Living in Canada gives us lots of opportunities to get outside and explore. Whether it’s Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, or any of our other remarkable provinces, you’ll want to have the essentials on hand to adventure out on a moment’s notice. What you need is an “outdoor adventure” bag. While you’ll want to stock it with items you need to meet your unique needs, allow us to suggest a few essentials to include in your bag.
Outdoor Adventure Bag Essentials:
- A cap or hat. Rain or shine, you’ll want to have some type of headgear available to protect your head and face from the sun or from the driving rain. A light ball cap or floppy boonie hat will roll up into a small package and easily fit into your bag if you don't want to wear it all the time.
- Sun screen. In addition to your hat, you’ll want to have a small bottle of this, as it prevents not only sunburns and discolouration, but also skin cancer and premature wrinkles.
- Bug repellent. You already know how bad the mosquitoes and flies can be in Canada in the summer. Carrying an effective bug repellent can make the difference between an enjoyable experience and a nightmare.
- A knife. A small fixed-blade knife will be more useful for heavier cutting chores, but a folding utility knife or multitool will be handy in other situations. Why not carry both? They’re small, compact, and lightweight. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on one, but choose a decent quality brand that won’t let you down when you need it.
- A flashlight. You might think that if you need some light you can rely on the one on your phone, but don’t bet the farm on it. It’s always good to have a backup. High-intensity LED flashlights are inexpensive, readily available, and small. It’s a good idea to carry some extra batteries too.
- First aid kit. Put together a small kit with band aids and bandages, a roll of tape, some aspirin, alcohol swabs, a needle and tweezers, and a small bottle of antiseptic cream. And include any medications that you might need on your journey.
- Wet wipes and tissues. These can be handy for so many things, they’re not just for cleaning your fingers after eating fried chicken.
- Snacks. It’s good to have something to munch on while you’re on the trail. Pack some sandwiches, power bars, and chocolate bars to keep your appetite at bay and give you energy.
- Reusable water bottle. You’ll need something to wash down your lunch, and it’s important to stay hydrated. You could also include a couple of energy and electrolyte drinks.
- Plastic eating utensils. These can be picked up for free at almost any fast-food restaurant, or you can opt for the more sturdy metal camping combos. You never know when you might decide to grab that trout out of the river and broil it over a campfire for your dinner.
- Extra clothing. If you still have some room left in your bag, and you should have plenty, throw in an extra set of dry clothes, especially socks and underwear. If you fall into the water, get caught in a downpour, or slide down a muddy hill, you’ll be glad you did.
- Rain gear. A light and compact poncho, found at almost any retailer and very inexpensive, can save you a world of misery.
- Portable phone charger. This could be critical if you find yourself in an emergency and need to contact the authorities. Or if you need to power up a GPS unit. They’re a little more expensive, but they don’t take up much room, and they can literally be a lifesaver.
- Compass and map. If you’re heading out into the wilderness, even on a marked trail, it’s not a bad idea to have an old-fashioned compass and a map of the area. Just in case.
- Bear repellent. Your chances of encountering a bear that would pose a threat are pretty slim, but it does happen. Effective repellent is readily available and cheap. It will also work on other potentially dangerous animals, as well as the two-legged kind for that matter. Buy a bottle and keep it in an easy to reach place.
With a little forethought and imagination, you can create an outdoor adventure bag that will keep you safe and comfortable in most situations.