Because A Day Trip Can Turn Into Long Stay, Pack For Survival

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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Even though I have spent most of my adult years hiking and exploring the Arizona Rim Country, there are still so many places that I have not left a footprint. Those areas have a special intrigue for this over-the-hill outdoorsman.

Believe me, they are on my calendar for future scouting trips that I call my average day hike.

Already having qualified for my AARP discount, it has somewhat changed my approach to these adventures.

What I mean by this is that a little planning and preparation goes into each trip.

Whether it is a short, one or two-hour trip or complete day, certain essentials are in one of the many zippered pouches of my backpack. Three or four bottles of water are always in place, whether I use them or not, because sometimes an unexpected side canyon may add a mile or two.

Since I walk a lot on my own, a cell phone should be a standard essential as well.

Food is very minimal because I know most trips are less than four or five hours, but snacks and crackers will always have a place in one of the small compartments of my daypack.

If I am hiking later in the day or sitting in a tree stand until dark, a mini-mag flashlight or a LED headlamp are a must.

Always carry extra batteries.

Again, depending on the time of year, I throw in a sweatshirt as a simple protection from the elements. It would be wise to get a small plastic baggie and throw in a couple of books of matches as well as some toilet paper which has multiple uses.

Finally, I have a very small first aid kit that is just a few ounces in weight that goes with me.

The total weight of my day pack is ten pounds or less but it does have the essentials for an unplanned extended stay in the woods.

Believe me, they do happen. I carry a knife, but it is normally on my belt and my handheld GPS is on a lanyard around my neck and placed in my shirt pocket. This is not the perfect list, but it's a start to help you get through a short trip in the Rim Country, God's creation.

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