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As you may have noticed, Rebecca and I enjoy hiking, especially well off the beaten track. On islands like Grenada (or Dominica, or St. Vincent, or… ) it is quite easy to end up in areas where people are few and far between. For this reason, even if we intend on completing only a short half-day hike, we typically carry with us all of the essentials which would allow us to take care of ourselves. We do this both with or without a guide, with traveling companions or on our own. The following list, in no particular order, is what you’d typically find in our pack when we’re out in the woods.

  • cel phone – if we have a local Sim card
  • VHF radio
  • first aid kit
  • fire starting kit
  • Leatherman multi-tool
  • flashlight
  • raincoats
  • survival blankets
  • signal mirror
  • signal whistle
  • some cord
  • bug spray
  • food
  • water
  • compass
  • GPS
  • camera(s)
  • spare socks
  • roll of duct tape – for emergency shoe repairs
  • pocket knife
  • small binoculars (we just started including these)
  • machete
  • rope (optional – this depends on what our plans are)
  • spare clothes (optional)

Do we use all of this stuff? Hardly ever. I was brought up with the Boy Scout’sbe prepared” motto drilled into my head though so we bring it along anyway. We like to be as self-sufficient on land as we are on our boat.


  1. Wow, that’s quite a kit! I’d hope you’d never have to use all that … LOL!

  2. Will this be included in your “soon to be released” hiking eBook?

  3. I’ll assume as a team, you split these things into both packs?

  4. Mike, if you had to pare that list to 5 items, what would they be?

    • Water would be number 1 but assuming we can exclude that, I would say:

      1. some method of communication: cel phone (in a dry case) OR VHF radio OR whistle
      2. first aid kit (in a ziplock bag)
      3. fire starting kit (even just a Bic lighter kept in a ziplock bag would do)
      4. Leatherman multi-tool
      5. compass OR GPS (with spare batteries)

      The above would fit in your pockets or a little fanny pack.

  5. You have forgotten the kitchen sink, plates, knives and forks, beer/wine/rum, portaloo, etc, etc , , , , ,

  6. Those 5 look like good choices. The reality would be you would need whatever you did not bring. You are smart to haul all of that stuff with you. I’m sure it’s a great workout!

  7. I think you are really wise to carry what you do. People quite often get into real trouble in the woods for the lack of one or two of the items on your list.

  8. I wonder if para cord (thin cord like a shoelace used for parachutes) would be a good substitute for rope. I wouldn’t want to use it for regular climbing, but in an emergency it would be better than nothing. Plus it’s cheap enough to cut lanyards out of and small enough to carry long lengths.

    • We carry a small length of spectra cord but paracord would be good too. When I say rope I mean something thick enough that we can use to climb or repel with. We only bring that when we expect to be climbing something steep where it might be required. In fact, one of the other cruisers brought some rope on the Fedon’s Camp hike and because it was so slippery in one spot, they actually used it. We were already past that spot when they did that though.

  9. I like the way you think, I carry all sorts of stuff in case of emergencys also. I subscribe to the if you have it you won’t need it theory, kinda like having spare parts.

  10. That last item on the list, is that for when you hike to places that are clothing (optional)? :^)

    • hehe… good one.

      The truth is that the bus drivers often won’t let you on their bus if you are all muddy. We sometimes bring a change of clothes for that reason.

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