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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

Bare Minimums for Hiking Safety

Apr 19, 2018 02:14PM ● By Jay Arrowsmith De Coux
According to Field Supervisor Brandon Law (yes, that is his real name) of the US Border Patrol, there is a short list of essentials that you should always have in your daypack. With these things you can reasonably expect to manage just about any risk that comes your way:

Two cigarette lighters


At least two energy bars

Water bottle (32 oz) and pump or gravity filter

Headlamp and flashlight

Rain jacket

Detailed map of location (National Geographic is much more accurate than USFS)

GPS or geotagged location app on your phone (and extra batteries for GPS or battery pack for your phone)

Sewing kit (with fishing line)

Duct tape



Foil emergency blanket


There is zero cell reception in the vast majority of the BWCAW, but a phone may still be used for navigation if equipped with GPS mapping app. I always have a map/compass for backup.

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