While I was packing for YWAM today, blaring music, and eating peanut butter cups, I thought about all the hundreds of heroes in books who leave on quests all the time and what they have to pack. Sometimes the hero is thrown into the thick of things so fast that they don't have time to grab anything and have to fly by the seat of their pants in order to get by. Usually though the hero has enough time to pack at least one bag, backpack, satchel, or suitcase, but packing is difficult. It's really tough to decide what to bring and what to leave behind, So here's the question: If you're a hero setting off on a quest, then what do you pack?
Well, here's a list I made to help out any questing heroes. A list of the top ten must haves for any hero starting out on a quest:
1. Food and Water. Food and water are the most important things to pack when you're heading off on a quest. You have no idea how long it might be before you find another restaurant, or grocery store, and I'm fairly certain that there are no McDonalds in Mordor.
2. Weapons. Any quest you set out on is bound to be dangerous, so please don't forget to bring along your weapons! It doesn't even really matter what kind of weapon you bring, a sword, bow and arrows, spear, sling, gun, attack dog, just as long as you know how to use it to protect yourself and your fellow questers.
3. Matches. Matches, tinderbox, flint and steel, magical lighter, it makes no difference, just make sure you have a way to light a fire. Fires are lifesavers on quests, you can cook food, warm up, boil water to use for drinking or medical purposes, scare away wild animals, send an emergency beacon, light torches to explore caves and tunnels, burn down an enemy outpost. Really it is absolutely necessary so always always bring a way to light a fire.
4. Blankets. Bring blankets or a sleeping bag with you whenever you quest. It can get really cold at night and you need to get a good night's sleep if you plan on doing any great questing. You'd be surprised how devastating sleep deprivation can be. To stay on your guard you must be well rested! Blankets also serve as great emergency bandages, and can be used to tie things into bundles in order to carry loot, plunder, food, or anything else.
5. First Aid Kit. Questing is not a danger free occupation. Odds are you are going to run into a dragon, rockslide, exploding volcano, full out war, poison, and all other dangerous things. You must have a first aid kit with you anytime you go questing, no excuses.
6. A Tent. Shelter is the next big thing you need to have, so packing a tent to protect you from the elements is a wonderful idea. Though if you can arrange ahead of time to stay in inns or taverns instead then you might want to do that and save quite a bit of room in your bag.
7. Rope. You'd be surprised just how helpful rope really is. Tie up your enemies, climb up or down mountains, use it to keep from getting lost in a labyrinth, secure a wounded friend to the back of a horse, escape from a tower. It might be a bit heavy but make sure you pack a nice long length of rope.
8. Pots and Dishes. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget these and how important they really are. Have you ever tried to boil water or make soup without a pot? I mean really, you can roast meat over a fire, but that's about all you can do without a pot or pan. Also it's really difficult to eat whatever you cooked, especially soup without a bowl, plate, or some cutlery. If you're planning on eating at taverns and restaurants all the time on your quest, or going questing caveman style then you can forget this one, though you may wish you hadn't.
9. Spare Clothes. Bring along spare clothes and a nice warm cloak. I bet you it will start raining or you'll fall into a river or lake at some point on your quest and it's always a good idea to have an extra set of clothing along. Try to pack sensible clothes, no party dresses or high heeled shoes, and always make sure that you have a pair of nice strong shoes, odds are you're going to be doing a lot of walking.
10. Any Magical Items. If you have a magical tool to help you then don't leave it behind! Magical items can be dangerous so use your item sparingly and only in great need, though you may just find that it will save your life.
Well that's about it though I'm sure if I sat here long enough I could think of plenty of other things that would be wonderful to have along on a quest like a map, compass, extra socks...
So what do you think? Does this list pretty much cover it all, or do you have a few more things to add to the list? Are you or one of your characters heading off on a quest soon? If so comment below and let me know what they or you packed and how their quest turned out!
Good luck on your packing and questing all!