When it comes to packing for your next outdoor adventure what will be the first thing you add to your backpack? No matter what type of adventure I am about to embark upon be it camping, hunting, fishing or just a good long hike there are a few essentials I look to carry with me. It never ceases to amaze me when people are sharing their stories of survival how quick an innocent journey turned into a fight for life.
The first and most essential item that I pack no matter how short or long my expedition is planned for I take a solid knife, actually knives. I always pack a solid fixed blade knife along with a multi-tool pocket knife. For any outdoorsman it is crucial to have a tool that can cut anything and everything from string to sticks. It is important to take more than a simple pocket knife on any voyage because a pocket knife is not strong enough for all that will need to be tackled if you are in survival mode.
There are several types of outdoor knives including fixed blade knives of all sizes, pocket knives with a variety of blade types and sizes and large chopping and slicing blades. All play a different role in their ability to assist in surviving the great wilderness. Consider the quest you are on and packing accordingly. An outdoor hike with the family might be the perfect place to only pack a small to medium size pocket knife. If you are going on an exciting quest set to send you in a remote area that you have not traveled before take a large fixed blade knife and a medium sized multi-tool pocket knife.
Besides packing a knife or two I always pack paracord. It is the perfect tool to allow you to make emergency repairs, rough it in the great wilderness, fishing and most importantly first aid. Emergency repairs such as replacing a shoelace, creating a tow rope, tying up your kayak, or keeping your food up off the ground away from bears.
Paracord is a useful tool when roughing it outdoors. It allows a simple tarp or poncho to be tied up creating a canopy that will keep you dry. The cord is also useful in creating traps to help hunt food or even to weave together logs and sticks to create a raft if the environment calls for it. Paracord can help outdoorsman of a variety of skill levels to create fire when used to create a bow drill. You can also use paracord to make snow shoes. It is a jack of all trades type of tool when exploring the outdoors.
Something many people forget about is that the need for first aid can arise at any time. Paracord can be used to tie two straight sticks around a broken arm or leg to create a splint or even to tie a sling to keep your arm in place. If you are losing blood, paracord is a great tool for creating a tourniquet.
It is obvious why paracord, a fixed knife and a multi-tool pocket knife are the first things I like to pack in my pouch to carry with me on all of my great outdoor adventures.