Roughing it means different things to different people. For me, sleeping on the floor and not having access to a working bathroom is a step too far. For others, nothing suits better than going out with nothing more than a backpack and sleeping bag.

Whichever side of the fence you fall on in terms of this issue, roughing it safely means being prepared for emergencies as well. If you are going off into a nature reserve, it makes sense to keep a first aid kit on hand to help with the medical emergencies that could arise. Sit down for a minute and consider what might be needed.

First of all, you should never go out on your own. You and your party should develop a plan of action in case something goes wrong. It is important, before setting out, to determine where help could be obtained in need and how this help would be summoned – that may mean keeping a cell phone on or it may mean checking in with the ranger’s station and letting them know what your plans are.

The saying, “Plan for the worst but expect the best” applies here. You will want to keep some basic first aid supplies on hand so that you can treat minor injuries or at least keep the person comfortable and safe if a major injury occurs. This means having space blankets, something to help stop bleeding and possibly something to use as a splint.

Basic first aid in this case could also mean keeping an anti-venom kit on hand. Check with the park rangers what medical supply they think that you should have with you at all times. Also be prepared for more insidious problems like not drinking enough water or pushing yourself to hard – you need to be at full strength.

Whatever medical supplies you decide to take with you, be sure that they are necessary for the area you are going to and that you have enough. Do not compromise your safety to save a bit of packing space. Always be sure that the container is a bright color so that it is easy to find when needed and that it is waterproof.

Roughing it, for most people, means getting as close to nature as possible. Nature is not always safe though so you need to make sure that you are properly prepared for when something bad happens. Have a well stocked medical kit and some means of communication with the outside world to improve your safety.