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The 5 things you should always have in your pack when hitting the trail

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Having the right equipment during a camping trip or biking trek can make a big  difference, especially if any unsafe situation presents itself. By being proactive and filling your pack with the most pertinent items for mitigating any difficult conditions, however, you can ensure that your excursion is a successful one.

Some items might appear trivial or obvious, but it can be easy to forget or overlook just how useful these can be. When preparing for your next outdoor adventure, be sure to bring along these essential items:

1. Water bottle
As the Mayo Clinic pointed out, dehydration can be especially dangerous during physical activity. This is because you may be suffering from mild dehydration long before you begin to exert yourself, quickly exacerbating the problem. For that reason, having a water bottle at all times is key, and whether biking, camping or hiking, you should take the time to stop and provide your body with essential fluids.

"Dehydration can also lead to more serious health conditions."

Dehydration can also lead to more serious health conditions such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. When you're out on the trail, be very mindful of staying well-rested and taking a break from the sun. Use your water bottle often and refill it whenever possible.

Both children and older adults can be at an elevated risk for dehydration, the Mayo Clinic reported. Be especially mindful of ensuring they are getting the fluids they need during your trek and offer opportunities to cool down in the shade whenever possible. Pushing the pace only to be set back by a medical emergency just isn't worth it.

2. Multi-tool
Whether it's a classic Swiss Army Knife or something more geared toward biking, taking the time to add a multi-tool to your pack is a wise choice. You may face any number of odd challenges or situations when out on the trail, and a good multi-tool can prove extremely helpful. You may need to do some impromptu repairs to your bicycle or tent, prepare a campfire or even crack open a bottle of wine.

3. Cell phone
Most folks head for the great outdoors to get away from the hustle and bustle of work life and hours spent staring at a screen. Your smartphone is still an essential tool to bring along during a biking or camping trip however. In an emergency situation, your phone could become a critical lifeline.

At the same time, there are also dozens of apps that can actually be helpful and exiting to use while out in the bush. Biking enthusiasts may want to track their ride and many smartphones now can even monitor heart rate, calories burned and other health metrics. There are also apps for learning more about the natural world, and your phone's camera may also prove to be a valuable thing to bring with you on an outdoor adventure.

Your phone can be a useful companion when out on the trail.
Your phone can be a useful companion when out on the trail.

4. First aid kit
It is always wise to take the time to assemble a good first aid kit before heading out. Even if you're just going for a short afternoon ride, there are a number of ailments or accident that could demand immediate attention. Simple hazards like bee stings or a skinned knee should be cleaned and dressed immediately, while having access to a first aid kit could offer critical intervention for larger issues or injuries.

5. Duct tape
Because it is durable and easy to use, duct tape can be an incredibly helpful tool in mitigating all sorts of problems you may face on the trail. Use duct tape to form an impromptu patch on a popped tire, secure a bandage on a twisted ankle or even create a fishing lure during a longer excursion. Simple, light and inexpensive, it's worth packing duct tape for any trip to the outdoors.

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About Stephane Marchiori

Owner of Cyclocamping.com
Bike touring since 2003, including:
a 5-Year Bicycle Journey Around The World!

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