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Outdoor equipment - packing for the outdoors

Outdoor equipment - packing for the outdoors
I was told as a child "There's a place for everything, and everything in its place."
Usually by my mum when my stuff was everywhere and I couldn’t find something. What I take from this now I'm older is that if you've organised, you know where your stuff is, and if you have planned properly, you will have taken the right tools for the job no more no less.
Having all the kit is no good if you can’t carry it, and the more weight you carry the more fatigued you will become if you have to carry it long distances. I remember many years ago in the final kit inspection of a group before going off on a weekend trip a couple had thought to bring a salad spinner! Needless to say it didn’t make the final cut.
You will occasionally hear of the modular approach to your kit list. What this means is that you will have a core of equipment that goes with you every time you venture out, then other stuff is included or removed dependant on what you’re doing or where you’re going. You wouldn’t take an ice axe and crampons to the jungle, or your salad spinner. But you will in all likelihood have a water bottle, a knife, fire steel, first-aid kit, waterproofs.
When considering kit we should first think about what we’re doing and how long for. That will help us plan our kit list accordingly. Neither should we leave this to the last minute.
Get organised and plan but over time as you gain confidence and experience in planning for activities this will take less and less time. And you will eventually have modules that just drop in or get pulled from your Rucksack.
Experience will also help you streamline your kit into carrying the essentials, while maximising functionality.
A map and compass are essential pieces of kit as is knowing how to use them. A decent fixed blade knife; a folding bush-saw or a small forest axe or hatchet make great addition if you are confident with one and likely to use it. If you’re not intending to camp, or are walking on a lakeland fell or mountain the chances of needing a forest axe are some what unlikely.
This is all stuff you know, and the message is simple. Think through what your need before taking it out with you and can another piece of equipment do the same thing.
The same works as a buyer’s guide, so if you consider form over function, and what do you need it for, before buying it, means you should get it right.
When we look at kit we should consider function over style. Should we get a baseball/peaked cap or a full brimmed hat? Should I get a beanie hat, a balaclava, or a Russian/trappers style hat? Actually over the years I’ve acquired all of these and use each of them in different situations.
If you've planned properly for your trip you should have thought about the right kit and that kit will potentially change every time you go out. If I'm out walking I'll have a map and compass, water bottle, a survival bag, fire steel, first aid kit, maybe a knife in the bottom of my pack. If I'm out over night in summer a light weight sleeping bag, self-inflating mat and a tarp will be fine. But in winter that sleeping bag will be changed for a heavier fill and a bivibag too.
If I'm hill or fell walking I’ll be taking a mid-layer and a waterproof and hat and gloves if it’s high, it's exposed. The weather can make it very inhospitable very quickly up there so planning accordingly is imperative.
The UK is very good at lulling us into thinking that the weather is ok, but many people get into trouble on the hills while being inadequately dressed. Last year my walking partner and I passed a couple attempting the crossing of Cat Bells fell in the Lake District one of them in those rather famous soft sheepskin boots. half an hour later as the weather turned rather wet she will have had wet feet that were chafing. 

 Put as much plannign into your kit as you do with your trip. there is clearly some truth in the addage of the 5P’s (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance).

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