Submitted May 21, 2009

Never travel without a compass

When I was 12 my friend and I went back packing for a two week trip, he was on 16 at the time. On our second day we came across a strip mine and the trail was lost, we walked through acres of waste land with polluted water and lost the trail completely. After a few hours and no water we decided to head way off course towards rail road tracks on our small and very under detailed map. The rail road tracks led us to a river and we stopped to purify water and then walked the tracks to a town.

In the end I never travel without a 2, a small pocket sized map that I normally find online and then laminate and a water purification system. Right now I am using the MSR sweet water II.

I wish more places would sell small maps that come laminated, even if its your favorite hunting spot its easy to get a little out of the area you know so much. Some places sell topographic maps but without a map case or laminated.

On shorter trips I carry an old style GI canteen with a cup on the bottom and have in a new style holder that has a extra pocket for water purification pills. Even if the pills are out dated I can boil the water. On a last note everyone should have a reliable source for starting a fire. Most people don't know the best way to use a flint n steel. I prefer the forever match because of its ease and the fact that the fuel keeps longer.

Joe from PA

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