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The great outdoors is a place to escape, explore and grow, and one beautiful fact about the great outdoors is it’s all around us. Some people may need to journey outside a city, others can simply step out into their backyard. Whatever the situation, it’s relatively easy to spend time in and enjoy the marvels nature has to offer.

When dealing with mother nature and the great outdoors, though, it is very important to remember the saying “Plan for the best, but prepare for the worst.” The outdoors can be a dangerous place, as much as it is a beautiful place, especially for those who are not prepared.

Whether planning for a simple afternoon beach day or a week long hiking trip across mountains, a level of preparedness is always necessary.

Here are seven tips to take into consideration to make sure you’re prepared for your next outdoor excursion:

1. KNOW HOW MUCH TIME THE TRIP WILL TAKE

Knowing the duration of your trip is important, even if it’s just an estimate, and keeping track of time during your trip is a must. There are several ways to keep track of time.

Watch / Timepiece (Easiest & Safest)

There are watches that hold a battery charge for long periods of time, and some that even recharge themselves via the motion in your walk. Watches can be built to handle water at many depths below the water surface and are designed to work even when they’re banged around.

Phone

Most every adult carries a phone with them today. Phones are a great way to keep track of time, but phones are also notorious for having short battery lives, especially if being used to take photos or videos. It is a good idea to pack at least one power bank when going on trips longer than one day.

Nature

Thankfully, time can be monitored by using various natural techniques as well. This includes using the shadow of a sundial and analyzing the stars. Click here for more information on how to tell times without a clock.

2. KNOW THE LOCATION TO WHICH YOU ARE TRAVELING, AS BEST AS YOU CAN

You may be traveling to a place you’ve never been. If that’s the case, you need to have at least one map with you, if not two. Make sure you can understand the map relative to surroundings. A compass is a very useful tool to keep with you while you explore. It’s worth taking a course or watching a video  learn how to use a compass properly.


hiking

3. KNOW YOUR SOCIETY

Society refers to the people you are adventuring with, or the volleyball head that talks back to you when no one else is around. What are the capabilities and experience of the people in your group? How much energy do they have? How will they recharge their energy?


4. SUSTENANCE 

If you need to bring food and water with you, you’ll need to pack very efficiently, as food and water can take up a significant amount of weight. You may also want to bring a device for cooking food, mess kits for eating food, and even cleaning supplies (good hygiene is important to stay alive).


5. SHELTER

Get a tent. Tents are like little homes you can carry around on your back, so having a tent is basically like having a house. Some tents are nicer than others, so be sure to do your research and choose a good tent.

If tents aren’t your jam, then perhaps you can go for the more DIY route, and build your own shelter.

A heavy-duty waterproof backpack, comfortable enough for long trips, is the best tool for keeping your other gear, food and water.


6. BACK-UP PLANS

Plan for extra time.

It’s good to know at least one way to tell time, both during the day and night, using a natural technique. Watches, phones and other clocks may not always be available.

Even if you are not the group leader, you should be knowledgable enough and equipped to handle each of the above five points.


    7. DOCUMENTATION

    a journal, or a record of some sorts. This will come in handy if you ever get lost and need to find your way back. Keep tabs of your daily food consumption, and easily stay aware of any irregularities with your body, relative to what you ate.

    Enjoy packing for your trip. Although this wasn’t mentioned as one of the 7 tips. We’re here to help you, if you need. Otherwise, happy trails friend.

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