Necessary gear: A trash bag

Time and time again, people recommend the most expensive, up-to-date pieces of gear for adventurers to use. While the engineering and designing that has gone into these pieces deserve respect, more often than not, these high-tech pieces are not the easiest or most straightforward options to use. Sometimes the best option is the most simplistic. Keeping this in mind, a trash bag should be considered an essential part of any outdoor enthusiast’s check list.

Trash bags can be used in a multitude of different situations, which is helpful for keeping backpacks light. The purpose they serve varies greatly with the scenario, but they almost always have a reason to be in a pack. To begin, they can work as a waterproof sack to keep clothing dry when backpacking in wet, rainy climates. While many people will buy very fancy, technical bags to keep their clothing dry, that costs a pretty penny. Trash bags cost practically nothing and if they get damaged it is not a huge problem. Generally, a large trash bag will still weigh almost the same as a waterproof stuff sack, and oddly enough keeps clothing dry longer when in huge deluges.

The ever-helpful trash bag can also be used in survival situations. When lost in the woods, keeping warm and keeping dry is of utmost importance. By poking a hole for a head and arms, an emergency poncho can be quickly created. While not nearly as breathable as a typical Gore-Tex rain jacket, a trash bag will keep one dry when necessary. Additionally, by stuffing said poncho with dry leaves, paper or Exponents, one can add more insulation and therefore keep warmer while waiting to be rescued.

For more exciting reasons to bring a trash bag, some ingenuity can turn it into a practical piece for fun in the outdoors. Cut the trash bag and lash it tightly around some wood and an impromptu sled is created. Fill it full of air and use it as a beach toy to float down the Madison. A stylish black cape can be created by tying it around one’s neck.

Finally, use it to put trash inside of. After having parties in the outdoors, one can do their part to keep the environment around them clean with a trash bag. Nothing says awesome, rad outdoorsperson like keeping the places we play in clean, and a trash bag allows for this to occur with ease.