5 Must-have Emergency Tools

A solo adventure to a remote location can be one of the most stunning, soul-cleansing adventures one can embark on.  

The rewards are numerous and magnificent, but the danger is also increased exponentially, especially if you’re planning on going way off the grid.

It may not seem like it’s possible to break free from the grips of modern communication, but there are a still a few places where with zero reception. The Tankwa Karoo comes to mind, as does the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

Should you embark on a journey to one of these places, it’s worth packing a small, waterproof emergency bag with everything you’ll need if you puncture a tyre, or sprain an ankle on a long hike.

Here’s a list of everything an emergency bag should have:

Lifestraw

This award-winning contraption is designed to provide safe drinking water in any situation. It filters around 1000l of water, weighs only 54g and uses no batteries. Kingsley Holgate has been handing these out on his expeditions for a few years now, saving countless lives in the process.

Cost: Around R200

lifestraw
Photo by Lifestraw

Fire Starter Kit/Waterproof matches

A lighter/matches can easily get wet, so it’s nice to have the old-school back up tucked away for when you really need it. A decent fire starter is good for around 100 fires and will work in any weather conditions. The same goes for waterproof matches.

Cost: Anything from R70 to R600.

waterproof match

A folding knife

A high-quality knife can be worth its weight in gold. Infinitely useful on any normal adventure, it can be used to cut branches, bandages or anything else you deem necessary in an emergency situation.

Cost: From R60 to R6000

folding knife
Photo by Gerber

Basic first aid kit

Something as small as a gash on the knee can escalate to a serious injury if not treated properly. Nothing fancy, just a bandage or two, some disinfectant and an aspirin.

Cost: Around R200

first aid kit

Compass

Before you set off on an adventure, you always need to know what direction to follow to get to salvation. But simply knowing what direction isn’t enough. You need a compass to find that direction from where you are.

Cost: R100 to R200

compass

Bonus: Satphone/Navigation combination

This is an expensive gadget, but also the one most likely to save your life. Not only can you call the authorities from anywhere in the world, but you’ll always know where you are, where the nearest help is and how to get there.

Cost: Around R7000

garmin
Photo by Garmin USA

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