Backpack Essentials: How to get nature-ready

Backpack Essentials (Image by NCC)

Backpack Essentials (Image by NCC)

June 28, 2019 | by Hai Lin Wang

This blog post is part of the Backpack Essentials series, a series that explores the items that Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) staff carry with them when heading outside. It is inspired by the quarterly Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine and our Nature Destinations program. To learn more about NCC’s properties across Canada that you can visit, check out

Deep in the boreal forests of Alberta, Emma Kary and Nicole Doll, two NCC conservation interns, are hard at work in the field.

Originally born and raised in the city, both Emma and Nicole attended the University of Alberta and lived in Calgary and Edmonton, respectively. Like many other nature enthusiasts, their love for Canada’s natural beauty sparked a passion for conservation work where they lived.

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Accustomed to carrying barbed wire and wearing heavy-duty rubber boots, Emma and Nicole know a thing or two about safety while being outdoors. Conservation is no easy task when you are interacting with nature while also ensuring your own safety and comfort. Nature is beautiful, but it can be intimidating if you're unprepared.

Emma and Nicole are carrying barbed wire to clear the way for wildlife. (Photo by NCC)

Emma and Nicole are carrying barbed wire to clear the way for wildlife. (Photo by NCC)

“Being under-prepared can easily ruin a good day out in the field,” expressed the interns when I asked them about their essentials they pack when out in the field.

What you’re wearing in the field can determine your experience in nature, according to Emma and Nicole. There were too many times in the past where their field work would be interrupted by blister pain, which could have been prevented by a wearing good quality boots.

They recommend a decent pair of boots to guarantee a comfortable experience in the wilderness. Long socks and layers are also essential for keeping warm and preventing scratches from bushes and insect bites. Don’t forget to bring a raincoat to every outdoor trek, even if it’s sunny outside, because the weather could end up surprising you.

In addition, always bring nutritious snacks with you, such as trail mix, granola bars, fruits or nuts. You never know when you might need that extra energy boost.

Emma and Nicole both swear by quality trekking gear. “In the field, we love top-quality rain jackets that keep us extra dry,” they said.

For the best experience with nature, make sure to wear the proper gear and protect yourself like NCC’s conservation interns, because no one wants bites, scratches and blisters to ruin their fun day outdoors.

The Conservation Internship Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Summer Work Experience program.

Hai Lin Wang

About the Author

Hai Lin Wang was the 2019 national communications intern at NCC.

Read more about Hai Lin Wang .

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