Feb 25

6 Must Have Field Items

If you are reading this blog I’m quite sure you probably have a well stocked bugout bag somewhere in your home or even better yet in your daily driver.  BOB checklists are all over the internet so I won’t bore you with another one, and it should be noted that I think each person has to add a bit of a personal touch as there is no “ONE WAY” to pack.  It’s funny really in that every time I’ve had to live out of a bag while in the field (woods, bush, desert etc) I’ve never had as much in it as I currently have in my personal BOB.  Strange how that works…

I should clarify that what I’m going to address are items which I personally view as very mission critical, or what I know I need to be comfortable or keep my morale up when sitting in a mud hole with the rain coming down.  Additionally this list does not take into account the standard stuff we all probably have: 550 cord, knives, fire starting kits, first aid kits etc etc.

Wet Weather (Waterproof) Bag:  Absolutely ESSENTIAL.  If everything in your pack gets soaked (especially undergarments) morale tanks and it can also get dangerous if hypothermia is a factor and there is nothing dry to change into.  Trash bags don’t count unless they are the 2 mil contractor bags sold at Lowes or Home Depot.  Keep the essentials DRY and pack them away in a waterproof bag.

Toothpaste / Toothbrush:  I can go a long time without a shower and make due but the one thing that makes me feel a bit human is the ability to knock the sweater off my teeth in the morning with a toothbrush and toothpaste.  These two items don’t take up much space and can seriously go a long way in raising morale, nothing like a minty fresh mouth when the rest of the body smells like a dumpster.

Socks, Socks, Socks:  Easily a top 3 item overall in my pack.  A person is only as good as their feet, I’m a huge believer in this and have stated it over and over again on this blog.  Someone could be a crossfit champ but if their feet are soft a dime size blister will have them sniveling after 5 miles down the trail.  In order to take care of one’s feet, changes of socks are absolutely critical.

Foot Powder:  Keeping with the feet theme, foot powder is next on the list for making sure the dogs don’t bark too often.  I prefer the smaller size Gold Bond bottles of foot powder and shake some on both feet prior to putting on my boots in the morning.  It really does make a huge difference.

Underwear:  This is sort of misleading in that I NEVER wear underwear while out in the field, no matter how cold it is.  If you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it as it’s one less thing to get all funky and nasty, and less clothing to have to haul around.  No underwear…ever!

Wet Wipes:  Definitely a top priority when considering hygiene.  If you have to go poo you’ll need something to conduct clean up with and after that you’ll definitely need something to wipe down the hands with.  Let’s all admit it, when out on the woods we usually eat lots of things with our hands and the last thing anyone wants is some nasty bacteria getting into the digestive system.  Keep it clean!

So there you have it, any thoughts or suggestions?  Post them up and share your experiences in the comment section below.



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    • J on February 28, 2014 at 5:50 PM
    • Reply

    A couple of things I like to carry.

    Bandanna – I like to have a couple of them, one a dark or neutral color and one of a brighter color. The bright one can be used to get attention if you need to.

    gallon Ziplock bags – good for keeping smaller items dry and reusable if youre careful.

    orange disposable earplugs – VERY good for marking a trail in a nonhostile situation. you just pick them up when youre coming back. Very good for hiking or on an extended backwoods trip. If you need someone to come find you, you leave a well marked trail.

      • PJ on March 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM
      • Reply

      I never thought about setting waypoints with earplugs, that’s a decent tip. I would only worry about critters running off with them but I don’t know how much of a possibility that really is? Also I too use ziplock bags as they are good for so many things….EXCEPT keeping a cell phone from getting wet. I had a phone fall into a creek in a double bagged ziplock, still got wet (ruined). 🙁

        • J on March 2, 2014 at 2:13 PM
        • Reply

        I have not had too much trouble with animals disturbing them much. they might get slightly relocated by an animal nosing them and investigating but hey dont taste good and very rarely do they get stolen. I prefer them to the standard flagging tape method of trail marking that is common as it seems other people that blunder around seem to feel drawn to see what is at the end of the trail.

          • Bubba on March 2, 2014 at 9:09 PM
          • Reply

          I use twist ties for marking. They are small, can be had with a plastic sheath which is brightly colored and will not degrade, and they are multi-use.

  1. And for the ladies, do not forget about those necessary “female” items that are, eh-em, needed on a monthly basis. Just sayin’.

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