What are the ten essentials? Hiking and scouting organizations recommend 10 essential items for “survival”. These being recommended for when planning to go on back-country trips.
The “Ten Essentials” first made an appearance in the third edition or version of Mountaineering Freedom of the Hills Mountaineers, of which many consider as the standard textbook to look to for mountaineering and climbing in North America.
However so, personal preference may lead people to justifiably deviate a bit from the list.
Ten Essentials List: Classic Essentials
The list on here contains what we now consider the “classic essentials”. Time and technological advances have made this list outdated. Notwithstanding, it remains as a rudimentary foundation to follow – valid and still widely used.
- Compass (GPS receiver optional).
- Sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Extra clothing.
- Headlamp or flashlight (torch).
- First-aid supplies / kit.
- Firestarter / kit.
- Extra food.
Ten Essentials List: Revised
This new list looks to categorize and group in systems, based on functions, the different survival items.
- Navigation. In short, this is composed of maps and magnetic compasses. Optional is it to select altimeters or GPS receivers.
- Sun protection. In short, this is composed of sunscreens and wear against the sun.
- Insulation. In short, this is composed mainly of just clothing for protection against different elements.
- Illumination. In short, this is composed of gear that shed light and the things for that to work.
- First-aid supplies, plus insect repellent.
- Fire. In short, this is composed of lighters and matches with waterproof containers.
- Repair kit and tools. In short, this is composed of gear and tools especially the knife.
- Nutrition. In short, this mainly talks about adding extra food for an extra day; for emergencies. And it also is preferred to choose dry food.
- Hydration. In short, this mainly talks about adding an extra 2 liters of water for an extra day; for emergencies.
- Emergency shelter. In short, this is composed of gear to warm you up or make as shelter.
Ten Essentials List: Supplementing Items
The list does not just end there as we still have the items that supplement to the 10 essentials.
- For the use of water, we have portable water purification items and water bottles.
- If necessary, we have ice axes for snowfield and glacier use.
- Lastly, we have signaling devices such as phones, flares, laser pointers and whistles.
Enjoyed reading about the ten essentials? You could also refer to this survival kit guide for knowing what to carry and how.