Whether you’re on a day hike out of cell range or on a multi-day adventure in the backcountry, here are my top five tips to help ensure your safety and provide peace of mind for loved ones.  

photoKevin Callan

  1. Pack a medical kit. More importantly, know how to use it. You should be updating your first aid skills by taking a course at least every three to five years. Someone can have a good supply of bandages and splints, but if they don’t know how to use them, then things can turn from bad to worse very quickly.
  2. Bring a water filter to obtain drinkable water. Water is the most crucial to all survival. I pack the RapidPure Pioneer system. It’s an amazing lightweight filter.
  3. Shelter and food come next in the game of survival. It’s very important to have the ability to find shelter or build a shelter and get warm and dry quickly. Check out lightweight survival gear available at outdoors stores. S.O.L (Survive Outdoor Longer) bivy kits are amazing. And remember to pack some high-protein snacks.
  4. Invest in a communication device that can work without cell service. Technology has advanced greatly and there are far more ways to communicate for help then merely writing SOS in the sand or flashing a signal mirror at passing planes. The SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger allows you to let everyone know your location and that you are safe and sound, or to send a distress signal for help. With SPOT X, you can send an SOS but also receive messages back, improving communication with friends, family and the rescue team coming to help you out, should you need it.
  5. Create a trip plan—and stick to it. So, if you can’t connect with the outside world, at least there is someone back home that knows the general area to tell the searches to start looking.

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