Be prepared and be safe. What gear do you really need? Read on for our best gear recommendations. If you purchase from our links, we do receive a small referral bonus, but your cost is the same.
Gear Basics For Any Adventure
New Hampshire is the second most forested state, second only to Maine. With 4.8 million acres of forest (81% of the state), you can be certain that there are many areas where you may become stranded and need to wait for help. The right gear is also important to ensure your comfort and enjoyment. You don't need to spend a lot of money. Just make sure you have the right gear to take care of your basic needs and be prepared for an emergency.
It's up to you to know where you are going and what conditions you may encounter. So you may scale your packing up or down to match your adventure. But not matter what, there are a few essentials you should never be without if you're venturing off the beaten path.
To get started, ensure you're prepared with the 10 Essentials for any trip. NH Fish & Game recommends the following:
Warm Clothing (Sweater/Pile Jacket, Long Pants, Wool Hat)
Extra Food & Water
Flashlight or Headlamp
Matches or Firestarters
First Aid Kit / Repair Kit
Rain/Wind Jacket & Pants
The Basics: Safety Essentials
In order to safely get there and back, you need to know where you are going. Whether you choose a map and a compass or a digital navigation tool, you must have something that is reliable and know how to use it. If you choose an electronic navigation tool such as your mobile phone or tablet, you MUST have a way to charge it. We recommend bringing a portable power bank if you're traveling on foot or won't have the ability to charge regularly with your car.
Do NOT rely solely on your mobile phone's navigation feature. This requires data service and you WILL lose coverage in many areas of the state, especially the mountains and Canadian border areas. A GPS mapping tool like Gaia GPS can be run on your phone but does not require data if you download maps in advance.
Minimum Requirement: Map & Compass
Recommended: Gaia GPS Mapping Tool
A Way to Call for Help
We highly recommend that you carry a satellite communication device if you're heading into the wilderness. Whether in a vehicle or on foot, if you're in a less populated area, you need a way to call for help. These areas tend to have little to no mobile phone coverage. These devices can be expensive, so if you don't have one, use your judgement and never travel alone. We use the Garmin InReach products. There are several models, but they feature navigation aids, weather tools, messaging/communication features, route tracking, and the Garmin SOS tool.
First Aid Kit
Injuries and illnesses happen on the trail. Be prepared when they do. From minor scrapes and aches to stings and splinters, or serious injuries like burns and broken bones, your first aid should have the tools to manage the emergency until you get get help. When you're out in the woods, we recommend that you keep more than just a few bandaids on hand. If you're driving, you have room for a bigger kit. If you're hiking, you may have to carry fewer items, but don't forget the essentials.