Preparedness is one of the foundations of a survival skill set. Whether you are on an hour-long hike or a multi-week adventure through the wilderness. Knowing your essential packing list is key.
When preparing for a hike across England on Wainwright’s trail, I needed to be precise with my packing. Space and weight were a primary focus after necessity. Some of that gear remains with my day pack, even at this moment.
So here’s the best part. All the outdoor survival gear you have stored for your next adventure? Some of it doubles as your emergency supply list. Whether that emergency is an extended power outage or COVID-19 quarantine, you’ve got a head start.
Let’s go over five items that you likely already have prepared.
1. Food & Snacks
During an emergency or state-wide quarantine, food supplies will be your primary focus. Focusing on that scenario, let’s look at what you already have in your pack.
Healthy Snack Bars
From Clif to Rxbar to Lärabar; there are plenty of great options out there. These are always solid to have in your hiking pack or emergency kit. If you’re tempted to snack, be as healthy as you can.
Some of the most healthy nuts double as excellent shelter-in-place supplies. Try the following: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
These healthy snacks should be on the menu at all times. Dried blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants. Dried mulberries and figs are great for iron. And in general, aiming for sugar-free options will always be best.
2. First Aid Kit
This should be in everyone’s hiking pack. In your vehicle. And yes, even at your home. Even if you only have one, it’s important to know its location, what it includes and how to use everything inside.
There are many to choose from and you can even make your own. It’s important to cover every activity; hiking or safely carving avocados at home.
3. Soap and Disinfectant
The world is currently reaching peak-soap usage thanks to COVID-19. You probably have soap, antibacterial wipes or other similar disinfectants in your hiking kit.
While you may not have enough to last months, this may be your only supply at first or if stores run out.
4. Tool Set
A quality multi-tool is pivotal to any camping, hiking or outdoor adventure. Between fixing and crafting, it can be the solution to a variety of challenges faced during an emergency.
It’s hard to argue against a brand like Leatherman, but there are many options available. As with all things, prioritizing quality is important when it’s a core survival item.
One of the most important items on your checklist: a plan. From knowing how to handle a splinter to starting a fire and making smoke signals. No matter what you’re up against, it’s essential to have a plan.
You may not have had this in your pack. But you certainly have had this on your mind for past experiences.
Applying your outdoor survival plan to quarantine is quite straightforward.
- Plan for necessary supplies; list what you need and what you already have
- Determine medical conditions, list medications on-hand and how long each supply will last
- Be sure everyone in your group knows how to use the first-aid kit, where it is and how to keep a cool head in an emergency
Remember, being prepared is one part physical and one part mental. Having a proper plan and mindset will get you through most situations.
“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.”― Archilochus
For those who love venturing into the wilderness, preparedness is like breathing. It’s what you do. Being able to apply that skill set to various situations will always pay itself forward.
Now dive into that closet. Find that hiking pack. Take out the folded maps, dirty compass and 3-year-old Clif bar. It’s time to start thinking about the next trip — or lengthy staycation.