The 10 Essentials are survival items for people going outdoors. These items prepare you in case things go wrong. Many people associate this with Boy Scouts but they have been long adopted by hikers, climbers, backpackers or just anyone spending any time outdoors. There are several versions of the 10 essentials, mostly because of change in technology over the past 50 years but they all have the same fundamentals for keeping you alive.
The 10 Essentials for Outdoor Survival
- Compass/Map: Today’s terminology is Navigation, so it includes a GPS. Call me old school but GPS don’t always work. I have found a map and compass to be extremely useful, and they don’t require batteries.
- Water: There are several thoughts here. I have heard of carrying an additional days water supply of 2-liters per day to a gallon per day depending on the person and weather. Some also suggest water purification tablets or system.
- Food: It is also suggested to carry an extra day’s food. Most people carry a freeze dried meal, high energy bars, nuts, or fruit.
- Clothing: Carry clothes for the worst realistic weather conditions possible. This can include raingear, gloves, hat and clothes. I am a big fan of layering. An underlining, fleece then winter waterproof jacket if necessary. An extra pair of socks goes a long ways too.
- Sun Protection: Sunglasses and Sunscreen can make the difference between a great experience to one that you will never forget.
- Knife or Multi-tool: is helpful for minor repairs, preparing food, making kindling and even for first aid.
- Matches: Always place in a waterproof case and make sure you have something to strike them with.
- Firestarter: There are several things you can buy, or you can make yourself to get a fire started
- First Aid Kit: There are some really good pre-assembled first aid kits out there. I also like to make sure there is something for blisters and an emergency blanket.
- Flashlight: Some people carry a headlamp instead as it’s much easier to hike without a flashlight in your hand. Extra batteries can also come in very useful. Don’t count on using your cell phone flashlight. Batteries can get run down on your phone.