For those who follow me on social media like Instagram or Twitter, you will know that when I get tired of the city-life, I like to get outside and walk amongst the trees.
However, recently I have been reflecting on what I do to be prepared for “getting outside”.
The fact is, us folks lucky enough to live in Metro Vancouver, we live either on the edge of, or in some cases, right inside of a temperate rain forest. And that rain forest can be unforgiving if you wander into it unprepared.
So I thought it might be helpful if I shared some of the ways that I prepare myself before I decide to get outside. Please note – I am NOT an expert outdoorsman – I am just a guy who likes to go for the occasional hike and frequent walks. I like to get outside.
First off, if I am going out for more than a 20 minute walk and there is any chance of rain, I wear wool clothing under my water resistant shell. Minimum of a wool shirt, wool socks, and a wool hat.
My reasoning is that even if wool gets wet, it still keeps you warm. There is no synthetic material that I know of that will serve you as well if you do get wet when you are out.
So if you are out for a walk and it starts to rain or you get stuck outside longer than you planned (say you are lost), then the wool clothing will keep you warm. Even if it rains on you.
A friend recently gifted me a pair of Smartwool gloves which are awesome for hiking. They have an interior lining of merino wool and an outer shell that is water repellant. These have become my go-to gloves recently.
Another key consideration is what I carry when I go outside. I always have a stainless steel water bottle – full of water – with me. If you drop a stainless steel bottle it is not going to break. And, it will last a lot longer than a crappy plastic water bottle ever will.
I also make sure that I have some snacks with me. In the bottom of my Bexar Goods backpack I have either a bag of beef jerky, a protein-type bar, a nut bar, and a few small, hard candies.
If for some reason my return from the woods is delayed, I know that any of these snacks would be a welcome meal replacement.
Other things I carry in my backpack or even in one of my pockets when I go hiking outside includes, a knife or two. Knives are incredibly useful for so many things. I also have a small roll of twine or rope, and a lighter in case I want or need to light a fire.
Perhaps most importantly, I always make sure I have my Anker battery pack and cords to connect it to my phone or Android devices.
If you are spending a cold night out in the wilderness, you want to have battery power just in case you are spending the night trying to call for help. That is NOT when you want to learn how little power you have in your battery.
Of course most oldtimers will say to bring along a deck of playing cards. If you do get lost you can set up a game of solitaire and within a few minutes someone will be looking over your shoulder telling you about a card you missed.
What else do you take along if you are going to get outside?