7 Things to Pack for a Day in the Great Outdoors

This post was sponsored by the makers of REACTINE®. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Whether you’re going to the campground, the hiking trail, or the lake, it’s best to be prepared. That’s what the boy scouts say, and they seem pretty on the ball. Make sure you have everything you need by following this handy-dandy list of things we’ve regretted forgetting.

1. First Aid Kit

At the top of the “man, won’t you feel stupid if you forget this” list, a good first aid kit is your first line of defence against owies, boo-boos, and bear trap injuries. And perhaps some medical problems that aren’t facetious. The Canadian Red Cross has a pretty great list of things you need, including the obvious (e.g., bandages) and the less-so-but-still-important (e.g., emergency numbers for your doctor, poison control, etc.).

2. Reactine

As much as we enjoy nature, we don’t enjoy all the pollen it makes or the allergies it causes. Enter REACTINE®, which is over the counter, can start to work in twenty minutes, lasts twenty-four hours, and is non-drowsy. Which means you should really take one prior to stepping out the door in the morning. Check out their guide to understanding your allergy, and pick up a free coupon to boot. After all, summer is short—enjoy as much of it as possible, without letting your allergies get in the way.

3. Flashlight

A night in the great outdoors demands flashlight-aided spooky stories, and nights like that are also improved by not falling in a bush and peeing in your boots because you foolishly didn’t pack a flashlight.

4. Phone + Backup

Any problem can be made worse if you can’t call for help—we’re pretty sure that’s the first rule of horror movie writing. Make sure you can call for help if you need to by making sure everyone in your group has their phone. In case you plan on draining your battery by instagraming every flower you cross, pack a backup battery. If you’re travelling beyond calling range (which is sort of a feature of the great outdoors), pack a backup communication device. And if your orienteering can be described as sketchy at best, pick up a GPS unit. Don’t be the guy who thought he was headed towards Prince Rupert and ended up in Haida Gwaii.

5. A Book

Why would you pack Infinite Jest when there’s water skiing to be had? Because sometimes it rains, and when it does, we won’t be the ones bored and hanging out under a tree. Well, we’ll still be under a tree. Just not bored.

6. Bug Spray

Canada’s great outdoors are noted for their many varieties of bloodsucking pests, and if you hate those things as much as we do, load up on the bug spray. After all, we’d rather stink than itch. And if you are itching, it’s worth noting that there’s BENADRYL® Itch Spray.

7. Sunscreen

As Mary Schmich told us in her seminal 1997 essay “Advice, Like Youth, is Probably Wasted on the Young”, wear sunscreen. Sunburn sucks.


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