You’re not always hiking and backpacking, as much as you wish you were. What’s in the bag – your day bag – the one that gets you from home to work to the trail, or from kids to soccer to weekend getaway, that makes it easy to move from here to there. Here’s another in our series from SBM contributors that answers the question. So what’s in your day bag?

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Tell us about your survival kit?

I keep my kit small and light. That way there is no excuse not to bring it. Consequently, my kit goes with me on all of my outdoor adventures, from mountain bike rides, to overnight trips, and even mountain rescue operations. I have managed to fit everything into an old first aid kit. The bright red go-bag makes it easy to find inside my pack and just barely holds all of the items. Altogether, it weighs one pound six ounces.

What are your 10 essentials?

Actually I have 16 essential items:

  • Extra AAA batteries for my headlamp
  • A small light weight headlamp
  • Swiss Army knife (no survival kit is complete without one)
  • Matches with a piece of sandpaper for easy striking
  • Fire-starters
  • Bug spray and sunscreen, because I always forget them
  • Toilet paper, as there is nothing worse than running out of TP in the middle of nowhere
  • Lighter with a few feet of Duct Tape wrapped around it
  • Chapstick
  • 25’ of thin cord – one million and three uses. Seriously.
  • Survival blanket, which has over 50 uses!
  • One gluten-free energy bar
  • Starbucks instant coffee because sometimes I just need a cup of Joe.
  • Last, but certainly not least, my Sawyer 3oz water filter with the half-liter pouch.

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What are the most frequently used items in your kit?

My Swiss army knife and sunscreen. I always forget to put sunscreen on before I leave and it is great to have some when I start to feel myself burn. As for the Swiss Army knife, I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten the can opener while car camping and have had to resort to smashing it open with a flat head screwdriver or my hunting knife.

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If you could add one more thing, what would it be?

The go-bag is on its last legs. The seams are ripping and the zipper is starting to give. I am currently looking for the perfect zippered go bag to replace it. Also, I would like to have two or three separate kits so that I do not have to remember which pack I left it in last.

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