters, waterproof bags, etc… I assure you, I will not leave you wondering.

Subscribe to my blog to be updated when I release my follow up article:

“Outdoor Gear: Beyond the Essentials”


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