If you’re an aspiring outdoorsman, or find yourself thinking of becoming one, a survival kit is something that shouldn’t be amiss. Knowing this, you should also keep in mind that you wouldn’t be set without packing specific tools in your survival kit. Lucky for you, we took note of some tips and tricks we’ve picked up from the DLSU Outdoor Club!
Headlight/headlamp or flashlight
In the great outdoors, darkness is anything but a friend. With no clear vision of your surroundings, wilderness explorers are even more susceptible to the dangers that lurk in the shadows. Keeping a headlight or flashlight ready during night hikes is an essential tool to have in one’s survival kit. However, the Outdoor Club strongly recommends being equipped with the former. “You need a headlamp para maging free yung kamay mo. Compared sa flashlight na kailangan mong hawakan, hindi ka free,” says Aldric Chua, VP for activities. Having your hands free is a big plus, especially when you need to start climbing. With the proper lighting, hikers can avoid holding on to branches with thorns, or even worse, mistaking them for snakes.
As you get closer to the summit, that’s when things start to get chilly, and for some mountains like Mt. Pulag, we mean really chilly. With temperatures reportedly reaching below zero, hikers should always be prepared for the worst. According to the Outdoor Club, the best thing to combat the cold is a space blanket. “A space blanket is basically like a foil. It’s really light [and] what it does is it traps your body heat and keeps you warm,” shares Aldric.
While the space blanket may be a good thing to keep with you during climbs that need a campout, it also comes with a hefty price tag. But with more affordable alternatives like the Earth Pad, hikers have the option to save or splurge for warmth.
One of the absolute ‘musts’ to bring when making a trip to the outdoors is a whistle. This tiny instrument may seem like an odd choice to bring to the mountain but in times of dire need, it can actually save your life. “In the mountain [in Pico de loro], there are forks that lead to different trails, we took the wrong turn and we got lost from the group. So we used the whistle and ayun nahanap naman kami,” shares Roni.
During emergency situations, hikers can blow S.O.S. signals into the whistle as a more effective means of communication. The sound waves from the whistle produces a higher pitch that can at times be more audible than shouting without even having to burn as much energy.
Trail food and water
Hiking on its own is a very taxing activity as you spend hours upon hours following the rough trails of the mountainside only to feel the pangs of hunger and thirst in between. “As you go on the hike, nawawala yung energy mo so preferably you need salty or sweet food para bumalik yung energy mo,” advises Aldric. With trail food, a little goes a long way. Roni recommends bringing Jelly Ace or even nuts for hikers to munch on whenever they start to feel the decline.
Water is also a vital supply to have in store during hikes, as the heat from the sun’s rays will definitely require more hydration in the body. While it is always advisable to bring extra bottles of water, the Outdoor Club suggests having a LifeStraw on hand which can filter out dirt and bacteria when drinkable water is not accessible.
Multi-tool (Swiss Army Knife) or knife
The importance of multi-tools, preferably in the form of a Swiss Army Knife, is stressed upon as it has a variety of functions. Pull one of its contents out and you’ve got scissors! Pull out another, and within seconds, you’re suddenly in possession of a screwdriver. A miniature saw is bound to appear thereafter. On the other end, a part is anxious to be flicked open and… Voila! You have unveiled the actual knife itself! A “makeshift spear,” as Aldric would call it.
The Swiss Army knife is handy for the moments one would rummage through one’s backpack for anything but blunt. This would be all the more appreciated for whenever hunger strikes and the desire to hunt streaks. Aldrin explicates further that even if situations from the movie 127 Hours will most probably never occur in their entire Outdoor Club, it exemplifies the idea of how to manage a Swiss Army knife.
Generally, the function of a rope is to tie and strap other objects. For the Outdoor Club, the same perspective ensues. But for them, it can also be used for climbing during their extravagant hikes. And although the frequency of danger is approximately zilch, the rope is still brought on trips just in case anything does happen.
Lighter or waterproof matches
The presence of heat must be both accessible and durable on hiking trips. For the Outdoor Club, lighters or waterproof matches can work wonders. Apart from its capacity to ward off any wild animals, it can be utilized as a last resort in the case of unfortunate events. Aldric Chua jokingly states that, if you get lost, you can always “light up [a] tree.” Roni Verin protests to this theory, saying that matters would only become worse as it could cause a forest fire in the process.
First Aid kit
“Better to be safe than sorry.” The very essence of being in possession of a First Aid kit construes the saying. All Outdoor Club participants are addressed of the things that they must prepare before venturing into any trip. The few persons who are linked to asthma and allergy tendencies are highly encouraged to bring their own medicine, or at least speak up and inform the officers beforehand. The officers would then be able to appease any accidents or sudden attacks, as they would be equipped with the right aids themselves. The main purpose of the First Aid kit is to highlight preventive measures, and the Outdoor Club prioritizes this with great caution.
“Never underestimate a mountain because it has a way of humbling you,” says Roni. Exploring the mysteries of the great outdoors is both enchanting and bewildering as it is gruesome. No amount of training or seminars can make you ready for what nature has in store until you finally experience it for yourself.
But that is not to say that you shouldn’t come prepared with the right things to bring. As Aldric puts it, “Basically when you’re out there, there’s nothing there. So you have to think about the proper tools to bring. If you forget something, it’s not like you can go back for it.”
Before heading out for a hike, it’s always better to prepare for the worst. Keep in mind of the things you need to bring for any type of situation. You never know when it might just save your life.