The Essentials and the Extra Weight – The Make-and-Break Gear of the Wilderness


Editor’s Note:A review of the basics is never a waste of time. A contribution from a far. Every prepper starts with the basics. 

You never know what the wilderness has in store for you. It’s big, mysterious and always has new things for you to discover. For that reason, many people choose to adventure themselves in nature for a certain period, to experience survival in the wild.

However, people tend to pack unnecessary things as well, leading to extra weight and ending up with a severe back pain and other aches. Because you want to avoid that, here is what we think you need to survive in the wilderness without carrying those extra kilos.

The Essentials – What Should You Pack?

Whenever you go on a trip, this question is playing with your mind – “What should I pack?” You wish you could take any small and insignificant thing, because “you never know”. Nevertheless, you should take only what you need to survive for that certain period. In order to avoid carrying around unnecessary objects that will only hold you back, here is a list of essentials we think you need to survive in the wilderness.


It’s obvious that you’re not going to carry everything in your arms. You’ll need something that can handle everything you need for survival. It needs to be compact, though, and it’s always better to choose a waterproof one, just in case.


It’s essential to bring weather-appropriate clothing. If you think about it, you never know how the weather is going to be. What if you go to sleep in only your boxers, and you wake up covered in snow?

Make sure you have both warm weather and cold weather clothing as well as rain gear. Depending on the destination, do some research to make sure you’ll not make any mistakes.

Tents and Sleeping Bags

Unless you want to hang some hammocks and sleep between trees, it would be a great idea to bring a tent. Although you’re going to explore the wilderness, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to camp somewhere and sleep. A tent is very much needed.

Additionally, if you’re going to colder areas, you should consider some sleeping bags as well. You definitely wouldn’t like waking up with icicles hanging from your nose.


Wilderness can hold a lot of dangers. As a safety measure, you should consider having an IWB (inside the waistband holster.) Basically, it’s a holder that allows you to have a weapon concealed and ready to fire in case you’re under attack from a wild animal.

So, if you don’t want to be eaten by a bear, check for some concealed carry holsters.

Purification Tablet and Water Bottles

Water is important, and you need to be hydrated at all times. Despite some areas having drinkable tap water, it’s better to bring purification tablets. You’ll be so thirsty you may not have time to find out whether the water is drinkable or not. Also, make sure you bring reusable bottles. You want to protect the environment as well, don’t you?

First Aid kit

Anything is bound to happen when you’re in nature and not protected by walls anymore. Therefore, a first aid kit will likely come in handy at some point. Who knows when you get some cuts, splinters or burns? The kit will be your best friend in these situations.

Eye Mask and Ear Plugs

If you’ve ever had annoying roommates, you know how godly an eye mask and ear plugs are to have. Because you are not going alone on this trip, you will have to endure other people’s habits. Some may be snorers, cough very loud or just chat until very late. You need proper rest, so make sure you bring these items and you’ll sleep like a baby.

Toilet Paper and Wet Wipes

Oh, how you’re going to miss your bathroom, where you would stay in the shower for two hours. Sadly, not all public restrooms have toilet papers, so you’re going to need some.

Moreover, wet wipes may be the only shower you could take in a while. You will feel cleaner and not smell (too hard).

Small Towels

Small towels are a necessity because you are going to need something to wipe your hands on or wipe your face after washing it in the morning. You shouldn’t take big towels, though. They are only going to take a lot of space, and they dry slowly as well.

The Extra Weight – What Should Stay at Home?

There are several things you shouldn’t pack. Some of them are:

Extra Clothes or Shoes

Although you’re tempted to take your best clothes, this is a bad idea. Not only that they will take a lot of space, but you risk ruining them as well. What if your favorite t-shirt gets stuck in something, and you end up shredding it to pieces?

You should only bring weather-appropriate and comfortable clothes. That means no jeans. You want to move freely, don’t you?


A laptop is only going to require extra care and attention, because it may get damaged in certain conditions. Unless you need it for work, you can leave it at home. You need to survive without TV-shows for a while.

Valuables and Jewelry

Not only that you avoid being a theft victim, but you’ll also be at peace of mind knowing you don’t need to take extra care of them. And seriously though – why would you need them considering you’ll be in the wild most of the time? Bears certainly won’t compliment your expensive necklace.

Things You Can Buy During the Trip

There’s no point to pack some extra things if they can be purchased at your destination. They will only take unnecessary space.


One book may not be such an issue but abstain from bringing your whole Stephen King collection. Not only that you’ll not have time to read so much, but you will have a stuffed backpack as well.

Final Thoughts

Going on a survival trip can be a great experience if you know how to properly enjoy it. One of the things you could do to ensure success is to pack the essentials only. Getting too many items will make you focus more on the weight than the trip itself.

Follow The Prepper Journal on Facebook!


  1. Don’t wear jeans because you want to be able to move freely? How about don’t wear jeans , or other cotton clothing, because cotton is known to get wet easily and make you more susceptible to hypothermia? Wool or many lightweight and durable synthetics are a great way to protect you from exposure.
    Firearms? OK, I can see the need for those in some places, especially in very remote areas, but how about learning how to set up camp so you don’t have wildlife scrounging around and raiding your food and garbage? In all my time camping I’ve only ever seen one black bear while camping at a state campground. It wandered from site to site and didn’t stop till it found the one where the occupants hadn’t properly stored their cooler. I’ve seen boar hogs in the forests of Germany and they never bothered with any human occupied site unless food was left out. In my experience I’ve never had any trouble with animals. It usually only when food is readily available that they risk coming around.
    I did meet a guy with a revolver strapped to his hip. He was convinced he’d run into a rattlesnake (in the Adirondack mountains of New York) or a rabid racoon. My friend and I said, “OK, enjoy your hike.” I don’t know what happened to him but I bet he came back without firing his weapon.
    Again, firearms may be important in remote locations but knowing how to set up a clean camp can save you lots of trouble with animals.
    What about the basics like a good tarp or plastic sheeting, 50 feet of rope, a good knife, multiple ways to start a fire, emergency food, a map of the area and compass, a small pot, a small folding shovel for digging cat holes and all that? The stuff any himer, myself included, never goes on the trail without?

  2. I find that overloading the backpack is one of the #1 mistakes people make. Not only will it lead to sore muscles but will most likely lead to exhaustion and injury. The key is to only carry items that are necessary for survival and leave the rest behind.

  3. Nice list but you have to be more meticulous when choosing the right clothes for the trip. Either you might bring too much or be able to wear the same thing without worrying about discomfort.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.