So, you're going backpacking. Whilst you might not be planning on becoming stranded in Outer Siberia, or aiming to pull a 127 Hours type-stunt in a narrow ridge, it's good to know that should it come down to it, you have your bases covered. Below, we've detailed the top ten things survival expert Bear Grylls suggests you should know before heading out into the wild with just your backpack on your back.
#1 Waterproof cell-phone
As many of you who own one of the latest models of smart-phone will understand, today's modernised versions of the trusty Nokia 3410 are not toilet- nor washing-machine-proof, so taking a phone like that on your trip and expecting it to work in a typically dire emergency situation is silly. All you need to do is make sure you double-bag your phone in water-tight 'ziploc' bags. It goes without saying that your phone should be charged, and that people should know where abouts you are, or where you are going and when you are due back.
#2 Kayak backpack
"œI love kayak backpacks because they're light, waterproof and small. Since they're waterproof, you don't have to use liners and they're buoyant", says Bear Grylls. These nifty little packs can come in useful if you have somewhere safe to store your original pack for when you're out and about doing active stuff during the day and you don't want to be lugging about a huge pack.
We didn't need Bear Grylls to tell us this - anti deodorant should be a travel essential in its own right (unless you want to be That Guy who stinks out the entire shuttle). Grylls uses this specific deodorant which responds directly to the amount of adrenaline you are producing, ideal for those adventurous days when you fancy bungee-jumping in Cairns.
#4 Extra socks
"œI don't even wear underpants, but I always pack a spare pair of socks. It's as important emotionally as it is physically. There's nothing better at the end of the day when you're cold and wet than pulling on a dry pair of socks. Another thing you should keep waterproofed with bags, too." says the survival expert. To be fair, he has a point. There's nothing more miserable than having to stay barefoot or in wet socks.
#5 Photos of home
Although travel is exhilarating and exciting, sometimes it can have dips and low points where all you want is a little reminder of home. Maybe you feel homesick, or just miss the reminders of being back in the UK but Bear swears by the laminated pictures of his family that he keeps in his boot. "œKeep your spirits up and smile when it rains. Bringing along something that does that for you really helps. Take a laminated picture of your loved ones, for instance and keep it somewhere safe. I have one of all three of my kids that I keep in my boot." Bear says.
#6 Rubbish bags
Even if it means sticking a couple in your bag, they weigh nothing but have a multitude of practical uses. You can waterproof your bag and all of your stuff with them, make a shelter or collect water if things get desperate or you're in an emergency situation.
If you are planning on hitting the road and doing things 'Bear-style', please do so responsibly. Take out good quality travel insurance to ensure that should the worst happen, you are covered adequately for medical responses and personal possessions cover.
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