10 Items You Should Always Carry in Nature

Your pack list varies greatly depending on the type of outdoor activity you’re doing. You have different needs on a day hike than on a thru-hike. A mountain biker has different gear needs than a climber. Some items are universally useful, however. Here are 10 items you should always carry in nature whether you’re camping, backpacking, going for a day hike, hitting single track for the day.


Have your phone fully charged before heading out in nature. Not for checking social media or taking selfies, but for calling out in case of an emergency, checking trail maps, and using it as a backup flashlight.

Emergency blanket

Mylar blankets can literally save your live. They trap in up to 90% of your body heat and can prevent hypothermia from setting in. Emergency blankets also come in handy if your sleeping bag isn’t warm enough.

Trash bag

A big black trash bag is light, cheap, and super useful. Use it to protect your gear from moisture, wear it as an emergency poncho in a sudden shower, collect water in a survival situation, or use it to pick up trash along the trail until you need it.

Pocket knife

A pocket knife is useful for preparing food, first aid, gear maintenance, and much more.

First aid kit

This is something you hope to never use, but you’ll be glad you have it if you ever need it. Stock a basic first aid kit and always carry it with you whenever you head out in nature


The amount of water you should bring depends on the activity. Day hikers can get by with a bottle of water or a water reservoir. If you need lots of water, however, pack a portable water filter or purification drops.

Extra food bar (or two)

It’s always a good idea to pack a little extra food. You might get lost, or take longer than expected to finish up for the day. You may come across a hungry traveler, or maybe you just didn’t eat a big enough breakfast. Food bars are quick, portable, and non-perishable.


Keep the sun and the rain out of your face. The protection you get from a hat will keep your energy levels up and your spirits high.

Lip balm

Dry air, harsh winds, and the pounding sun can all leave your lips cracked and dry. Lip balm will soothe and protect your lips.

Extra layer

Maybe your shirt gets soaked, the temperature drops unexpectedly, or you don’t make it back to the car before sunset. Whatever the reason may be it’s wise to carry an extra layer just in case.

Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters for any outdoor gear, camping supplies, or hiking equipment in Northwest Arkansas!

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