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GREAT GEAR by s tephen regenold Day Trippers

Before you answer the call of the wild, pack these 10 emergency essentials.

PREPARED. FOR LIFE. It’s more than a motto for Scouting; it’s a way to plan and execute each outing, even if it’s just a Saturday morning hike. In the woods, the products here (stowed in a daypack) can keep you comfortable, warm, hydrated, safe, and, most of all, prepared to face what nature puts in your path— whether you asked for it or not. ¿

STEPHEN REGENOLD is editor and founder of



Hydration reservoirs are the canteens of the 21st century. A drink hose snakes near your mouth, easily connecting you to 100 liquid ounces stowed away in your backpack—keeping hydration within your reach at all times. A leak-free closure and no-taste plastic reservoir make the Big Zip a solid choice for on-the-trail water needs.



SEALLINE BAJA DRY BAG $15 and up (depends on size); CASCADEDESIGNS.COM/SEALLINE Roll it shut and clip it closed—that’s all it takes to protect your clothes, sleeping bag, or electronics from rain or even an accidental swim. A dry bag is a must for anyone backpacking in rainy places. SealLine’s Baja series comes in a range of sizes, using tough vinyl and a solid buckle on top to seal up watertight.


MATCHES $6.50; REI.COM If your gear gets soaked, you need a fire—fast. Let’s hope your matches survive. REI’s basic Stormproof Matches have a coating to prevent compromise of their fire-starting ability. Twenty- five matches in each small box are enough to bring many campfires to life.




OR DRIFTER CAP $34; OUTDOORRESEARCH.COM Protect your head and shade your face from the sun. These are the goals of a cap like the Drifter, which uses a Gore-Tex fabric to offer a waterproof cover that can also breathe. A stout bill shades the face. A draw-cord cinch on back will keep your cap on even if the wind picks up.

MARMOT PRECIP $120; MARMOT.COM Don’t call it a raincoat. While the PreCip is waterproof for rain, it’s so much more. A waterproof/breathable membrane in the fabric keeps the elements out and lets the body breathe. Taped seams, zipper flaps, and a hood make this jacket a veritable coat of armor outside through a huge swing of temps. Wind, snow, and, yes, downpouring rain, are kept easily at bay in the PreCip.

POTABLE AQUA TABLETS $8; POTABLEAQUA.COM Illness-inducing bacteria is a thing of the past with purification tablets that kill microscopic “bugs” living in even the most pristine-looking wilderness water. Potable Aqua removes common microbes (including Giardia lamblia) in 30 minutes after being placed in a bottle or hydration reservoir.

WHAT DON’T YOU leave home without? Share your essentials at tenessentials.

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