Top 10 Items Essential to Survive the Montana Wilderness
Depending on how or where you camp, do you consider yourself an "outdoorsman" type person? Your survival skills are on point enough that you would be able to take care of yourself in the event of some odd thing happening during your weekend getaway to the campsite? Fending off a frenzy of fluff by a bear or elk? Being able to fashion a fishing pole and hook to feed yourself?
We all hope that we could fend for ourselves in the case of something bad and miserable happening on a camping excursion.
But how prepared, really, are we? Do you have the essentials to survive in the Montana wilderness?
Thankfully, We Have the US National Park Service to Help Out
Essentials for camping are just that, essential to your survival in the wilderness. You remembered the steak to cook, but what about matches? Could you start a fire without them?
The US National Park Service has put together 10 essential things that every camper or tent should have available to them. How close to having all of these items ready to go are you?
Counting Down Your Top 10 Essentials for Survival
10) Map, compass and GPS system. Know how to use a topographical or relief map as well as your compass or GPS unit before going out.
9) Sun protection. Consider using sunglasses, sunscreen, and hats. Sun-protection clothing such as pants and long sleeve shirts can also help minimize your exposure to the sun.
8) Insulation. Doesn't matter what it looks like when you leave. It can change in no time. Pack an extra layer of clothing that reflects the most extreme conditions you could encounter.
7) Illumination. Lights! More and more lights! Headlamps are the preferred light source because they are hands-free. Be sure to pack extra batteries.
6) First Aid. We hope it won't happen, but accidents do happen, so be prepared. Consider including an emergency guide in case you are faced with an unfamiliar medical emergency. You can even customize your kit for your specific activities.
5) Fire. Fire can be an emergency signal and a heat source for cooking and staying warm. Pack matches (preferably waterproof) and fire starters - items that catch fire quickly and sustain a flame (e.g., lighter).
4) Tools - Repair Kit. Duct tape, screwdriver, electricians' tape, pair of pliers. Even the simplest of tools can save you in a pinch. Consider packing a multi-tool, a compact version of many tools that can include a knife, screwdriver, can opener, etc. Be sure to bring any tools specific to your trip and your activity.
3) Food. It may seem strange as an essential, but emergencies can happen. Pack an extra day's supply of food, preferably no-cook items that have good nutritional value in order to keep your energy high. Salty and easy to digest snacks (e.g., trail mix, nuts, and granola bars) work well for outdoor activities.
2) Hydration. Being able to have potable water is of utmost importance. Make sure you have the ability to treat any water that you may have to use from streams or lakes. If you’re active outdoors (hiking, biking, running, swimming, etc.), especially in hot weather, you should drink water often and before you feel thirsty.
1) Emergency Shelter. Shelter is one of the most important elements during an emergency survival situation. It can protect you from severe weather conditions and exposure to the elements. A tent, tarp, bivy sack, or emergency space blanket are all lightweight options for emergency shelter.