5 Essentials for Your Extended Stay in the Great Outdoors

March 17, 2015 by | Be the first to comment »

Whether it’s the sound of war drums in the Middle East or another crooked politician running for high office, the idea of getting away from it all for a while gets more appealing with each passing day.

You can prep for and plan a weekend camping trip in just a matter of hours, so why not go for it? But remember, when you decide to spend your entire two-week vacation in the mountains or bush, a few extra steps are necessary to ensure a safe, comfortable getaway. Make sure to add these five items to your backpack before taking off.

1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

A canteen only holds a few ounces of water and nobody wants to haul several gallon jugs to their campsite. The LifeStraw allow you to drink water right from the source without worrying about deadly microbes.

The ultra-lightweight filters effectively clean up to 264 gallons of water before needing to be replaced, and Lifestraws remove cholera, E. coli and virtually all other deadly bacteria and protozoa before the water reaches your mouth. The best part is that for every Lifestraw purchased, the company provides a child in a developing country with clean water for a year.

2. Replacement Lenses

Some outdoor enthusiasts like bird watching; others spend the day hunting for their dinner. Broken or scratched sunglass lenses impede virtually all activities, particularly in the early morning and afternoon hours on a crystal clear day. Revant makes replacement lenses for Oakleys and other brands of sunglasses that provide total UV protection. They could come in handy when you least expect it.

3. Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance

West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis, and even less common diseases like malaria and yellow fever are all transmitted by mosquitoes. The chances of contracting one of these diseases in the U.S. is low, but it’s still no fun being feasted on by bugs all night—and even less fun smelling like insect repellant.

Thermacell is a battery-operated pest control system that effectively protects a 225-square-foot area from mosquitoes, black flies, and other insects that bite. It uses a synthetic natural repellent that is released when the butane cartridge is lit. The Thermacell will certainly not get rid of every flying critter, but will make your campsite far more comfortable without the odor of insect repellent.

4. Helle Utvaer All-Purpose Knife

Space is always a concern when it comes to packing your backpack. Separate knives for filleting, branch cutting, and field dressing freshly-harvested game take up cubic feet that could be used for extra food and clothing.

A Norwegian company called Helle has created the perfect all-purpose knife for survival situations. The Utvaer features a four-inch Sandvik steel blade that is known for its durability and edge performance. The curly birch handle ensures a firm grip for all your cutting and chopping needs. The Utvaer is designed to stay sharp for as long as you own it, but comes with a lifetime guarantee just in case.

5. Joos Solar Orange Charger

Times have changed and even the most hardened outdoor enthusiast can’t go without a smartphone. Nowadays, portable GPS devices, rangefinders, and cameras are also backpack essentials, but many become useless paper weights once the batteries are drained.

The Joos Solar Orange Charger contains a high-capacity battery that can be fully-charged in 12 hours of direct sunlight. It then provides power for all your USB devices, and can even charge them with adequate sunlight when the battery is drained. The Joos weighs only two pounds and is small enough to fit in virtually any backpack.

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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