6 must-have items that could save your life in the wilderness

People who venture into remote areas should ensure they are prepared for emergencies.

Important to have useful gear and know how to use it

Murray Peterson, a former parks warden, advises people venturing into the wilderness get some key supplies in the event of an emergency. (CBC)

People who venture into remote areas should ensure they are prepared for emergencies. Even people with experience in the outdoors can encounter adverse conditions.

CBC News consulted Murray Peterson, a former parks warden, for some suggestions on useful gear for survival in the wilderness.

Here is a list of six items that could make a difference:

  • A 'Spot Satellite GPS' signaling device, which can communicate an SOS directly to RCMP.
  • Flares.
  • A handy knife/cutting tool. (One that is always close to hand, especially when canoeing because if you capsize there can ropes and other things that could lead to entanglements).
  • Water purification tablets (Aquatabs is one brand).
  • PFD.
  • Water proof matches or flint / fire starting kit.

"You can carry a lot of different types of tools for survival in the wilderness but you need to know how to use them," Peterson said. "Pick them up and learn how to use them."

He says one of the most important things to have is a means to communicate in the event of an emergency. People can get specialized signaling devices or flares for that. They should also learn how to generate smoke from a fire or improvise other ways to signal a position.

"You need to make yourself visible," he said.

Also high on Peterson's list is a cutting tool that you can keep with you at all times.

Experts also recommend that people making trips into rough country ensure they tell people about their plans, including likely routes, destinations, and the time of return or arrival at a destination.

Among the items suggested for survival in the wilderness, clockwise from upper left: a satellite GPS communications/signalling device; a set of flares; water purification tabs; a handy cutting tool. (CBC)

With files from CBC's Ryan Pilon

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