My BASE WEIGHT is about 14 pounds, with my EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS gear representing 5% of the weight at .7 pounds.
Emergency Preparedness is my Insurance Plan. I pay insurance premiums and hope to never need the coverage. I carry the weight of my kit and hope to never need the supplies.
My objective is being self-sufficient for a few days in the wilderness should a first-aid or emergency situation arise. Pushing the SOS button on my InReach will not be for lack of preparedness, nor should it be for you.
There is no single perfect kit. Everyone is different. Create one that works for you!
- What level of risk are you willing to take?
- Do you have any medical conditions? allergies?
- How well do you tolerate pain or discomfort?
- Are you more susceptible to hypothermia or dehydration?
- Will you be in wet or cold conditions? or scrambling off trail?
- Will you be hiking with others? will you share?
My kit has evolved with time and experience. It’s an area I constantly evaluate as it’s easy to add an item after an incident and never need it again or find you have duplication. Even after I created this list I realized I’d added Gorilla Glue when I was having shoe problems the Superglue wasn’t fixing. No need for that duplication now that my shoe issues have been resolved. I found the mini flashlight weighs less than headlamp batteries, but most likely I’ll be ditching it in favor of my phone flashlight given I carry both an external battery and solar charger.
- Emergency List (add to your hiker wallet)
- Your personal info
- Emergency contacts
- Medical insurance info
- Medications, herbs and supplements taken
- Medical and surgical history
- Vaccination history (especially tetanus & hepatitis)
- Physician name and contact info
- First Aid App (add to your phone)
- Education & Training (i.e. Wilderness First Aid, Navigation, Snow Safety, 10 Essentials). Nothing in your kit is as valuable as knowledge and experience!
- Emergency Device (i.e. SPOT, InReach or Beacon)
- Multitool (scissors, knife, tweezers)
- Paper Maps (electronics will fail, get broken or lost)
- Pill packets – For rarely used medications such as antibiotics, include tiny printed instructions of what color pill for what purpose, frequency of use, date of expiration and any risks such as sun exposure.
- Resupply packages – The items I’m most likely to use I send to myself. If I don’t need them I’m happy to donate to a hiker box.
- Single use – Minumus.biz and Amazon are both great places to find single use packages of first aid supplies such as triple antibiotic ointment and alcohol pads.
- Inhaler – Instead of bringing the housing just bring the canister. Protect the nozzle with a chapstick cap.
- Giardia Treatment Meds – I’ve been told by several doctors it’s best to be diagnosed before self treating since many diseases and illness match giardia symptoms. They recommended I carry an anti-diarrhea medication and get to town.
- LeukoTape Prep – The tape comes in large heavy rolls. It doesn’t seem to work as well as duck tape to roll onto itself. I’ve found using the backing of labels or postage strips works well as does unwaxed parchment paper.
- Emergency List – I had an incident where I went into shock. The emergency personnel kept asking questions such as my address and allergies but I couldn’t remember. I had a friend knocked off his bike by a car, he was unconscious. It’s much easier to have the list. Treatment will be expedited.
- Emergency ID – Another opportunity is Road ID. You can get a bracelet or dog tag and either register your medical info online or include emergency contact info.
- Phone ICE Contacts – Emergency personnel are trained to look in our phones for our ICE (in case of emergency) contacts. They are usually accessible without security access.
Lightening My Load
YES, I know there are ways I can lighten my base weight. In fact in this area I could lose significant weight. I know which items I carry items others would choose to forego. My kit works for me. It’s custom, it’s mine, so for now I’ll carry the weight.
Grams = Ounces, Ounces = Pounds, Pounds = Pain
Choose your pain wisely!