Whether you’re relatively new to the world of outdoor adventuring, or if you’re a seasoned veteran, one thing is clear; the right gear helps you do more. But what if you can’t afford specialized gear for super specific outdoor scenarios? What if you just need a basic kit that allows you to get outside to enjoy the world? Turns out, you can build a kit just like that if you are selective with your choices. Let’s take a look at a list of gear that you can use on any adventure.

A Compass

In the era of the smartphone, these useful tools seem to find their way into fewer and fewer backpacks. While smartphones and GPS units are undoubtedly useful and have more than their fair share of features, these devices require electricity somehow. When the batteries die, how are you to navigate? That’s why it’s always a good idea to have a simple compass in your outdoor gear bag. They don’t weigh much and they can be invaluable in a pinch. Just make sure you’ve got a reliable set of maps to go along with it.

A Pocket Knife

We’re not talking about some massive Rambo-esque knife, but a simple pocket knife. There’s a reason that the Swiss army knife is so ubiquitous, it’s an exceptional design and is infinitely useful. A simple knife like this is great for cutting up bits of snacks, cutting cord, whittling tent stakes when you forget yours at home, and so much more. Plus, they’re compact and only weigh a few ounces. Slip one into your front pocket or into an easily accessible space in your day pack.

A First Aid Kit

You can never predict when you might scrap an elbow, bump your head, or just start to get achy while you’re out in nature. So why not play it safe and bring a first aid kit? It doesn’t have to be an elaborate multi-pound monster either. Simply throw some bandaids, a few painkillers, and some medical tape into a plastic baggy and you’ve got enough to manage most bumps and bruises while out on the trail. That said, it’s not a bad idea to take a wilderness first aid course if you plan on spending more than just an afternoon outside.

A Raincoat

Even if you don’t live in a particularly rainy area, you’ll still find plenty of uses for a raincoat. They make for a great insulating layer on those mornings where it’s just a little too chilly, you can fold it up and sit on it to stay off the cold ground, and you can even use it to wrap up your cold beverages to help keep them cold. Plus, it keeps you dry during the rain and the snow! You can find out more about raincoats in our blog post about the layering system.

A Headlamp

Heck, even a basic flashlight will do, but having a source of light for those evening hikes is always a great idea. Find a light that has both white and red lights so you can use it in a variety of settings. Make sure it takes easy to find batteries like AAAs so you can easily swap them out if need be. Even if you don’t plan on staying out after dark, having one nearby is always a good idea in case you stay out longer than you intended.

A Lighter

A simple light goes a long way when you need it. Don’t use something that needs to be refilled, like a Zippo, as the fuel in these often dries up right before you really need it. Instead, hit the local gas station and pick up a simple Bic lighter. You’ll struggle to ever run out of fuel, and you can use it to light a nearly endless number of fires.

A Daypack

A good day pack can store everything listed above, plus your snacks and water for your next outing. Your daypack doesn’t have to be big or complicated. In fact, for your first few outings, you can even use the backpack you took to school. You just want something large enough to hold onto items like your coat, first aid kit, water bottle, and compass. If you’re looking for something more robust, you can check a local outfitter for something like a 30-liter daypack. You’ll find that this is more than enough space for most of the adventures you go on.

A Thirst for Adventure

Ok, a little cheesy, but still an invaluable resource to have when you’re ready to get outside and explore. Having the right mindset means you’re more likely to hunt down the little known places near you. 

If you’re looking for an adventure like none other, then it’s time to come explore Hells Canyon. Home to some of the most scenic rivers in the United States, Killgore Adventures takes you up and down the Snake and Salmon Rivers on our famous jet boat, whitewater rafting, and helicopter tours. Book yours today!