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What self-respecting outdoor enthusiast doesn’t take those regular journeys into the unknown of the Great Outdoors? Whether you are planning a summer trek along the Appalachian Trail or spend your weekends watching the migratory patterns of animals or fowl, you will always find that there is some useful tool you wish you had. In order to be better prepared for your next outing, here are five useful tools for outdoor enthusiasts that just might interest you.

1. Survival Kit

So, you are only going for a weekend to your local nature reserve to take photos and journal wildlife in its natural habitat. Why would you need a survival kit? Actually, this means many things to different people but of greatest importance would be such things as:

  • Water
  • Prepackaged (freeze-dried?) camping meals
  • Epi-pen
  • First Aid supplies

And other items that may come in handy in the event of an emergency. How many drivers, for example, have you read about that became stranded in the snow when none was forecast? They were only out for a lovely drive through the countryside when all of a sudden, the sky turned dark, and the snow started falling. This happens altogether too often in any kind of outdoor activity. Maybe it’s not a snowstorm, but Mother Nature has a way of sneaking up on us. Isn’t it better to be over-prepared than caught unawares?

2. Lightweight Tent

Then there are those times when you only meant to spend an afternoon out in nature only to find that you will need to stay the night. This happens quite often to hikers who are enthralled with the beauty of nature all around them. Before they realize it, the sky is turning black, and there’s no time to retrace their steps back to the car. If you pack a lightweight tent in that backpack you carry, you can quickly set up camp and spend a few more hours out in the great outdoors. No matter what activity you plan outdoors, there will be those times when you need or want to spend the night, so a lightweight personal tent is a must-have tool.

3. Action Cameras

This brings us to another regret many outdoor enthusiasts experience more than once in their lifetime. How many times have you caught an unexpected glimpse of an animal or bird someplace you’d never dream they would be? You would have liked to capture this Hallmark moment to view over and over again but didn’t have the foresight to bring a camera. However, you don’t need just any digital camera. What you need is a specially designed outdoor action camera for these moments. If you are not sure how to go about finding the right camera for your needs and budget, check out a few reviews. The Tech Report’s guide will give you a starting point, plus there is a forum where you can ask questions of other outdoor enthusiasts and share your own experiences as well.

4. GPS/Navigational Gear

What needs to be said about bringing along some sort of navigational gear? In previous times, people used analog compasses, but now there are mobile GPS systems on the market quite cheap. In fact, if you have a smartphone, you have a GPS! Just don’t forget to have it fully charged and bring a mobile charger or backup battery along with you. It won’t do much good if you can’t turn it on.

5. Battery Operated Illumination

Speaking of batteries, how many times have you been caught on a trail in the woods when suddenly you realize the sun is setting? Always carry battery-operated illumination so that you aren’t caught literally in the dark! Whether you prefer a flashlight or LED camp lantern, never leave home without one.

This is just a start of the useful tools every outdoor enthusiast should have on hand, but perhaps the most important items. Just remember, you can tailor your tools to your activities. Even so, the above can provide what you need, no matter what your sport.