You’re on a day hike and you’ve packed your water, snack, map, and field guide to local ornithology. You’re all set, right? Wrong. We’re not doomsday preppers or worrywarts by any means, but shit happens when you’re in the woods. Be next-level prepared with these emergency-minded day essentials you need to keep in your daypack.
Lifeproof Lifeactiv Power Pack ($80)
There was a time when a battery charger wasn’t a consideration when hiking. But these are no longer those times. Lifeactiv gives you 10,000-mAh battery power in a slim case that’s dropproof, waterproof, and dustproof. The charging stops automatically once your device is replenished, and it recharges fast from an outlet. Bonus: it’s a flashlight too.
Adventure Medical Kit Mountain Hiker ($25)
Yes, you should carry a medical kit in your daypack, but that doesn’t mean you need a defibrillator and a stethoscope. This kit gives you the equipment to deal with the most common injuries on the trail: blisters, sprains, cuts, stomachaches, and allergic reactions. There are enough goods to handle two people for two days on the trail in a well-designed package that weighs just over seven ounces.
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter ($40)
You packed a bottle of water. Great. But what if your two-hour hike turns into an eight-hour bushwhack? Pack the three-ounce Squeeze and you can remove 99.9999 percent of all bacteria and protozoa from whatever water source you stumble across without dealing with a pump. Just fill one of the pouches with water and squeeze it through the filter into your bottle.
REI Essential Rain Jacket ($70)
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lighter, better-featured rainjacket at this price point. The Essential is a 2.5-layer, fully waterproof shell that weighs just 8.8 ounces and has an adjustable hood, cuffs, and hem. At $70, it can reside in your pack—forget about it until a storm hits.
Petzl e+Lite Headlamp ($30)
The 50-lumen e+Lite is not the brightest headlamp on the market but it is one of the lightest. Weighing less than one ounce, the knuckle-size light takes up very little room in your pack. It’s IPX7 waterproof, has a red emergency setting, and even integrates a whistle into the head strap.