Richard Bucker

The essential kit

Posted at — Nov 6, 2019

jupiterhikes goes ultralight but I think he hates the term. He seems to be as prepared as anyone needs to be. And then there is the one that carries everything including the kitchen sink. Of course it all comes down to having exactly what you need, no more and no less. But that can be a challenge.

Sadly I found these three gallon ziplock bags with what what I considered essential gear. It’s not like these bags served any particular purpose and they were not universal it was a bag of stuff that I needed at one time or another. I think it’s important that the items are easy to acquire because you probably cannot get on a plane or Greyhound with them and so any Walmart should be ok and you should be able to discard them safely.


What do I really need.

What I did not need…

  • matches - I have enough fire sources
  • waterproof TP box - ziplock is good enough
  • tinder for more than 2 fires. You can always make more or use the TP and where the hell are you going anyway?
  • batteries - well I just said that I needed two flashlights and if you had fresh batteries when you started then extra is just not necessary. I do like those CR2036 LED rope lights for camp. The batteries typically last 72 hours. More importantly it sets the mood and acts as a beacon. But it’s not essential.
  • I have plenty of duplicate items so keep it simple
  • I’m not sure how I feel about those mini-tubes from gossamer gear. Small tubes are about the same price as the fullsize but if you’re ounce counting or wanting to keep things fresh it might not matter.
  • water purification - a mechanical filter is best with a prefilter but in a pinch just drink it and get to safety.

In the middle of the road is a different class of problem…
  • I do not know if I need a “knife”. For many years I went without but then recently I added one with a fero rod in the holder for fun. It was razor sharp and when confronted with a snake that would not be relocated I had to err on the side of safety of the children. I also used that knife to start the bonfire. It was fun but a lighter would have done the trick. I do have a knife in my medkit.
Keep it simple.