Every wilderness-respecting sports enthusiast knows that an outdoor hike, bike, swim, or trail run can quickly (and unexpectedly) turn into a survival situation that demands an overnight before the rescue team arrives. That's why it's crucial to know what gear to have on hand—just in case.
So we asked wilderness expert Thomas Coyne—who's saved thousands of people over 15 years as lead rescue firefighter in California's Wildlands—for a list of the essentials necessary to survive.
Coyne says first aid, fire, water, shelter, and rescue—in that order—are key, and believe it or not, all of his must-have tools fit in a one-gallon plastic bag. So pack them up and take them with you everywhere. They just may save your life.