There are some essential items you must have with you whenever you are on a trip in the wild. The items are enumerated on this list. You can carry more than the items on this list for your trip. Just ensure that you do not lack any of the Bushcraft gear on this list.
Rucksack: You’ll need a rucksack to carry your Bushcraft gear. Get one that can carry all your items. Don’t go for a bag that is too big or too small. You’ll need smaller rucksacks for shorter trips. The rucksack you carry should be comfortable and must come with padded chest straps and hip support.
Walking boots: You need the right pair of shoes to walk comfortably in the wild. Do not go for a long trip with a new pair of shoes. You need to spend some time breaking the shoes in. If you don’t do so, you may have blisters on your feet. Do not go for fashion shoes, trainers or other types of shoes. Get walking boots as they protect your feet from the effects of hard walking and they are strong enough to support your ankle.
Walking Socks: Socks will protect your feet and keep them warm if needed. Get good walking socks.
Compass and Map: Yeah, we wrote that. Traditional navigation devices are still needed even if you have a GPS with you. Ensure everyone in your team knows how to use the compass. Bushcraft skills like reading maps and compasses are highly useful in the wild.
Extra clothing: You can get wet anytime and catch a cold. Spare clothing will prevent you from having cold or hypothermia. No matter how short a trip is, get a spare change of clothes. Go with gloves and hats for further protection against harsh weather.
Clothes that are waterproof: Waterproof clothing will protect you from moisture and rain. You still need to go with waterproof clothing even if you don’t expect rain.
Bivvy bad or survival sack: A bivvy bag is a mix between a small sleeping bag and a survival sack. A survival sack is a bag that will keep you safe during emergencies and insulate you better than your clothes. This is necessary if you get delayed or lost.
Cooking supplies: This may not be necessary for short trips. Cooking supplies include a stove, plate, cutlery, mug and pan. Take food items like instant noodles, coffee and others. If you aren’t going to carry a stove, at least go with something that can start a fire, so you can signal for help if needs be.
First aid kit: A first aid kit is a must have for emergencies. It should contain essential items like bandages, sterile dressings, antiseptics etc.
Insect repellent and sun shade cream: Get a good sun cream to protect your skin from the UV rays of the sun. In the wild, there are some insects that can bite you. Use insect repellent to protect yourself from them.
Water: Go with a lot of water in bottles. During your trip, you might come across streams and other water bodies. Carry a water purification system with you so you can get clean, drinkable water.
Knife: A knife is an important Bushcraft gear that will be useful for various tasks.
Flashlight with extra batteries: This is important even if your trip isn’t going to take place in the dark. You might be late, and you could face unexpected fog or cloudy weather. Extra batteries are necessary. It wouldn’t do you much good to have a flashlight without backup batteries.
If you are on a long trip that will take you more than one day, you need to carry the following Bushcraft gear with you.
Sleeping mat: The ground is usually cold. A sleeping mat will protect you from the cold ground. You can get an inflatable mat or a foam mat. Inflatable mats are lighter and more expensive. They are better than foam mats.
Sleeping bag: There are various types of sleeping bags. They have different tog ratings and weights. The tog rating is a measure of how warm they are. You can get the bags in shops with different season descriptions. One season sleeping bags are for the summer season alone while 4 season bags are fine for any weather. A 3 season bag will be fine for early fall, late spring and summer. Ensure you get a sleeping bag that is a minimum of 10 degrees colder than the lowest temperature of the place you are passing the night. This will protect you from the unexpected cold weather.
Tent: Tents come in various sizes. Each member of your team can opt for a small, one-man tent or you can pack a single tent, large enough for every member of your party.
Spade and toilet paper: You need these for defecating.
The most important protection you have are your clothes. They will protect you from cold, heat and other things. It is important that you maintain your body temperature when you go for trips. Your body temperature must be kept within 96⁰F to 102⁰F. Good clothing will protect you from hypothermia and overheating. It is better to have several thin layers among your Bushcraft gear than having a single thick one. Dress in multiple layers and pack clothes in multiple layers. Every layer of clothing will trap in air that will insulate your body.