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How to Choose Essential Hiking Gear to Survive an Unexpected Night Outdoors

If you have to spend an unexpected night outdoors during a hiking trip, having the right items with you could save your life.


  • Step 1: Don't forget to bring extra energy bars. They can provide you with quick nutrition.
  • TIP: Healthy people can go for days without food, but you will be much more comfortable if you have something to munch on.
  • Step 2: Save room for a water bottle. Having plenty of water is far more essential than having a supply of food when it comes to short-term survival. Now you can hike with peace of mind.
  • FACT: Body temperature is controlled by the brain. An early symptom of hypothermia is confusion, making it difficult to recognize that you're becoming colder.
  • Step 3: Pack a hat and gloves. Temperatures can drop sharply at night even in the warmest climates.
  • Step 4: Carry a whistle, which can be used to signal rescuers or anyone in the area.
  • TIP: Waterproof matches are available at most outdoor equipment retailers.
  • Step 5: Remember to pack a multifunctional pocketknife. A good knife can help you with first aid, shelter construction, and food preparation.
  • Step 6: Bring along a plastic garbage bag. The bag can serve as an emergency poncho, ground pad, or shelter.
  • Step 7: Carry a lighter or matches. A fire will keep you warm, and help rescuers find you.

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