10 Essentials

Anyone venturing into the backcountry should know of the 10 essentials, and should always have the 10 essentials with them. These are the 10 items you need to stay alive if your backcountry excursion goes bad.  

Here they are in a nutshell:

  1. Navigation (map and compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candles)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter

This systems approach to the 10 essentials is a little different from what used to be taught (this approach is what is now taught by Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition, which is a book I would highly recommend anyone who is really serious about backcountry adventures should at least skim). Another good resource which discusses the 10 essentials in detail is here (REI).

In the next couple of weeks, I’ll have a series of posts going into all 10 of the essentials, and any tips or tricks I’ve learned.

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