An Outdoor Facilitator’s Toolkit: What Is Inside Their Backpack?

An Outdoor Facilitator’s Toolkit: What Is Inside Their Backpack?

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“My goodness! I wonder what is inside the instructor’s backpack?”

That was a common question that used to pop in my mind whenever I attended school camps or join some expeditions. As the years go by and as the expedition got longer and tougher, so are my instructors’ backpacks.

I remember being naively awed wondering over their superhuman strength.

Soon, I became one too and I switched roles. And the same question I had; I could hear it from my participants. The only thing is, I now know what is, or rather are, inside the instructors’ backpack.

Allow me to share my personal “Outdoor Facilitators Toolkit”. which I carry around during any camps or programmes. (Fyi, some if the activities quoted could be found in my ebook: 10 Best Outdoor Teambuilding Activities”. Bottom line, you’ll need to be creative with your own gears instead of bringing the whole prop store in your backpack!

An Outdoor Facilitators Toolkit

1. Rope

Having a rope in your backpack is a no-brainer. Not only it could b used for emergency or constructing a shelter, there are many rope activities you could conduct.


2. Groundsheet/ Tarpaulin Mat

Useful in the night to layer your tent, you could reuse your groundsheet for activities such as “Flip The Tarp” or “Turn Over A New Leaf”. This thing looks heavy and bulky but it easily be folded and slotted into your backpack.

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3. Blindfolds

Blindfolds are an awesome thing to have. Activities such as “Blindfold Walk”  and “Find A Tree” could easily be conducted in the outdoors and it will be a waste not to bring the blindfolds.

In addition, blindfolds are great if you want to inject some disability during an activity so as to increase the challenge and engage your more reserved participants.

4. Ball

Just one tennis ball or something similar. That is all it takes to conduct “Toss A Ball” or “Going The Distance”. Easily stashed in any corner of your backpack.

(Some of the games could use a pebble, instead of a ball)

5. Knife

Depending on your participants, you might want to allow them to use it for some of the activities. Especially those that may require some cutting of strings or fallen branches. Just make sure that they are not blunt.

Gerber Multi Tool

6. Whistle

Not only for safety, a whistle is extremely handy to manage an activity, especially to start and end it. Avoid using your own voice to beat the crowd. Be smart here. (Wink!)

Fox 40 Whistle with lanyard

7. Watch

And finally, the watch in your hand will greatly help you to manage an activity. Keep control and avoid over-running an activity.

Casio Classic Watch

These seven items are my personal list. I would recommend them to you. The good thing is, except for the ball and blindfolds, the other equipments are my standard issue items that I bring whenever I head out (For some activities, you could use a pebble instead of a ball). Hence, they are actually reused. Talk about being eco-friendly. You may want to make your own list.

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Any recommendations from your own outdoor facilitators toolkit? Feel free to share!

Follow Ahmad Bahktiar:

Outdoor Educator

I'm an outdoor educator and blogger. Outdoors, I teach both technical and experiential courses. Indoors, I blog about the outdoors, environment, health and life! Contact me if you'd like to explore opportunities together, whatever they might be.

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