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Cell phone, first-aid kit, flashlight, granola bars, ready-to-eat meal, rope, mobile phone, plastic whistle, map, compass, medicines, flares, radio, tarpaulin, Swiss knife, hand axe, scissors, triangular bandage, blanket

Map and Compass: Most states have good trail maps. Topographic maps provide the most useful information for navigating terrain because they show the area in three dimensions. Purchase a good orienteering compass, and learn how to use it with a topographic map.

First-Aid Kit: Carry a well-stocked first-aid kit, and take a first-aid course so that you'll know how to respond in an emergency.

Survival Kit: In addition to the items listed above, you should carry a survival kit. Although the contents will vary based on conditions and the length of your outing, a survival kit could include:

  • Emergency blanket
  • Emergency food and water (enough for one or two extra days)
  • Flashlight
  • Hand axe or saw
  • High-energy snacks such as candy bars
  • Knife
  • Nylon rope
  • Plastic whistle
  • Pocket mirror
  • Signal flares
  • Snowshoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Tarpaulin
  • Waterproof matches
  • Water purification tablets

Other useful items:

  • GPS unit
  • Mobile phone
  • Radio for weather reports
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