It is easy for anyone to see the big picture, to make big plans, and to have big ideas. It is easy and simpler in some cases, to believe you have the bases all covered because of your plans and ideas. A grain of sand can ruin the most sophisticated piece of equipment however. The little things can catch you off guard and put you in a life or death situation.
Some of you are already scoffing at the notion. Some people like to believe that they have all the bases covered, because to think otherwise would mean they would have to do something about it.
People tend to put things off until they see a need, and in some cases, it may be too late when the need arises. Attention to detail is important. The following may not apply to you and that is okay, but it may get you to thinking about other small details that do apply to you.
Things You Need To Pay Attention To
Yes, we are talking socks here. Why, because walking around the house in your socks is not the same as hiking over rough terrain with weight on your back. Socks are cheap relatively speaking. There are deals all the time, buy 10 get two free, you probably have a pack in your bug-out-bag right now, and they are probably cotton, because that is what you have worn all your life.
Cheap cotton socks will hold the moisture next to the skin, your sweaty feet will slip along the rough material as you walk and cheap socks will wear thin in just a matter of hours. Two miles from home, your feet are covered with blisters. Once this happens, infection can set in. You know what it means if you cannot walk and your blisters turn into infections.
Quality is important when it comes to socks, and several pairs of quality socks in your pack can mean the difference between surviving and not. A small detail that if you do not pay attention to that can leave you stranded along the side of the trail.
Is it stuffed and tossed in the corner or in a closet. When was the last time you carried it on a hike. Do you know how to pack it, and how much does it weigh. A quality backpack is designed, if packed correctly so the weight is high on the back and up on the shoulders, allowing your hips to bear the weight. A poorly packed rucksack will pull your shoulders back and create over a short period a backache and sore shoulders. A backpack that is not packed correctly can be your downfall.
How many times have you seen a hiker with the sleeping bag on top of the pack, which means the lightest item, is on top and probably the heaviest items on the bottom? Heavy on top light on the bottom is how it should be packed. This means you have to pay attention to details when packing your bag. The camp stove is packed on top of the lightweight items.
People tend to pack thinking the most used items need to be on top. People imagine themselves rifling through their bags looking for the things they need on a regular basis. How big is your bag by the way? Just how much stuff is in it and how did you pack it, that you would have to paw through it to find something.
Map, compass and other items that are needed as you hike should be carried on your person or in pockets on the pack that are accessible without having to dig through the pack. Take the time to pack your bag correctly, so light in first, heavy in last.
Fire Starting Materials
Some website said you needed a flint and steel in your pack because humans have been making fire this way for centuries and it is one of the most reliable ways of making fire. This is true, but have you been making fire this way for centuries, no of course not, but have you even made fire once this way.
It is not easy, no matter what the videos show. Just because you have flint and steel in your pack does not mean you will have fire. You cannot head out without knowing you can make fire. Do not assume that just because you have the materials that you can use them to make fire.
A two-dollar pack of Bic Lighters and a magnesium stick can be used by anyone to create fire regardless of skill level. Flint and steel take practice, and practice you must if you expect to be able to make fire with this combination in any environment. Go try it right now, and find out for yourself.
The smallest of things like making sure you have a few Bics in your pack can save your life. Attention to detail can save your life.